Umai Crate is a monthly subscription box that brings you exclusive Japanese noodles every month. The subscription costs $25 per month, and you’ll get 7-8 noodles, plus bonus items like gachapons, collectible chopsticks, and more.
Umai Crate is from the same makers that bring you Japan Crate, Doki Doki Crate, and Kira Kira Crate!
The box is almost the size of a windowsill planter, and it’s packed with yummy noodles!
DEAL: Take $3 off your first crate. Use coupon code HELLO.
This is the January edition of Umai Crate. This booklet contains articles about ramen and noodles!
There are also some fun recipes – this one dresses up the Nissin HK Cup Black Pepper Crab Noodles.
There’s also a contest on-going and a cute article about Hiyoko-Chan – a cute Ramen mascot!
The booklet also has a list of everything in the box, including the bonus item. I like the way each noodle pack description has little IKEA-style pictograms showing the preferred preparation method. It helps us pick which ones to cook at home and which to take with!
Everything in the January 2017 Umai Crate.
Bonus! Color Pencil Chopsticks in Light Pink!
Nissin HK Demae Iccho Bag Spicy Flavor: This one isn’t XO, it’s just spicy seafood flavor. Demae Iccho is one of the Nissin lines, and I’m not entirely sure what it means. You can smell the spice off of it and it has a nice sharp red broth. It’s not totally molten, but most people will find it hot! This one isn’t just hot but also has a nice flavor.
Waiwai Spicy Shrimp: This one has the noodle block, seasoning packet, and a squeezy packet of spicy shrimp. This Thai company also makes pizza flavored noodles, which need to be in this subscription ASAFP.
Sapporo Ichiban Hot and Spicy Chicken: Like the other spicy noodles in this month’s box, these didn’t melt my tongue. I like both kinds of spicy, and I would go for these when I want something spicy & warming, but that won’t destroy me in one bite. These are pretty good with a grounded earthy flavor.
JML Fragrant Mushroom Chicken: This was more of an instant noodle texture and the bag of the bag actually indicated to pour hot water over the roundbrick, but the Umai directions were different. I ended up nuking them in my new rapid ramen cooker, adding half the seasoning, half the oil packet, and all of the dehydrated veggies. It was good; the mushrooms added a nice rich flavor, but the noodles were pretty standard!
Nissin HK Cup Black Pepper Crab: This is a newer flavor I think, and is Singapore-inspired (so much so they debuted in in Singapore!). This one’s quite good for a cup noodle flavor, and I think the cup noodle style of the noodles complemented the crabby flavor. There were nice amounts of add-ins to this one. It rated pretty high for me being a cup and all that!
Old Ocean Flavor Ramen: Although the scent for this was quite shrimpy (and the seasoning packet did contain real shrimp bits!), the flavor wasn’t – it was really rich & savory and definitely a fan favorite!
Nissin HK Demae Iccho Bowl in Chicken Flavor
This was a pretty standard (but giant) cup noodles with chicken flavor, a seasoning base, a condiment packet (it also had fish cakes but I picked them out, thus earning the everlasting consternation of a friend who’s crazy over them), and a lovely sesame oil sauce!
FF Tom Yum Seafood: I’m a total fan of the Fashion Food setup – it has the bowl, noodle brick, seasoning, oil, condiments (dried veg + seafood), and fork! This is only slightly creamy, with a tendency more to the seafood and even citrus background notes from the traditional kaffir lime & lemongrass, but it’s a good noodle and an excellent choice for work!
I’m a ramen fan and I love being able to experiment with new flavors. I’m not a particular fan of seafood and even my husband finds some of these flavors overpowering, so I’m hoping that the next box will be a little less sea-heavy. However, I was able to customize most of these to my tastes or share with family. As always, most of these flavors are really hard to find in the US, so I’m happy with what I got, and thrilled to have a steady flow of ramen through my veins! Itadakimasu!