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Best Instant Ramen? (please do not mock me, pretty please)

s
small h Jan 10, 2009 03:41 PM

I love ramen, but I'm feeling lazy & poor, plus, it's cold out. This thread is helpful, but it's over a year old, so I wonder if anyone has anything new to suggest.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/363434

I'm near many Asian groceries, I prefer less sodium and MSG, and I like seafood, vegetable and "oriental" flavors.

  1. dumpycactus Jan 10, 2009 04:44 PM

    IndoMie Mi Goreng!!

    i also had a sharp transition from holiday slow cooking to instant ramen laziness. my SO is highly displeased.

    but mi goreng is so delicious!

    2 Replies
    1. re: dumpycactus
      s
      small h Jan 10, 2009 05:28 PM

      Thank you! I will look for it.

      1. re: dumpycactus
        y
        yfunk3 Oct 5, 2010 12:49 PM

        Second the IndoMie MiGoreng (all the flavors except BBQ!). I add frozen peas/corn/whatever veggies to mine, in addition to the fried onions you can also find at the Asian grocery store (in a plastic jar), plus some more thick soy sauce (the sweet kind). They also make a good traditional soup ramen (curry chicken flavor). Good stuff.

        Don't buy Maruchen. Horrible...It's that cheap for a reason! You might as well just buy a bunch of Cup o' Noodles...

        My favorite since childhood: Tung Instant Rice Noodles, Onion flavor:

        http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Noodle-...

        The Tung is great for a chilly autumn/winter night. Poach an egg on top of the noodles while they're cooking in the soup...perfection. It's not ramen noodle and not fried, so much healthier for you. :o

        )

        I always use the seasoning packets for every ramen pack. Sodium be damned (especially since I don't load up the rest of the day anyway), and I'm a supporter of MSG. Heh heh.

      2. jill kibler Jan 10, 2009 09:23 PM

        No mocking here...

        Mama brand Shrimp Creamy Tom Yum Flavour. It is spicy and lemon grassy. I add a few peanuts for crunch. Wow.

        peace, and keep warm, jill

        5 Replies
        1. re: jill kibler
          h
          huaqiao Oct 5, 2010 11:25 AM

          I second Mama brand Tom Yum instant ramen. Throw in some napa cabbage, ground pork, an egg, and top with chopped green onions. Yum!

          1. re: huaqiao
            ToxicJungle Dec 31, 2010 11:08 AM

            mmmmmm, :P~~

            1. re: huaqiao
              beekeroc Apr 1, 2011 09:36 PM

              agree that Mama brand noodles are one of the best. I have them as a simple soup or stirfry with pork, garlic, cabbage, and celery, . yum.

              1. re: beekeroc
                d
                DeLobstah Jul 8, 2012 12:17 AM

                +1000 on Mama Tom Yum. Probably so salt laden that my tongue will dry off and fall out of my mouth someday, but oh so tasty

            2. re: jill kibler
              c
              cacruden Oct 28, 2012 06:37 PM

              I have to admit that I like the Mama noodles (pork flavour) [have had Tom Yum flavour before but if I am going to have Tom Yum I typically buy the real thing from the food hawker in front of my building]. I believe that the pork flavoured Mama noodles are sometimes eaten as a crunchy snack here (break down dried noodles - then add the spices -- no water -- and mix). Also done with other brands.

            3. dumpycactus Jan 10, 2009 11:39 PM

              oh... i should mention that Mi Goreng is probably msg-laden... there's also "Noodle King"; it's packaged in 2's, and apparently healthier (not fried). that's what my mum said, but i'm not going to investigate instant ramen. i thought it was good, but i only had the abalone flavour

              it looks like this:
              http://www.sunshunfuk.com.hk/chi/prod...

              (i don't have any connection with the link, other than our mutual friend Google)

              1. k
                KTinNYC Jan 11, 2009 07:02 AM

                Nissin makes good instant ramen. Not that Top Ramen crap but the line with the cartoon ramen maker on the package. The tonkatsu flavor is very good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: KTinNYC
                  ToxicJungle Dec 31, 2010 11:13 AM

                  http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/img/prods/food/noodle/nissin/original_a.jpg

                  http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/img/pr...

                  Nissin classic is my all time favorite

                2. jpmcd Jan 11, 2009 02:35 PM

                  Sapporo Ichiban (regular)

                  and Shin Ramen (spicy)

                  but both are high in sodium i'm sure - try and use less of the package powder, still tastes good

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: jpmcd
                    k
                    KTinNYC Jan 11, 2009 04:44 PM

                    I tried Shin spicy after hearing positive things but I found it very one note, spicy.

                    1. re: KTinNYC
                      j
                      js76wisco Jul 17, 2012 04:23 PM

                      Try the Shin Ramen Black. It's a new version of the Shin Ramen - not as spicy and a little more flavorful. There are two different flavor packets, one is the spicy and the other is something I cannot quite discern. This is the best Asian style ramen I've had and it is usually twice the price of regular Shim Ramen. The noodles are also much different texturally. They aren't as hard and crunchy in the packet. Highly recommend.

                      1. re: js76wisco
                        soypower Jul 17, 2012 08:40 PM

                        I found Shin Black to be a milder, greasier version of the original. It did have a more beefy flavor, but the amount of oil was unpleasant. Though the noodles had a marginally better texture to them, they really weren't anything special like the Myojo ramen.

                        1. re: soypower
                          j
                          js76wisco Jul 18, 2012 11:42 AM

                          Can you let me know which Myojo ramen you recommend? It's unfamiliar to me and when I searched it came up with a bunch of different packages. I assume it's available in larger Asian markets like H-Mart and Mitsuwa?

                          1. re: js76wisco
                            huiray Jul 18, 2012 03:55 PM

                            See also this post in this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5868... and the subthread descending from it.

                            Try the several varieties yourself.

