While going through the refrigerated noodle section at Hatoya Japanese Grocer here in Charlotte, I found this bag of Maruchan noodles I had never seen. While it does use ramen noodles, it is not a soup – there is no broth mixing, and no reason to heat a certain amount of water in order to make the base mix. These are, basically, sesame cold noodles, and they’re pretty delicious.
The package comes with three servings. Depending on whether or not you’ll be adding additional ingredients (which I highly recommend), we were able to make two of the servings and have enough to leave two adults and one toddler full. These are uncooked noodles, once again, so you’ll need to keep them in your fridge/freezer rather than a pantry.
At this point, you can open up the sauce packet and mix it up with the noodles – technically, according to the instructions, you’re done: you’ve just completed making Gomadare Hiyashi ramen noodles. However, I believe you should go the extra step with this one.
When you’re done, you’ll have a practically restaurant quality lunch that took less than ten minutes to make.
This is a fantastic meal. The noodles are thin, yet firm, yet flexible – there’s a spring to them that is incredibly satisfying. The sesame sauce has a slight ginger flavor to it, making it a wonderful afternoon snack/lunch, especially on a hot day. The one big problem with these noodles is that, without the addition of other ingredients, it’s somewhat bland, and the sauce can be overpowering. If all you want are noodles and a broth/sauce, this will not be for you – you’re going to want to add to it.
This, however, can lead to some fun experimentation: pick some veggies or a protein you like and mix it all up. I can see this going very well with both egg and chicken. It’s an extremely quick cook, nobody will get annoyed waiting for you to finish making it. Furthermore, unlike most freezer section noodles, there are three servings, meaning you could keep a couple of packages aside and bring them out whenever you feel a craving.
The package is not without its problems – the subtle ginger is, maybe, not quite subtle enough. It’s a bit too sweet for some. It’s definitely not ready to go right out of the package, like some top-notch refrigerated noodle offerings. But if you’re willing to put the time in to accentuate what is essentially a frozen dinner from Japan, you won’t be disappointed.
- Extremely adaptable
- Perfect noodles
- Generous amount in package
- Requires adaptation
- May be too sweet for some
- Balance on its own not quite there