ramen riot 1: Unif Tung-I Chah Chiang

It's not really a secret that I like ramen. My usual brand of choice from regular stores is Maruchan, which I find to be noticably superior to top ramen. However, we have a few asian groceries around here, like the 99 Ranch Market (super weird name in my opinion). There we can find huge aisles full of weird types of ramen. I have gotten at least five different varieties before, and they're all a little weirder than the regular stuff from Safeway. I thought it would be amusing to write about them when I experience new ones.

Today's weird ramen is called Unif Tung-I Chah Chiang Flavor. What part of that is the brand? I dunno. Maybe "unif". I'm not sure what a Tung-I is either. Maybe it's korean or japanese for "weird ramen." Supposedly chah chiang is a flavor, but I'm not sure (even after eating it) what flavor it represents. Ah, I just tried to look it up, and it seems this is a chinese brand of ramen.


The main differentiating factor between normal ramen (e.g. maruchan) and weird ramen is the packets that come with it. While normal ramen usually only has a single flavor packet, the weird ones usually have at least two, and at least one of those is some kind of liquid.

Sure enough, this tung-i ramen came with two packets, one that looked like a traditional flavor packet and one containing an oily liquid that seemed to be the combination of something black and something orange that was viscous and might have had some kind of jellyish pellet thing going.

Another potentially interesting thing to note is that the noodles appeared to be pre-seasoned right out of the packet. I noticed red powder on them.

The directions kind of annoyed me on this one. They went a bit like this:

  1. cook noodles like usual (okay, I can handle that)
  2. be sure not to overcook them, stupid! (er, okay, i can handle that too. more on this later)
  3. Pour out 4/5 of the water into a bowl (sure, that's what I norma--hey what? into a bowl? I usually get rid of it)
  4. mix in the regular looking packet into the bowl (but... okay, whatever you say)
  5. now mix in the weird liquid packet into the noodles still in the pot
  6. hooray! now you have chah chiang noodles and a separate "tasty soup"!

I don't want a tasty soup. I want flavored noodles! Whatever. I tried it their way, found that the "tasty soup" was weak broth since either I had cooked the noodles in my usual amount of water or because they gave me too little flavoring, and dumped out the water.

I did mix the chah chiang stuff in with the noodles, and that yielded roughly what I was used to. Ah, but something else annoying was that I think the noodles were a bit weak. With the normal amount of cooking that I usually do, which is also monitored by me, they got wimpy and overcooked. Go figure.


I'd eat them again in an pinch, but I think next time I will use less water, cook the noodles in the broth mix, and be careful to cook the noodles less. I've had a few other kinds of weird ramen, and on a scale of "yuck" to "woot", I give this a "meh".


leia said...

i will purchase this ramen for you again..

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