                        2. re: js76wisco
                          n
                          ns1 Sep 10, 2012 09:44 AM

                          I hated Shin Black

                      2. re: jpmcd
                        s
                        Sal Vanilla Dec 29, 2010 07:43 PM

                        Ditto on the Shin Ramen spicy. I use half the flavor pack and it is plenty flavorful and very spicy.

                        On the other hand - Annie Chun's Miso Soup Bowl (you can get at Costco) is ramenesque. It is vile. VILE.

                        1. re: jpmcd
                          g
                          greenraf Apr 2, 2011 05:31 PM

                          I'm also a fan of Sapporo Ichiban. Whenever the Japanese grocer has a sale, I stock up. If you're worried about sodium or MSG, grab a spice jar of the House freeze dried garlic and/or shichimi pepper and use less of the included seasoning pack.

                          1. re: jpmcd
                            d
                            demitasse04 Jul 16, 2012 02:46 PM

                            Sapporo Ichiban for sure. Pretty much everything else is junk

                            1. re: demitasse04
                              huiray Jul 16, 2012 06:52 PM

                              "Pretty much everything else is junk"
                              -------
                              Hmm, how many types have you tried?

                              1. re: huiray
                                d
                                demitasse04 Jul 18, 2012 11:29 PM

                                I think anyone who has gone to college, exception mac and cheese devotées, has tried at least four or five varieties of ramen. Certainly the stuff available at non-Asian groceres is pure junk. I'm sure I've tried over a dozen though it's been a number of years since my last non-Sapporo Ichiban ramen. I must confess to having enjoyed Cup o' Ramen in my yüt.

                          2. k
                            Kelli2006 Jan 11, 2009 04:13 PM

                            I also love ramen, but I discovered unflavored dry packages of the noodles at a Asian grocery, and I make Chinese veggie and chicken stock that I freeze in ice cube trays. I use 10-12 cubes of stock and then I flavor the stock with the various ingredients that I keep in my pantry.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Kelli2006
                              s
                              small h Jan 11, 2009 05:32 PM

                              This is a lovely idea, but I'm not kidding about the laziness. If I had the energy to make stock, I would. I don't.

                              1. re: small h
                                g
                                greenraf Apr 2, 2011 05:32 PM

                                unflavored noodles + knorr (or bulk store) bullion might be another possiblilty....

                                1. re: greenraf
                                  k
                                  Kelli2006 Apr 2, 2011 10:19 PM

                                  I usually use good quality purchased stock and add generous amounts of fresh garlic, ginger, and lemon grass if I have it.

                                  If you like the flavors you can also add dark sesame oil, fish sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha and 5 spice. Simmer the noodles in that broth for 3-4 minutes and garnish with chopped cilantro.

                            2. l
                              LadyintheKitchen Jan 11, 2009 04:21 PM

                              Maruchen Ramen Noodle Soup is good too

                              1. s
                                small h Jan 11, 2009 05:31 PM

                                Thanks to all. I am planning a pilgrimage to the Hong Kong Supermarket, where I hope to find all the brands mentioned.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: small h
                                  k
                                  KTinNYC Jan 11, 2009 05:56 PM

                                  You might want to try the instant Pho and other types of rice noodles as well.

                                2. MsDiPesto Jan 11, 2009 05:34 PM

                                  Glad to see this thread revived, I have a feeling ramen sales will be up over the not too distant future.

                                  1. Caralien Jan 11, 2009 06:03 PM

                                    I have no idea what the name is, but the package is orange, red, and white with a clear section in front shaped like a chicken (and a little cartoon boy?). It's the type that has the onions in oil packet in addition to the soup packet. I think I saw it at Wegman's in their international section recently, used to eat it about 30 years ago, and it was wonderful. Smaller package than Top Ramen and the like.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Caralien
                                      h
                                      HastaLaPasta Oct 4, 2010 09:39 AM

                                      Does anyone happen to know the name of this brand? This is what I always think of when I think of good ramen (yes, I am pretty unsophisticated when it comes to that stuff but the oil/onion thing always made a big difference in terms of taste). Haven't spotted this in the supermarket for years.

                                      1. re: HastaLaPasta
                                        tcamp Oct 5, 2010 08:44 AM

                                        I don't know if this is the same brand but in my desk drawer I have a package of instant miso soup. Each serving involves adding two little packages to a cup of boiling water, one with dry ingredients and another with miso paste. It is really good.

                                        Anyway, the packaging is white with orange and red and a little japanese boy (?) up in the upper right corner. Miko Brand, it says on the front. Manufactured by Miyasaka Brewery Co., Ltd., Tokyo.

                                        1. re: tcamp
                                          n
                                          nooyawka Dec 29, 2010 06:51 PM

                                          "Choo chien yee ding" in Chinese. Yeah, little Japanese cartoon boy. I think they've long since changed the recipe. I used to love it as a kid. Unless my tastes have really changed, or my memory is wrong, I think the noodles become soft much quicker and don't stay al dente as long. And I think the soup packet or the ramen actually taste different.

                                          1. re: nooyawka
                                            K K Dec 29, 2010 06:58 PM

                                            出前一丁 = Demae Iccho, company that makes them called Nissin

                                    2. m
                                      Mister F. Jan 11, 2009 06:04 PM

                                      Get some Maruchen Oriental Flavor Ramen Noodles. Boil with some good canned beef broth. Find some cold fried chicken in the ice box, chop it up and put it in the pot of ramen. Eat. That's living, and it takes all of five minutes.

