Review: XL instant ramen
My experience with this bowl of ramen
A couple weeks ago, I saw these large packages of ramen at my local asian grocery store. Compared to your usual to packet of instant ramen that is around 100g, this bowl was around 520g.
regular pack of instant vs xl bowl
Upon opening the package there were a lot of contents: noodles, soup, pork, half a marinated hard boiled egg, dried seaweed, plastic garbage bag, utensils, water, and a heating bag. The noodles and egg were vacuumed sealed so they could stay fresh. The pork was in a some sort of marinade that probably helped it keep fresh and the soup was just soup.
When it came to putting everything together, that was a bit challenging. According to Google Translate the instructions were in Chinese. With the translator and the pictures, it was evident that the noodles, meat, soup and egg are put in the shallow clear bowl that would sit above the heating bag. The only thing I wasn't sure about was the heating bag itself as I have never used on before. Did it need to stay in the plastic bag it was in? Does it need to be stimulated (like instant hand warmers)? It turns out that you take the heating bag and place it in the water and the water begins to heat in seconds. After you put the lid on, you let it sit and steam for around 10min.
Ready to eat!
The heating bag really made the soup hot. I had to let it sit for a few minutes otherwise I would have burnt my mouth on it. The soup was pork based. It wasn't rich like Tonkotsu broth and it wasn't overly salty. I suspect it was a pork bone broth. The soup had a slight sour taste I'm not sure if that was normal or from the toppings. The noodles were soft but lacked that chewy texture that fresh noodles have. They were still better than dried noodles in your normal instant ramen though. The egg wasn't that good. It was chewy and had a funny taste which I suspect was from whatever the egg was marinated in.
Overall, it was an interesting experience, especially when it came to putting everything together. However, I do not recommend buying these. This bowl cost around $12 CAD and when you consider that I could get a fresh bowl of ramen from a local restaurant with the average cost of $15 CAD, it just wasn't worth it. The flavours were good but I've made better instant ramen. Also this fell below the flavours of what you'd get at a restaurant despite costing almost as much as the restaurant itself.