Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Instant Noodle around the World 14 - Ajinomoto Oyakata Noodle

Dusseldorf, Germany, is well known for its Japan Center. When I went to Dusseldorf's Christmas Market early this December I decided to visit one of the Japanese supermarkets there called Shochiku. I went there to satisfy my sudden craving for nattou, but I didn't forget to check out the instant noodle aisle, and I found Ajinomoto Oyakata Ramen series. And I have to say that this was the most amazing instant noodle I've ever found. Reasons for it? Read till the end.

Oyakata (親方)means "master", so in a way this noodle is marketed as something made by a noodle master. I bought pork bone (tonkotsu) flavor and curry flavor. I haven't tried the pork bone one yet but let me tell you, this noodle is super amazing.

The contents of the package doesn't look unusual except for the fact that the seasonings are packaged in a very high quality film. Inside the small package is purely fats, and the bigger package is the dry seasonings.

The noodle is very thin, and when I picked some strings of noodles up with my chopsticks I was about to get disappointed, but the moment I put it in my mouth, I realized that the texture was superbly complex. It was thin and smooth, yet chewy and bulky. It's not the same kind of chewiness you'd normally get from Korean noodles like Shin Ramyun. It's hard to explain, but this texture was definitely unique and interesting.

And when you think of Japanese curry, you'd expected something not spicy. Actually, the soup is far from thick and starchy, and it is very flavorful and at the same time spicy. It's close to what you would call an Indian curry (although I'm aware that there are lots of different types of Indian curry), but far less oily. With so little oils/fats, I'm surprised that the flavor delivery was done very well.

What caught me by surprise was the energy content: 63 kcal per package (100g). That is extremely low for instant noodles of this portion size. Most instant noodles will give you 350~400 kcal per 70g, if you translate it to 100g, that's going to be about 550~600 kcal per 100 g of the instant noodle.

This instant noodle is almost 10 times lower in calories than normal instant noodle. Did this make me feel full? Yes.

This is simply brilliant. I'm just curious how much salt is in there. It's never mentioned in the packaging. But if eating 9 packages of this instant noodle still gives you less calories, than 1 package of other instant noodles, I don't see why this Oyakata Ramen is not awesome. I wonder what kind of technology/strategy they used to make this noodle.

Simply. Brilliant.


  1. Sorry to disappoint you, but one portion of soup is 378 kcal. 63kcal is per PREPARED 100g. One package in intended for 500ml of water, 100g noodles + 500g water = 600g total from one package, i.e. 378 kcal, just as all the rest of noodles :)

  2. Ah yes, you're right! This is such a tricky nutrition label! These labels are getting trickier and trickier lately. Thanks for the correction! :)

  3. 100g ready to eat ,you have to weigh the pasta when cooked.


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