                                      1. d
                                        dietrakaneisochor Oct 2, 2010 01:52 PM

                                        Maruchen is really very tasty and very inexpensive. Toss in just a little bit of soy sauce to punch up the flavor a bit (not necessary, but yum), and if you have the leftovers and the energy, chop up a bit of meat and some cooked veggies, and you have a real one-bowl meal. Even if you don't have the energy for that, the Maruchen is TASTY all by itself. :)

                                        1. n
                                          Nanzi Oct 3, 2010 12:02 PM

                                          I use Maruchin, but do not use all the flavor packet. I also use a pat of butter, and brown the broken up whole pkg of noodles(be careful breaking up the noodles in the pkg, it can pop and you'll have noodle pieces everywhere...Ask me how I know.lol), then add water, 1/2 - 3/4 of the flavor pkg, usually oriental, and some small frozen UNcooked shrimp, a dash of cayenne pepper, and some parsley. If you'd like it thicker, use less water. Makes a good cold weather soup, or a whole dinner in a pinch.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Nanzi
                                            c
                                            collardman Oct 4, 2010 12:02 PM

                                            Ramen noodles get a bad rap but they are like instant rice (and better than instant potatoes) for a quick meal. I often use ramen as a base for a lunch with reduced water and 1/2 a packet of the seasoning then bring it a long with some diced left over veggies and meat or fish, a dab of sambal or soy.

                                            It's good to read some recommendations on better brands.

                                          2. a
                                            akq Oct 3, 2010 12:10 PM

                                            Try Noodle King. More Chinese soup noodles than "ramen" but they are super tasty and the noodle quality is better than most instant ramen, imo. If your store has a good selection they have both thin and wide/flat noodles. YUM.

                                            1. jiminy Oct 4, 2010 05:10 PM

                                              Personally I like the Sapporo Ichiban original flavour, at 79 cents a pack good deal and quite tasty

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: jiminy
                                                f
                                                fourunder Oct 5, 2010 09:01 AM

                                                .79 cents.....It's 2 for a buck at my local Asian market.

                                                1. re: fourunder
                                                  jiminy Oct 5, 2010 06:39 PM

                                                  could be the exchange rate everything is more exspensive in Canada

                                                2. re: jiminy
                                                  Crockett67 Jul 2, 2012 10:59 AM

                                                  +1

                                                3. s
                                                  small h Oct 4, 2010 05:14 PM

                                                  I am thrilled to see this thread come back to life, now that cold weather is approaching. Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. I'll have to do a new compare & contrast, incorporating the recent contributions.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: small h
                                                    f
                                                    fourunder Oct 5, 2010 09:05 AM

                                                    I do not know the brand, as it did not have any English writing on the package, but there was one package that went for around .90 cents individually that came with three packets of seasonings and oil/fat inside. It was roast duck flavored broth in one packet, dehydrated vegetables and duck skin in another and duck fat oil in the third.......excellent.

                                                    Too bad I can no longer find it.

                                                  2. phofiend Oct 4, 2010 09:01 PM

                                                    Nong Shim Kimchi flavored noodle bowl. Drop in an egg to poach as the noodles cook, and top with some more kimchi. Fast, filling, and tasty.

                                                    1. j
                                                      jujuthomas Oct 5, 2010 09:52 AM

                                                      we love hoo roo rook, but it takes about 5 minutes to cook. I add some steamed veggies and a poached egg.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: jujuthomas
                                                        d
                                                        docflash Jun 10, 2013 12:32 AM

                                                        Hoo Roo Rook is one of my favorites, too! Sadly, I've been unable to find it anywhere for at least a year or so. I would much appreciate a pointer if anybody knows where to get it.

                                                        1. re: jujuthomas
                                                          soypower Jun 25, 2013 12:18 PM

                                                          I bought this once to try and my dad laughed when he saw the name. I asked him what it meant and he said it's the sound you make when you're slurping up noodles. Makes more sense when you make the r's sound like d's - hoo doo dook. Very cute.

                                                          As for the taste, I was actually kind of disappointed. Not because it tasted bad, but because it tasted exactly the same as the dried noodles (which cook in about the same time - 2-3 min). You cook them separately from the soup so it's not really saving any pots either. I suppose it does have the dried vegetable, but I prefer fresh green onions and keep a bag of anchovy powder and some soy sauce for the soup. Tear up some nori and ta da - home made hoo roo rook.

                                                        2. s
                                                          srr Oct 5, 2010 11:05 AM

                                                          We love Nissan Demae Ramen. It comes in a bunch of different flavors that actually taste like what they say on the package. We like the Spicy Seafood, the Tonkatsu (my favorite), the Satay and the Curry. Someone else mentioned the Mama brand creamy Tom Yum flavor. I like the regular Tom Yum flavor.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: srr
                                                            dumpycactus Oct 5, 2010 07:07 PM

                                                            i second the Nissin Demae Ramen bowls (Tonkatsu as well)

                                                            inside there's 3 packets: powdered broth, dehydrated veg + pork, and wet broth (or more like sauce). after 3 minutes i realised they managed to successfully dehydrate a pork slice. i was quite impressed...

                                                          2. EWSflash Oct 5, 2010 06:29 PM

                                                            If you can find the Dosirac brand (comes in a plastic bowl/tray), the chicken and the mushroom ones are my son's and my favorites, but they have other flavors, too. Our favorites don't have spiciness, the rest do. Your call.
                                                            I add some shredded black fungus and a bunch of wakame before I pour the boiling water in. Yum!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: EWSflash
                                                              EWSflash Jul 8, 2012 09:20 AM

                                                              And goji berries and sometimes katsuobushi

                                                            2. t
                                                              the barking dog Oct 5, 2010 06:39 PM

                                                              I love Neoguri Spicy Seafood.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: the barking dog
                                                                MVNYC Oct 11, 2010 12:02 PM

                                                                This is the one I like as well. I usually add frozen mixed vegetables and an egg to make it a bit more than just carbs and salt.

                                                                1. re: the barking dog
                                                                  l
                                                                  lilmomma Oct 25, 2012 07:47 AM

                                                                  Yummy!

                                                                  1. re: the barking dog
                                                                    EWSflash Oct 28, 2012 07:19 PM

                                                                    I like it but it's a half-tad too spicy in an Asian way for me. Mexican, I would expect it. That's what I grew up with.

