Review: Maruchan Seimen Shoyu Flavor


Can you taste the difference between instant noodles and ramen noodles from a Japanese ramen shop?

I can!

Have you ever thought about what makes them different taste-wise?
Let me explain...

It comes down to two things: Taste and Texture

Raw noodles have more flavor and taste to it, they also have a nice chewiness and an overall better texture than noodles that have been processed for a long shelf life (either fried or dehydrated). 

It is very difficult to find instant noodles that have the characteristics of raw noodles. 
That is the main reason why ramen chefs choose to use raw unprocessed noodles in their restaurants. 

Since dried noodles absorb more water than raw noodles, they tend to get soggy quickly after being cooked.

Instant noodles where the noodles are processed by the dehydration method can last over 6 months since there is no water content in the noodles.

Raw unprocessed noodles can't last more than 2 weeks and it should always be refrigerated.

They look different and taste different, but I like both because each has its own unique taste.

Sometimes, I want to eat restaurant-quality raw ramen noodles in the comfort of my own home (but without having to make it from scratch).
Does this sound like you too? 

Here is the good news. 
There are some instant noodles that taste like it came straight from a ramen restaurant, which is...

Maruchan Seimen Shoyu Flavour

 

This brand of instant noodles is created by Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd..
Toyo Suisan Kaisha was first established as a trading company for seafood in Tsukiji, Tokyo in 1953. It has been producing instant noodles since 1962.

Maruchan Seimen was released in 2011. It took 5 years to develop these instant noodles which matched in taste, texture, and chewiness to raw noodles. 

Let's get started.

When I was studying in New York, my mom sent me a box of Maruchan's Seimen. The familiar taste of these noodles remind me fondly of home.

The large characters on the packaging 正麺 (せいめん) read "Seimen" which literally translates to "correct noodles"

They are the real thing.

Let's open up a package and look in.

The noodles look like regular instant noodles.

The best part of these noodles? Unlike some other brands, they are not fried.

The noodles are processed through a dehydration process instead.

Each individual package comes with a liquid soup base.


Cooking Directions (from the package):

1. Using high heat, boil 500 mL of water in a pot.

2. After the water boils, keep the heat on high and put the noodles into a pot.

3.  Boil them for 3 minutes. (After at least 1.5 minutes, separate the noodles gently with a pair of chopsticks)

4. Pour the soup packet into a serving bowl.

5. Pour a bit of your hot water from the pot into your serving bowl from earlier, and mix the soup packet with the hot water.

6. Put noodles into your serving bowl.

7. Optional: Add in some toppings
Done!

Broth 



This soy sauce-based soup consists of chicken, pork broth, vegetables, and, of course, soy sauce. It is simple, but tasty and flavorful. I felt a little bit of ginger flavor in it. (Is it just me?)

The seasoning packet is liquid.

It has a rich and savory taste but still quite simple, also it is not too salty.

This soup is very orthodox, so I think everyone will like this type of soup. Because this is a simple and tasty broth, you will find yourself keep coming back to this ramen (just like me).

Noodles 


The noodle is quite impressive.
I would have to say, for a ramen that takes less than 5 minutes to make from start to finish, it is incredibly great! This is THE "Ramen", not a cheap, thin soup, cup noodle.

It has a nice chewiness but also the smoothness that raw noodles have. Hands down, it is the best instant noodles that I have ever had. Actually, while eating, you may even forget that they are instant noodles.

It is almost the same as some ramen restaurants in town. 
Some people think it is even better than some ramen shops.

I didn't even get how this is possible!

Maruchan Seimen comes in a few different flavours - miso flavor, tonkotsu flavor, and soy sauce flavour (which I am currently reviewing). Each flavor comes with noodles of different thickness. 

Miso flavor comes with thick noodles, and tonkotsu flavor comes with thin noodles.
This soy sauce flavor comes with medium-thick noodles, and I find the medium-thick noodles match perfectly with the soy sauce soup. 


They are very much indistinguishable from ramen bowls served at local ramen restaurant. 
Why? 
Because the noodles are not fried in oil.

There are actually two kinds of drying-process for instant noodles:

1. One is frying the noodles. After steaming the noodles, workers fry noodles in 300F oil for 2-3 minutes. This method can drastically decrease the water content from 30% to a few percent.

2. The other way is placing in a drying machine which blows hot wind (approx. 180F) for over 30 minutes.

This is the reason why these noodles has smooth good texture, and taste great.

I highly recommend this "seimen" series. In Japanese, “seimen" means "noodles that are made the correct way”.


Toppings ☆☆☆☆

It doesn't come with any toppings, but these toppings below will go well with Maruchan Seimen (shoyu flavor). 
I have listed some traditional toppings that go well with shoyu ramen and are often times found with shoyu ramen when you are eating it at a restaurant.

Vegetable Options
Green onion

Spinach

Nappa
Bean sprouts

Menma

Protein Options
Pork

Ham
Eggs

Bacon
Beef

Seafood Options
Clams
Naruto

Nori

Flavor Enhancers
Sesame

Flavored oil


Want to enjoy these noodles even more?

Here are some of my secret tips for you.

1. Heat your bowl up before serving. You can leave some hot water in your bowl to heat up your ramen bowl as you’re making the soup. Get rid of the hot water that was used to heat your bowl, and put soup packet and new how water into it.

2. Do not mix or poke at your noodles with your chopsticks during the 1st minute while it is being boiled. Over-mixing will ruin the taste of your noodles noodles. 

3. This time, I followed the instructions on the package and used the hot water that was used to boil the instant noodles. However, I actually recommend using separate hot water to mix with the soup. I think using “fresh" hot water will make the taste even better.

My Thoughts Overall 


While I was eating the noodles, I felt like my cooking skill “improved” since I “made” noodles that tasted like it was from a local ramen restaurant. This was really a fantastic meal that gives off the feeling and taste of fresh noodles. 
If you like the fresh ramen noodles that local ramen restaurants serve, then you’ll love Maruchan Seimen because it tastes just like real ramen noodles.

Imagine eating tasty fresh hand-made ramen noodles from the comfort of your own home, without needing to spend hours in the kitchen...

Nutrition Facts (from the packaging)

Calories 333
  • Noodles 287
  • Soup 46
(Since it is not fried, calories are not high as other instant noodles)

Protein 10.1 g
Fat 4.6 g
Carbohydrate 62.8 g
Salt 5.6 g
  • Noodles 1.9 g
  • Soup 3.7 g
Calcium 179 mg

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