Recently it seems to me the variety of instant Udon is increasing. At some convientent stores and major supermarkets I came across a higher priced (JPY 250) Korean fusion instant Udon from Nissin. Apart from the higher price, addtionally this product stands out because the packaging seems more classy compared to the typical low priced instant noodles. Of course with the rather higher price my expectations rise. Notice the marvelous plastic cup that looks rather similar to the real thing. I am really curious whether the taste can live up to my expectations.
Surprisingly for me there are two ways of making this instant Udon: One is the traditional method with just adding water, but then an tiresome part is that the normal step of adding water has now to be done in two steps. First is to “wash” the udon itself and soon pour away the water, add the rest of all the ingredients. The second step of adding water water is annoying, because usually instant noodles are done in just one step. Although both steps of adding water are not time consuming, though having extra steps to consider for instant food seems to me rather unusual. At the same time I need to point out that after adding the second round of water, after just mixing all the ingredients Udon are ready to eat rather quickly. The second procedure includes a microwave step of 1 min. 30 sec as you can see in more detail below.
Now how is the actual taste: The soup itself is truly flavored interesting, but it seems for me rather unusual. Tasting the soup without the spice oil, it seems to me very milky in taste, but not based on a soymilk or tofu, contrary then much more similar to a cow milk base. After mixing with the spice oil the milk taste goes away and the spice flavor takes completely over. I have to say it tastes quite good, but not impressive. After having balanced out the different flavors, the soups is much better, but too spicy for my taste: all the flavor just reflects lots of salt with spice oil, but not much of any other flavors can be tasted.
On the other hand, I was blown away about the consistency of the main ingredient Udon: Amazingly good. Not only the taste is very good, but as well to consistency was perfect. Additionally I am positive impressed about the Tofu. Although the origin is based on dried Tofu the taste and consistency is very good. Considering that it is a fusion based on Sundofu, I expected more than just the spice oil to be added and I wish there were more Tofu included to get a better balance of the different tastes.
Bottom line (best possible rate is 5 stars):
I would recommend this Udon for someone, who is curious about fusion Udon, but apart from the Udon I am really concerned about the soup. Just by being spicy it does not mean that the taste is actually good. Having a good looking plastic cup is a great idea, but the soup should live up to the standard as well.
Overall: 3 stars
Udon by itself: 5 stars
Soup by itself: 2 stars
Tasted by Sibylle & Kazuo Ito (伊藤シビル&和男)