                                                                    1. re: the barking dog
                                                                      t
                                                                      tandooritaco Jun 9, 2013 04:06 PM

                                                                      This is one of my favorites.

                                                                    2. soypower Oct 5, 2010 07:06 PM

                                                                      I'm with those who are glad this thread has popped up again. My favorite fried ramen packages are sapporo ichiban original flavor, shin ramyun, and neoguri.

                                                                      But if I'm looking to get something anywhere near what I'd get at a restaurant I pick up one of the refrigerated packs and add whatever leftover meat & veg available. And always, always a poached egg.

                                                                      1. playfulotter Oct 11, 2010 10:05 AM

                                                                        The best instant ramen is Indo Mie brand Mi goreng as mentioned above. I like the original flavor and the satay flavor. It is kind of fun that they come with different packages one of thick sweet soy sauce, flavored oil and a chili powder in addition to the regular flavoring powder. Some of the flavors even come with a small pack of fried shallots. I usually slice up a hard boil egg to put in at the end and cook the noodles in the water before draining with a little napa cabbage...Yum!

                                                                         
                                                                        1. cgfan Oct 11, 2010 05:55 PM

                                                                          I hate to say this but after looking at all of the responses I haven't seen one yet that really elevates the field. After all you are asking for the best, right?

                                                                          If I can make a suggestion it might (or perhaps not) violate what you consider to be instant. What I will suggest does not cook as fast as most of the "instant" Ramens out there, but still for me it's "instant" (in the sense that it saves me from getting into a car and heading out for the nearest Ramen-ya - not that it competes at that level, mind you...). How fast does it cook? I don't precisely recall, (and anyway I never cook it by time), but it'll take a good 3 minutes or so. Not that long, really, and anyway it'll be worth the couple of extra minutes.

                                                                          My suggestion is that you seek out "Myojo Chukazanmai", which if I recall correctly is available in Shio (salt), Shoyu (soy sauce), Tonkotsu (pork bone), and Hiyashi Chuuka (a cold noodle salad for Summertime).

                                                                          You will see that the noodles are completely different. The noodles themselves have a very distinct and tasty flavor and most of all a very good bite - a very resilient noodle. And you will notice that the seasoning packs are very much upgraded from the standard "instant" offerings. You will find up to 4 different seasoning packs inside each package, many of them in "wet" form.

                                                                          You will pay a bit more for this brand, but it'll be worth it. (Still easily under $2 per package.). If you live near a Marukai they will often have these on sale for just under a buck each. In general you can find this brand only in the Japanese markets, and sometimes in the Korean markets. They come wrapped in a special paper package that has a glossy coating which allows them to print all of their graphics in highly saturated colors. You'll know what I mean as soon as you see it...

                                                                          What is their trick? They use a noodle that is not fried. Now you will occasionally find a couple of other brands selling "non-fried" noodles. In general they will all be better than the fried ones, (and I'm not considering health aspects here but taste and texture only), but not nearly the quality and flavor as the Myojo Chukazanmai product.

                                                                          Highly recommended!

                                                                          http://tinyurl.com/2boej6t

                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                          1. re: cgfan
                                                                            s
                                                                            srr Oct 13, 2010 07:21 PM

                                                                            I really like these too. I haven't bought them in a while because we love Nissan Demae so much and their flavors are more interesting. But, Myojo's noodles are better. The only thing is, you really have to watch them because if you over cook them,even a little, they turn to mush.

                                                                            1. re: srr
                                                                              cgfan Oct 14, 2010 12:30 AM

                                                                              Wow, I've never experienced that. I've always thought of them as having plenty of "lattitude" against overcooking. They've always had incredible bite to them, and of course their taste is spectacular.

                                                                            2. re: cgfan
                                                                              Scrapironchef Dec 29, 2010 12:22 PM

                                                                              Second on this recommendation, my go to brand. I try brands at random whenever I go to an asian market but haven't found any I like better.

                                                                              The only package I ever had that was better was the house brand from the ramen museum in Tokyo

                                                                              Not in the same class but well worth a try is the Curry cup noodle from Nissin.

                                                                              1. re: Scrapironchef
                                                                                ritabwh Jul 8, 2012 12:21 AM

                                                                                i have searched for the Curry cup noodle in the seattle area.
                                                                                does anyone know if it is available here>

                                                                                1. re: ritabwh
                                                                                  Scrapironchef Jul 8, 2012 09:17 AM

                                                                                  Tough to find in the states, we used to bring it back from Japan. Try Japanese grocers.

                                                                                  1. re: Scrapironchef
                                                                                    ritabwh Jul 8, 2012 04:36 PM

                                                                                    thanks. not found in Uwajimaya in seattle.
                                                                                    :-(

                                                                              2. re: cgfan
                                                                                soypower Jun 30, 2012 06:16 PM

                                                                                Just tried a package of myojo soy sauce flavor ramen. Amazing! Love it. It really is quite close to fresh noodles. Unfortunately, I can't find it for less than $2.39 around here (Seattle).

                                                                                1. re: cgfan
                                                                                  huiray Jun 30, 2012 07:44 PM

                                                                                  Interesting product - although Japanese manufactured, their packaging says Chinese (中華) Samedi (三昧). The website of the company (Myojo; 明星) that produces these (myojofoods; http://www.myojofoods.co.jp) describes the soy sauce flavor ramen that soypower tried (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/586820#7434187) (http://www.myojofoods.co.jp/products/...) as "Cantonese-style Chinese soy sauce" pulled noodles. :-)

                                                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                                                    huiray Jul 7, 2012 09:01 PM

                                                                                    Had a pack of Myojo (明星) Chukazanmai (中華三昧) "Noodles served with chili oil and soy sauce" (辛麺) [辣油醤油味(which says "pungent/hot oil soy sauce taste")], a variety not reported by cgfan above.

                                                                                    Pretty good.

