Sunday, September 23, 2012

Instant Noodles around the World 8 - Korean Udon

Eating instant noodle too much is not good for you because most of the time the noodle has been deep fried. But what about eating something that has not been deep fried?

Yes, udon. It's a type of wheat-flour noodle that is very chewy and very thick. All these years I have never seen any type of thick udon sold in its dried form. Yes, you can buy udon in its dried form as well, but the noodles are not going to be as thick as those sold in its wet form. The thickness of the dried udon is probably 10 times thinner than the wet udon.

I didn't have time to take a photo of the contents still in its original packaging because there were other people in the kitchen and although they must have seen me taking pictures of food with my phone, I feel somehow embarrassed to take pictures of instant noodle packaging.

As I expected, the noodle is still in its wet form. The noodle was vacuum packed separately in a thick PET bag and before I heat it up in water the noodle was actually rather brittle but you can definitely feel the noodle's chewiness. It's quite astonishing how they managed to entrap moisture within the noodle and put it into a glassy state. And the noodle perfectly returns to its rubbery state when you heat it up in water: the noodle remains chewy and each strain doesn't stick to each other. No oil was added at this point, by the way.

The whole concept was great, but the overall taste is not satisfactory. It doesn't live up to its "suggested way to prepare" picture (and this is of course nothing new), especially the soup color. It's so brown and cloudy. I've had Japanese version of instant udon, and the soup was much better. I like the seaweed bits in it, but that's the only positive thing about the soup that I could say.

The packaging is excellent and the quality of the noodle is pretty good. I wish they could reformulate the soup base a little bit.

My verdict? If I miss eating udon and there is no restaurant around me selling udon, I will buy this and make my own soup.


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