Umai Crate is a monthly subscription service that brings you exclusive Japanese noodles in every box. The subscription costs $25 per month, and you’ll get 7-8 noodles, plus bonus items like gachapons, collectible chop sticks, etc.
Umai Crate is from the same makers that brings you the Japan Crate and the Doki Doki Crate.
Itadakimasu, or let’s eat!
The box is almost the size of a windowsill planter!
This is the second edition of Umai Crate. This booklet contains articles about ramen and noodles!
The booklet had a cool little feature on the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka, Japan. Ando was the Henry Ford of ramen, taking its production from corner shops to an industrial scale.
There are also some fun recipes – one creates a hearty dish using the Shirataki noodles from the Crate, and the other gives tips on creating a ramen pizza!
The booklet also has a list of all the items in this box.
Everything in my September 2016 Umai Crate.
Bonus! Wooden Ramen Spoon: Though slurping down your broth after you’ve fished out the noodles and tasty bits with your chopsticks is still perfectly acceptable, the JapanCrate staff recommends using this lovely spoon to give yourself a soup chaser after each big slurp of noodles. This big spoon is perfect for the task, as it “wood” pass for a cooking spoon in many circles.
Orchids Shirataki Noodles: Made from a jelly extracted from yams, shirataki noodles are commonly used in hotpot or sukiyaki. They don’t have a seasoning packet, so our booklet has a great recipe!
Paldo Gomtang Noodles: The broth for these noodles is made from simmered oxtail and brisket, but it has a very creamy and almost sweet texture and taste. Because it doesn’t have a spicy seasoning, we let the kids try it — they gobbled it and demanded more!
Paldo Teum Sae Ramyun: As soon as Umai Crate slapped a “Warning: Extra Hot!” caution on this item, I was sold. The sauce mimics the fiery broth served at Teum Sae restaurant in Seoul, a popular destination for Japanese tourists. The first sip is indeed very spicy, but a beautiful flavor develops and emerges from the heat once you recover from the initial shock.
Myojo Chukazanmai Ramen: This pack of ramen is not flash-fried, so it retains a softer, more subtle texture that is more like fresh ramen. It comes with a soybean paste flavor broth and a packet of flavored oil.
Kirin Ramen Shio Flavor: This brand of ramen is popular in no small part due to the adorable packaging — who can resist a giraffe in a bowtie? Perhaps the most simply seasoned of the lot, it comes in “shio,” or salt flavor.
Ace Cook Super Big Ramen Shoyu Flavor: The cup is indeed very big and holds lots of ramen. Though the flavoring is simply described as “shoyu,” or soy sauce, they go all out in delivering it. The bowl comes with a broth packet, a seasoning packet, and a flavored oil packet!
Itomen Sansai Soba Cup: Buckwheat noodle in a light dashi (kelp and bonito flake) broth. It also comes with sansai, or Japanese mountain vegetables.
There is nothing deceptive about this labelling – I almost had to carry the cup around with two hands.
A bowl of the Paldo Gomtang noodles with some sliced braised chicken breast, green beans, and sliced garlic and scallion. You can see the creamy opacity of the broth. Though it wasn’t thick, it had a nice elegant mouth feel and rich flavor.
We dressed up the Paldo Teum Sae Ramyun with sliced chicken, ginger, garlic, onion, scallion, and a sunny-side up egg. The spicy broth was sooo good! The chicken soaked it up and became super tender bathing in it. The runny egg was a particularly good addition to this soup, with the yolk balancing the spice a bit and giving it a beautiful mouthfeel.
The noodles held up nicely, and their firm texture stood up the powerful broth. I was impressed that, with all that was going on in this preparation, the noodles were still the star!
This Crate was so much fun! While I loved that they included brands and flavors that are unique and tough to track down stateside, I’m bit sad that I might not be able to my beloved Paldo Teum Sae Ramyun at a store near me! This subscription is a must for anyone that eats ramen with any frequency, or anyone who loves a quick and tasty meal!
The Description: Each Umai Crate includes 7-8 Japan-exclusive noodles, plus a fun bonus item from collectible chop sticks to limited edition gachapon
The Price: $25.00 per month