                                                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                                                      ritabwh Jul 8, 2012 12:19 AM

                                                                                      the chili oil is not very "hot" imho. has a nice zippy and somewhat sweet flavor.
                                                                                      this Myojo brand Chukamanzai flavor is one of my favorites. I like the Shoyu Ramen and the Hot Chili Oil flavors the best.
                                                                                      the other is Nissin, Shoyu Ramen, in the green package.
                                                                                      i used to love the Nissin Ramenya-san brand of ramen noodles. i can't find them anymore and i've read that they were discontinued.

                                                                                    2. re: huiray
                                                                                      huiray Oct 22, 2012 08:48 AM

                                                                                      Tried the "fresh ramen" packet (2 portions), from the refrigerators in the store, of Myojo Chukazanmai Sesame Vinegar Flavor noodles. After cooking, this is served cold tossed with the sesame-vinegar sauce provided in a pack, together with a small pack of mustard sauce. (I dressed it up w/ hard boiled eggs, pepper beef and trimmed raw celery w/ leaves. Quite good, tasty "cold sesame noodles" (no heat); noodles/ramen very good. Just a tad on the salty side.

                                                                                      I suppose this is one variety of the "hiyashi chuuka" (冷やし中華・冷し中華 ; cold noodle) cgfan refers to above. US$3.99 (2-portion pack) at a Japanese grocery here. The equivalent dried ramen form, in the distinctive Myojo Chukazanmai package, is also available at US$2.39.

                                                                                    3. re: cgfan
                                                                                      NoodleQueen Jul 2, 2012 11:42 PM

                                                                                      +1

                                                                                      1. re: cgfan
                                                                                        p
                                                                                        Pincus Jul 3, 2012 12:16 PM

                                                                                        I'm going to do a search through the Asian markets to see if I can find it here in Toronto. Thanks!

                                                                                        1. re: cgfan
                                                                                          monkeyrotica Oct 22, 2012 09:02 AM

                                                                                          After burning through most of Nong Shim's ramens, I finally settle on Myojo as my favorite. Made in Japan (hence the $2.49 a bowl pricetag) the noodles have an excellent bite, whereas most of Nong Shim's ramen tasts too spongy to me. Well worth the xtra few pennies: the soup packet isn't excessively salty (unlike Nong Shim's) or excessively spicy (unlike Nong Shim's). Shoyu is my favorite; clean, simple flavor. Tonkatsu was a little too milky, but Shio has a nice light sesame flavor. Their fresh udon in the refrigerated section is also a flavorful item.

                                                                                          Another favorite is Menraku Brand. They make an excellent soba noodle bowl with an unusual "tempura" disk you add after the noodles are done and cooks in the steam. I also like their curry udon which is a nice change of pace.

                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/Menraku-Shoyu-R...

                                                                                        2. k
                                                                                          kuya james Oct 11, 2010 06:21 PM

                                                                                          Kung Fu Ramen. The best instant ramen i've found; hard to find though.

                                                                                          Thier secret is they use an oil-flavor puch instead of a powder packet. I think this gives the broth portion a deeper and richer flavor. Add whatever you want to the ramen and chowdown.

                                                                                          1. RealMenJulienne Oct 12, 2010 06:37 PM

                                                                                            Just go to the Asian store, not the supermarket, and it's hard to go wrong by picking a random pack off the shelf. The best ones will have three packs inside: powder seasoning, flavored fat packet, and dried vegetable. Tung-i onion and beef varieties have a good hearty flavor, and Shin Ramyun in the red pack has a hot and sour kimchee-like flavor.

                                                                                            Maruchan is supermarket garbage, rubbery noodles and broth with no flavor but salt.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                                              f
                                                                                              FlowingFoam Dec 29, 2010 11:33 AM

                                                                                              ShinRamyun is Epic yummyness i second this ! It heats up your insides with a spicy kick , thats great for any cold day.

                                                                                              Side note: You should also try Oh Ricey! its instant Pho :P but amazing!

                                                                                            2. p
                                                                                              piano boy Oct 14, 2010 02:36 AM

                                                                                              Koyo Ramen!

                                                                                              Great flavour and very good ingredients. It's usually in the natural/organic food stores, never seen it at a big box. Looking at their website now, seems you can order online! Woohoo!

                                                                                              1. k
                                                                                                kris9 Oct 14, 2010 04:53 AM

                                                                                                I will second the Hoo Roo Rook. I absoultely love it, and is just as cheap as buying the Top Ramen at your local grocery store. I have only ever bought it at Chinese/ Korean markets (I believe that the packages says it is Korean noodle soup) I usually add some soy sauce and sesame oil just to punch up the flavor a bit.

                                                                                                Happy Eating!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: kris9
                                                                                                  v
                                                                                                  Val Apr 2, 2011 05:31 AM

                                                                                                  THIRD for the Hoo Roo Rook...pretty great stuff! Recently bought a 4-pack at World Market for $5...I was pleasantly surprised....no msg and lowER sodium but it's not a low-sodium food to be sure.

                                                                                                2. Tripeler Oct 14, 2010 07:07 AM

                                                                                                  To me, some of the best instant noodle products are the higher-priced products from Japan. Great care is taken with the soups and seasonings in them, and the noodles are often of fairly impressive quality. What is available here in Tokyo will likely be unavailable in other countries, but should you find a higher-priced Japanese product in your town, give it a whirl.

                                                                                                  1. p
                                                                                                    Pincus Dec 30, 2010 01:08 PM

                                                                                                    Nostalgia makes me say Sapporo Ichiban regular flavour. But I am definitely going to try and hunt some of these other ones down!

                                                                                                    1. y
                                                                                                      yayoye Dec 31, 2010 08:24 PM

                                                                                                      Ichiban original flavour - there are two kinds - one which is made is Japan and sometimes available at Asian food stores in Toronto but which is very expensive. The other more ubiquitous is made in the U.S.A. - costs around 79 cents. The two do not taste exactly the same.

