I just received the latest (September) instant ramen pack from ZenPop, “Local Favorites”. This pack is deliciously diverse, showcasing 7 instant ramen – from fresh yuzu soumen to rich Hakata style tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen.
I’ve teamed up with ZenPop and 2 lucky winners will receive this exact ramen pack for free! To enter this giveaway, CLICK HERE.
Below are all 7 of the “Local Favorites” pack instant ramen – so you can get a better sense of what’s included!
Osaka Shoyu Ramen
To start things off, this is an Osaka branded shoyu ramen. It’s a collaboration between Sankei Newspaper and food company Acecook (both based in Osaka, just like Zenpop)! The broth is a bold and tangy soy sauce with a hint of spice. The toppings include negi (spring onions), bits of onions (including Osaka senshu onions) and agedama (deep fried batter).
The minced chicken adds an overall meatiness to the broth’s flavor. The cartoon character you see on the packaging is from the Osaka manga “Downtown Story”. In short, this instant ramen has Osaka written all over it!
Chicken Shoyu Ramen
Much like the Osaka instant ramen, this one carries a tangy soy sauce flavor. But there’s an extra richness that sticks to your lips thanks to chiyu (chicken oil). This oil comes in its own special packet.
It more than contributes to the existing deep flavor of chicken broth. The crunchy menma (bamboo shoots) and negi (spring onions) are welcome toppings.
Hakata Barikata Tonkotsu Ramen
Hakata, Kyushu is best known for its rich tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen with ultra thin noodles. This instant ramen more than adequately replicates this Hakata style ramen. The broth is a silky pork bone soup that’s rich, but also gentle.
The non flash-fried noodles are the highlight – ultra thin and only requiring 60 seconds to boil! These high-quality noodles are indeed “barikata”, or extra firm – something you’ll often hear patrons yelling when customizing their noodle firmness in Hakata!
Natsukashi no Yasai Tanmen
Tanmen is a ramen dish hailing from the Tokyo metro area and it normally features a relatively clear, salt-seasoned broth…and a whole lot of vegetables.
In this instant tanmen, you get exactly that – a salty bright broth and plenty of vegetables with plenty of crunch – carrots, cabbage, corn, and chives. It’s light but packed with flavor and textures.
Rich Toro Tonkotsu Ramen
Compared to the previous tonkotsu ramen entry on this list, we have a tonkotsu broth that is even more milky and porky in taste. As per the name of the ramen, it has a “toro” like quality to it – that is, smooth and thick.
You’re also treated to a generous slice of pork chashu and kikurage (wood ear mushrooms). Lastly, these noodles are special – with a wonderful bite to them, you wouldn’t guess they’re instant ramen noodles.
Soumen are thinner than ramen noodles and less dense. This light and airy noodle goes perfectly with this instant ramen broth. It’s powered by yuzu citrus, which provides a wonderfully aromatic and sweet flavor alongside a hint of bonito fish, kelp, and shiitake mushrooms in the broth.
The toppings are equally lively and colorful – pink kamaboko (fish cake), bright yellow egg bits, and negi.
Shin-Shouga Shio Yakisoba
Rounding out the list is yakisoba, or Japanese fried noodles. Perhaps this one reminds me most of the summer. It’s a salt-based yakisoba, with the highlight being young ginger (shin-shouga). This ginger is pickled with vinegar, adding a dramatic pink color to the noodles, as we as a sweet and sour refreshing flavor.
This one just might be perfect for summer.
Awesome diversity in Zenpop’s “Local Favorites” ramen pack this time around! For more info on ZenPop, CLICK HERE and use the coupon code 5AMRAMEN for a special discount!