Umai Crate is a monthly subscription box that brings you exclusive Japanese-style 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 April edition of Umai Crate. This booklet contains articles about ramen and noodles!
There are also some fun recipes – this one dresses up the Higashimaru Seafood Dish Udon Ultra Fine Noodles and the Itsuki Kumamon Tororo Kombu Kelp Udon.
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 April 2017 Umai Crate.
Bonus! Cupman! This little dude clings for dear life to the edge of your noodle cup, keeping stubborn lids in place while your noodles steam.
Sakurai Food Vege-Cup Soy Ramen: This vegetarian noodle cup proves that you can make a flavorful broth without meat. Sakurai takes the sustainability ethic to heart as well, making the bowl for this ramen out of sugarcane fiber!
The Umai Crate booklet devotes a page to explaining the character appearing on one of our noodle selections. Kumamon is the most popular yuru-chara in Japan, representing the Kumamoto Prefecture. I guess it’s similar to seeing Uncle Sam or Lady Liberty in advertising, as this mischievous little guy has hawked everything from airlines, to bikes, and now Udon!
Itsuki Kumamon Tororo Kombu Kelp Udon: This Udon has a nice, chewy, fresh noodle texture. The thick noodles swim in a bonito stock, along with slices of kelp.
Cupman assisted in the preparation.
The most interesting part of the dish is the tororu kombu kelp included as a topper. Though it starts out fluffy, it soaks up the broth immediately and becomes very sludgy, assuming the texture of the slime you find atop frog ponds (though the comparison isn’t flattering, it is extremely accurate). It has a silky texture and mild flavor, setting the dish apart.
Higashimaru Seafood Dish Udon Ultra Fine Noodles: This big pack of noodles is more of a meal kit than it is a pack of ramen. It is intended to feed two people, once you add veggies and meat. The noodles themselves don’t get cooked – you fry your add-ins and use the included packet to make a seafood sauce around your ingredients, pouring the whole mixture over the crunchy noodles.
Sapporo 1st Adult Mini Kitsune Soba: This “foxy” dish combines buckwheat noodles with a spicy dashi sauce and fried tofu. It is snack sized and has 40% less sodium, making it the adult choice.
Sakurai Food Soy Sauce 100% Vegetarian Ramen: Judging by the 100% vegetarian label, I assume Japan often sees partially vegetarian items labelled as vegetarian. This dish contains no meat products, just yummy noodles in a soy sauce and sesame flavored broth.
The noodles had a very classic ramen texture, and the hint of sesame made the sauce really enjoyable.
Soukensha Soy Sauce Ramen: Als0 100% animal free, this ramen uses soy sauce from non-GMO soybeans to impart a rich flavor.
The sauce was very flavorful, with the soy flavor being richer than we expected.
Soukensha Shio Ramen: This version features fine noodles in a salty, scallop-infused Shio broth.
We always smile when Umai Crate arrives, because we know we have some warm, yummy lunches in store for us. We love the variety of noodles and sauces in each box – all completely authentic and popular in Japan. The bonus extras are awesome, too, as they are always a useful addition to our ramen-preparation arsenal.