                                                                                                      Also, my cousin from Japan makes the ramen from the package differently from the directions on the label which results in a less oily result. She boils the ramen noodles for a couple of minutes in boiling water. She also boils 2 cups of water in a separate pot. She puts the contents of the soup packet in the plain boling water, drains the noodles which have cooked separately and adds them to the soup and then proceeds to eat. This method does have a different tasting result.

                                                                                                      1. im_nomad Jan 1, 2011 05:05 AM

                                                                                                        Not ramen, but I like those Thai Kitchen instant noodles from time to time.

                                                                                                        1. coney with everything Jan 1, 2011 05:11 AM

                                                                                                          For something a little different, head to an Indian market and get curry or masala ramen.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: coney with everything
                                                                                                            ToxicJungle Jan 1, 2011 11:52 AM

                                                                                                            Thanks coney, they sound really good, I will get some the next time I drop by an Indian market

                                                                                                            1. re: coney with everything
                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                              Kalivs Jun 10, 2013 01:37 AM

                                                                                                              Maggi noodles! "ramen" noodles with Indian spices. So far, most of the noodle packets I've tried don't have eggs in them which is probably why they don't hold together as well. But, the spices are great!

                                                                                                              My current fave is a bundle I get from Galleria Korean market. I don't know the name but they are organic and not fried. Thereis a dry spice packet and a chili oil packet. Next time I go,
                                                                                                              I will post the name.

                                                                                                              1. re: Kalivs
                                                                                                                Charles Yu Jun 10, 2013 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                Its called 'Ko-Ko-Ruk". Love them too. Very 'delicate'

                                                                                                            2. MinkeyMonkey Jan 1, 2011 04:06 PM

                                                                                                              I prefer mi goreng, and the old school Maruchan cups and packets. I don't like Annie Chun's noodle bowls or noodle express. Maybe it was the sauce, just not my thing.

                                                                                                              1. f
                                                                                                                fongberg Jan 7, 2011 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                I just got back from Japan. My friend made me ramen that actually comes from a box. The noodles are fresh and are in their own packet, which cook just as quickly as the 'normal' instant ramen--but so much better. He added green onion, some grated garlic, a halved egg (somewhere between soft and hard boiled), some greens, and it was better than some ramen shops I tried!

                                                                                                                Luckily I found several brands at Narita airport (Akihabara store) so I got to bring some home!

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: fongberg
                                                                                                                  g
                                                                                                                  gnomatic Jan 7, 2011 07:20 PM

                                                                                                                  Sounds like nama ramen. I really like the ones made by Yamachan (http://www.yamachanramen.com). They are available at Japanese markets, and some Chinese Supermarkets in the SF Bay Area.

                                                                                                                  1. re: fongberg
                                                                                                                    g
                                                                                                                    greenraf Apr 4, 2011 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                    In Hawaii we have Sun noodle ramen that's in the Japanese grocers and Costco, as well as some Japanese brands in the Marukai market. Maybe not what everyone would call instant, but its the closest thing to REAL ramen that I've had outside of a ramen-ya.

                                                                                                                  2. w
                                                                                                                    waterproof mp3 Jan 7, 2011 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                    I usually heat the water on a pot and let it boil. Then I add the cup of noodle in the water and then the mixture. Then I add 2 eggs and some vegetables. To top it off, I garnish it with fresh grounded black pepper.

                                                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                                                      MikroBadass Apr 1, 2011 03:44 PM

                                                                                                                      You don't have to use the boring broth they provide in the packaging :) what you can do is make a cold version I can't say the name cause it now has a negative connotation but it is very delicious

                                                                                                                      you take your noodles and you let them rest in cold water until they have softened enough to chew and then you take your sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, whichever sauce you would like to use to flavor it and then you add whatever ingredients you like...
                                                                                                                      Deli ham isn't as nice as Spam vienna sausages are usuable but not recommended
                                                                                                                      if using hot dogs at least oscar meyer the cheaper brands have funny aftertaste
                                                                                                                      frozen vegetables can be microwave strained and added to noodles

                                                                                                                      I prefer canned tuna with mine or at least a canned fish

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: MikroBadass
                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                        small h Apr 1, 2011 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                        This is very interesting, with hot weather (hopefully) on its way. How long do you let the noodles sit in water? Could I do this with fresh Cantonese egg noodles? Also, please reveal the name, or at least hint at it euphemistically, because now I am curious.

                                                                                                                        1. re: small h
                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                          MikroBadass Apr 1, 2011 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                          Japanese culture it is known as Bukkake udon if done with Udon noodles and added with minced seafood

                                                                                                                          I've never done it with Cantonese egg noodles... I suppose you can put the noodles on a sieving ladle and then immerse the noodles into boiling water following a proper cooking immerse the noodles into ice water and thus have cooled noodles to eat with black bean sauce and char siu pork (my favorite esp. with cantonese egg noodles) as long as you have black bean sauce (find it in any chinese/vietnamese store) you have a great sauce for the cantonese egg noodles.

                                                                                                                          I've only done the immersion in cold water method with dried/instant noodles I find them tastier than microwaving them! For those noodles it can take from 2 - 4 hours for it to become edible. You can eat the dry noodles however expect toilet problems haha

                                                                                                                          I like adding mixed vegetables and then ground beef in plain soaked noodles mixing them up and it's a delicious meal; I also like to add Kraft single american sliced cheese (has to be kraft all off brands are much too salty) to it and microwave for 10 seconds to melt the cheese only and the noodles will still be slightly cooled however lukewarm

                                                                                                                          1. re: MikroBadass
                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                            MikroBadass Apr 1, 2011 09:29 PM

                                                                                                                            oh yes here is an excellent recipe... lol please follow the directions to prepare the noodles you don't have to use such fancy ingredients :D
                                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDuQOg...

