This somewhat ordinary looking package hides a somewhat not-so-ordinary nama ramen. The first surprise of this ramen is the lack of individual plastic bags around the noodles. This is certainly the freshest-looking package of ramen I’ve ever seen.
I could almost picture the noodles being made from scratch, packaged, and delivered straight to the store.
After pouring the soup mix into a bowl, I noticed a strong and familiar scent. I inhaled the aroma to get a feel for the flavor and smelled nothing but…sesame oil? I smelled again…yes, slightly burnt sesame oil. Interesting. The soup was a mild and clear with just a hint of msg. It wasn’t very oily, and it also didn’t have a very strong pork flavor. If I didn’t read the package, I’d think the soup was sesame oil based, though the soup base ingredients on the back of the package read simply: soy sauce, vegetable oil, salt, sugar, amino acid & spices. Hmm…no sesame oil, no pork/pork fat/pork bone/pork flavoring/pork anything. I still enjoyed the soup, it just wasn’t really tonkotsu-y.
Onwards to the noodles! The noodles were indeed fresh tasting, and had a slight floury taste. They held the soup flavoring well, and were also pretty fragrant. Unfortunately, they were also very hard, and slightly raw-tasting. The cooking instructions were a bit unusual: instead of the typical “cook for x mins,” it gave a range of 1-1/2 minutes to 2 minutes “depending on your desired firmness.” Don’t believe it. I like my ramen al dente and 1-1/2 minutes made the noodles just barely edible. They were still a bit too hard even at 2 minutes. Your mileage may vary of course, but I recommend starting at 2 mins and working your way up.
Overall, this was just a decent ramen. The noodles looked better than they tasted, and the soup, though good, was slightly unusual with the heavy sesame oil fragrance. This gets a 7 out of 10.
Oh! One last thing. The Miyako nama ramen comes with a packet of desiccant…I think…(they call it an “oxygen absorber”…sounds dangerous). Kids, make sure you don’t accidently mix that into your ramen!