                                                                                                                            1. re: MikroBadass
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              small h Apr 2, 2011 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                              Oh! It's hiyashi chuka. I don't make that at home, but I've had it in restaurants. I've also seen bukkake udon on a few menus, this one, for instance:

                                                                                                                              http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

                                                                                                                              Soaking the dried noodles for 2-4 hours defeats the purpose of "instant," but it's something I'll certainly try. Thanks again.

                                                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                                                        Breezychow Apr 2, 2011 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                        I love ramen - both the noodles on their own & the soups. Have to say that I've never met an IMPORTED brand that I haven't liked. Am not a big fan of any of the domestic brands.

                                                                                                                        My only caveat with the imported brands is that you should be SURE to sniff-test any of the little plastic packets of sesame oil that are sometimes included BEFORE adding them to your soup. I've sometimes found the oil to be rancid, & you can ruin what would otherwise be a fine bowl of soup.

                                                                                                                        1. daveena Apr 2, 2011 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                          Do you have a Korean supermarket nearby? I've tried a whole bunch of different packaged jiajang myun, and have yet to find one I dislike. I think all of them are "MSG-free" but list sources of natural MSG - yeast extract powder, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, etc. Their flavor packets are more substantial, since the end product is a noodle coated with black bean sauce, rather than noodles in broth.

                                                                                                                          I also like every cold buckwheat noodle kit I've tried so far - some are shelf-stable, some are in the freezer section (they include frozen blocks of stock with bits of meat and vegetables in them).

                                                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                                                            sisterfunkhaus Apr 3, 2011 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                            No scoffing here. When I'm not feeling hot, or have a cold, nothing comforts me like ramen. I like Sapporo Ichiban. I add a little soy, rice vinegar, and chili garlic sauce.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: sisterfunkhaus
                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                              Breezychow Apr 6, 2011 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                              Oh yeah - chili-garlic sauce is a must here too. Whether I have a cold or not - lol!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Breezychow
                                                                                                                                p
                                                                                                                                pie22 Jul 17, 2012 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                                and an egg or some veggies, the best!

                                                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                                                              docflash May 27, 2012 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                              for reasons i won't go in to, i've had all the different kinds of instant ramen i could find (both here in san francisco and at amazon) at least twice a day since march. by far, my favorite is Myojo Ippeichan Yakisoba Japanese Style Instant Noodles. they're japanese, and the noodles have the best texture and flavor i've found. i'll often throw in some veggies, or dried seaweed like kombu or dulce; they're also good w/ leftover protein.

                                                                                                                              an unique feature is the self-draining packaging. you peel back the cover part of the way, remove the flavor packets (including dried veggies, base, spices and spicy mayonnaise), add the veggies and anything else you want, and pour in boiling water to fill the container. to drain, there's a peel-off section at the opposite corner, and when it's ready, you peel off the sticky patch revealing an area with slits, allowing you to drain the heating water. you then add the flavorings, and consume.

                                                                                                                              i like all the korean noodles, especially hoo roo rook, too. the asian market in san rafael as well as the groceries in japan town have been a source of other instant noodles, many good.

                                                                                                                              what would be great, tho' (and it may be on chowhound but i've missed it) is a section on fast noodle dishes using dry bulk noodles as well as various sauces / flavors available at asian markets. if there is such a topic, i'd appreciate a pointer.

                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: docflash
                                                                                                                                w
                                                                                                                                washburncincy Jun 18, 2012 09:21 AM

                                                                                                                                I whole-heartedly second the vote for MYOJO IPPEI CHAN YOMISE NO YAKISOBA. Absolutely delicious and unique. I also enjoy various flavors of Menraku noodles. Curry flavor is my favorite.

                                                                                                                                1. re: washburncincy
                                                                                                                                  v
                                                                                                                                  Val Jun 18, 2012 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                  wow, and for anyone trying to see what the container looks like, here's a youtube video about this product...*visuals always help me* before I go to Asian food market...sounds REALLY great, thanks, will look for it soon!
                                                                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kf-w-...

                                                                                                                                2. re: docflash
                                                                                                                                  EWSflash Jul 8, 2012 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                  This is my favorite, too, although I confess I throw out the soy sauce packet. It's perfect to me without it.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: EWSflash
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                                                                                                                                    Feed_me Oct 25, 2012 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                    Never had this particular Myojo product, but seeing the glowing reviews I'm planning on trying it soon. If you live near a Marukai market (I think most are membership, but not all are) you're Myojo yakisoba ship is coming in. From November 15-21, 2010 they are having a special of $1.68 a package (limit 12). Here's the link for the store locations (mostly southern California and one in Cupertino, one in Hawaii and one in Japan). http://www.marukai.com/store-eng.html You can check out the store flyer on the website which is in English or Japanese.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Feed_me
                                                                                                                                      n
                                                                                                                                      ns1 Oct 25, 2012 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                      Nov 15-21...2010???

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ns1
                                                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                                                        Feed_me Oct 28, 2012 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                                        Ugh! Thanks ns1. I made a mistake. The sale date for the Myojo yakisoba at Marukai is November 15-21, 2012. Incidentally, yakisoba is more a pan fried noodle and not ramen.

                                                                                                                                3. k
                                                                                                                                  kseiverd Jul 3, 2012 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                  I was in a NJ prison (as a TEACHER) for about 12 years. Inmates could get "food packages" from family members when they visited... with LOTS of restrictions. They could also buy things off the list at the "commisary"... again limited. There were several men who were "chefs" in the jail, who were KNOWN for their odd combinations that were supposedly delicious... considering... ONLY cooking utensils were a hot pot and a "stinger".

                                                                                                                                  1. k
                                                                                                                                    klyeoh Jul 8, 2012 12:09 AM

                                                                                                                                    My current fave instant noodles are from Thailand: Ma Ma brand (left) and Wai Wai (right) - both "tom yum: pork flavored.

                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                    1. Bacardi1 Jul 17, 2012 04:17 PM

                                                                                                                                      I think the long & short of it is that you can buy ANY ramen noodle packet. It's what you DO with it that makes it special.

                                                                                                                                      While I do buy ramen noodle packs at Asian markets, I also buy them from my local supermarkets. But when I add Chinese Chili-Garlic Sauce, Black Bean Sauce, sliced scallions, broccoli or Gai-lan (Chinese broccoli) florets, Bok Choy, sliced garlic, etc., etc., etc. - a little packet of noodles turns into a real delight. :)

                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                                                        EWSflash Jul 20, 2012 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                        Yep, it really does. I add shredded black fungus (stop me if you've heard this), goji beries, and wakame seaweed, and sometimes various others. There is a difference in the brands, food snobs' opinion to the contrary.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                                                          EWSflash Jul 20, 2012 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                          I also nearly always throw out the oil packet if one comes with the ramen. Save me some calories.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                            Bacardi1 Jul 21, 2012 06:34 AM

                                                                                                                                            Yes, I usually toss the sesame-oil packet too. Not to save calories (not that that would hurt me - lol!), but because I've come across so many that have been rancid. If I want sesame oil in my soup, I just use my own.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                                                              EWSflash Oct 28, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                              Hai!

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                                            mewright Oct 23, 2012 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                            I used to buy a kind a number of years ago that had black bean paste in a little pack as well as sesame oil and maybe even other seasoning. The shop I used to get them from is no longer in business so I can't ask what it was or if it's still made. Probably just as well -- the sodium is bad for my blood pressure.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mewright
                                                                                                                                              huiray Oct 23, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                              There is a Taiwanese "Instant Ramen" called Wei Lih Jah Jan Mien, which is quite popular with a certain demographic. It has a block of noodles which you steep in a bowl by pouring just enough boiling water over it to just cover it, then pouring off the water into another bowl where you have placed the contents of one seasoning packet (MSG + teeny bits of something else) to get a "bowl of soup". The drained noodles you mix and toss with the contents of the second seasoning pack, which is essentially flavored/seasoned black bean paste. I usually add at least some chopped scallions to the noodles and also some additional dried wakame (seaweed) to the bowl of soup. I like it. Widely available.
                                                                                                                                              http://daveola.com/Pages/Ramen/Photos/Wei_Lih_Jah_Jan_Mien.jpg
                                                                                                                                              http://ramenrater.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/re-review-wei-lihjah-jan-mien-instant-noodles-with-fried-soybeans-paste/
                                                                                                                                              http://ramenrater.wordpress.com/2010/...

                                                                                                                                          3. tracylee Sep 12, 2012 03:12 PM

                                                                                                                                            I really should have taken a list of faves from here to the Asian grocery store on the other side of town. The only brand I remembered from here was Mama, and I got the Tom Yum single serving. I haven't had ramen in eons, but that was pretty tasty and spicy enough that my nose is still running, LOL.

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                              EWSflash Oct 28, 2012 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                              Was it Mama or Mama Sita? That's a Filipino brand, I think. I read the label.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                tracylee Oct 28, 2012 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                Its Mama - I just double-checked. I just got a 5-pack of them at World Market the other day, so I won't run out of them any time soon!

                                                                                                                                            2. Caroline1 Sep 12, 2012 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                              I don't much like ramen, those ultra-wavy/ultra-greasy blocks of pasta, but I *DO* love udon! And this is my current favorite noodles in a round box:
                                                                                                                                              http://www.amazon.com/JFC-Fresh-Udon-...

                                                                                                                                              1. w
                                                                                                                                                Wyvern Oct 28, 2012 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                In general, I don't use the spice packets, and haven't found an incredible differences in noodle qualities when I've tried other brands. Maybe my ramen palate is not developed enough.

                                                                                                                                                1. t
                                                                                                                                                  tandooritaco Jun 9, 2013 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Indo Mie is great. I love mine with a runny egg on top. This also happens to be the world's greatest hangover food.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Charles Yu Jun 9, 2013 04:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Nissin regular 'Tonkotsu flavour' used to be my favorite.
                                                                                                                                                    Now, they have kicked it up a notch by introducing a 'Tonkotsu Flavour with Black Garlic Oil'. Very flavourful! And I love them because they are Made in Hong Kong NOT China. The latter, I heard bad things about, like using 'recycled oil'?!!

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                    1. n
                                                                                                                                                      ns1 Jun 25, 2013 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Growing up I loved the Mama noodles. Now, the texture is just way too soft and mushy.

                                                                                                                                                      Currently been eating Japanese noodles (Saporro, Myojo) and the texture is far superior.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ns1
                                                                                                                                                        monkeyrotica Jun 25, 2013 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                        +1 on Myojo. Their air-dried noodles have a nice bite and hold up to the soup without going spongy. They also make a good udon that's usually in the refrigerated section.

                                                                                                                                                      2. j
                                                                                                                                                        Jr_Epicure Mar 24, 2014 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                        I second your question.
                                                                                                                                                        I have only tried Maruchan :(
                                                                                                                                                        does anyone know of a salty, but more variety-of-flavor ramen?

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jr_Epicure
                                                                                                                                                          monkeyrotica Mar 25, 2014 03:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                          For salt fans, I like Myojo Chukazanmai Oriental Salt Flavor. Subtle but complex flavors. Their soy and miso flavors also skew salty, but have a lot of other flavors in the background. Air dried (not fried) so the ramen has an al dente pasta quality. Not cheap because they're imported from Japan.

                                                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/Myojo-Chukazanmai-Instant-Oriental-3-54-Ounce/dp/B004BJYP66

                                                                                                                                                          http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/09/ta...

                                                                                                                                                        2. n
                                                                                                                                                          Nanzi Mar 25, 2014 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I go to the Asian store to get mine. Haven't gotten a bad one yet from there.
                                                                                                                                                          Love how easy it is to jazz them up with mushrooms, spinach, scallions, thin meat slivers.

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