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Umai Crate Subscription Box Review – October 2016

Eric Cadman
ByEric CadmanOct 15, 2016 | 7 comments


Umai Crate
4.8 overall rating
4 Ratings | 0 Reviews

Umai Crate by Japan Crate focuses on bringing you Japanese-exclusive instant noodles. Each month, you’ll receive 7-8 instant noodles to try along with a bonus collectible!

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).


The Subscription Box: Umai Crate

The Cost: $25 a month w/ free shipping

The Products: 7-8 Japanese-exclusive instant noodle dish + a bonus collectible/

Ships To: Worldwide

Check out all of my Umai Crate Reviews to get more information on this subscription. Check out all of our Food Subscription Boxes in the Subscription Box List. Rate, review, and follow this subscription on the Umai Crate profile page.


This was my first time trying Umai Crate – my initial impression was that there were so many noodles to try – and some of the containers were SO large! I was excited!


The first item you’ll want to browse is the information booklet.


If you can’t read Japanese, this thing will be absolutely VITAL to some of these instant noodle recipes. It lists out suggestions of items to add to the noodles, along with directions in English.


They even include a slightly more complicated recipe if you want to make something more interesting out of your noodles.


Sapporo Shoyu Mini Ramen

The first noodles to try were the most like ‘Cup of Noodles’ from a stance of serving size and the fact that you cook it right in the bowl with boiling water.


This was my least favorite of the group despite the ease of making it. I just didn’t like the broth taste at all. This was a pass.


Nissin Sho Spa Shitamachi

The next dish had spaghetti like noodles and was also cooked and served in its shipped bowl.


This one had a really cool and useful feature – a built-in strainer to remove the boiling water when you’re ready to eat.


Here it is served. This had a really basic taste – not to say it wasn’t good, it was really good with a great soy sauce taste.


Sanukiya Original Udon

The next bowl was HUGE! It’s hard to capture the size in this picture, but it’s about the size of a normal bowl in your kitchen, not a small “Cup of Noodles” bowl.


Again, this was served and cooked in its own bowl. This one had softer Udon noodles. What surprised me most was that it was a bit tasteless – this one would absolutely benefit by having a couple additions.


Myojo Chukazanmai Canton Shoyu

From here on out, a pot was required to cook the noodles – a little less easy, but certainly not a deterrent.


This one suggested a pairing with a soft boiled egg – so we did! What a recommendation, too! The noodles really absorbed the broth flavor, it was delicious – and the egg added that extra flavor touch, it was perfect.


Paldo Jjajang Men

We were a little excited for the next dish because it had some veggies in the soup base – something we really hadn’t seen outside of scallions.


We tried to match the picture on the bag – but you can see here that this is a really thick soy sauce. So thick that you can’t even make out the vegetables.


It was best when mixed. The soy sauce scent was SO heavy with this one, but that didn’t translate into the flavor – it was still a lighter soy sauce flavor. I enjoyed it, but I was the only one of the group who did.


Green Premium Ginger Ramen

The next dish steered away from a soy sauce, it was a highly anticipated change after so much soy sauce.


This one called for much more broth to be left in when you’re finished cooking.


While I’m not the biggest ginger fan, it was light enough of a flavor for me to enjoy it. The noodles really bunched up when eating it as well, so it was easy to get a good bite!


Sapporo Ichiban Yakisoba

This one was my easy favorite of the group!


You finished it off with the provided seaweed crumble.


The seaweed flavor was very mild while this delivered a really surprisingly sweet flavor. I think I went back for thirds of this dish – we finished it off as a group!


Nissin Demae Ramen with Sesame Oil

The final Ramen was also the most basic, which wasn’t a bad thing as we came to the end of taste testing.


This is essentially a great base Ramen for you to build on. By itself, it was still delicious, but it seemed meant to have a bunch of ingredients added!


Mini Ramen Bowl Gashapon

The final item was a little Ramen keychain to tote around!



This was a fun addition at the end of a day of tasting!

Verdict: At an estimated $2-3 per meal + the toy, I think you’re going to come close, if not over the $25 value. To me, this subscription feels a lot like a comic subscription in the sense that you’re going to subscribe for discovery and not necessarily value. I had a ton of fun tasting all of these dishes that are new to me – so I can see how a ramen enthusiast would have fun with this as well.

What did you think of the October Umai Crate? Have you tried this subscription yet?

Umai Crate is a monthly Japanese noodle subscription box! Each month’s crate includes 8-10 noodles with a culinary bonus item, exclusive recipe card, and guide with translations & instructions for $30/month.

The Japan Crate family of subscription boxes includes Japan Crate (candies and... read more.
Eric Cadman
Eric Cadman
Eric is the co-founder of My Subscription Addiction. He's been hooked on geek subscription boxes since 2012 thanks to Loot Crate and Nerd Block. Geek boxes sparked his desire for collecting Funko Pops and comic book statues!

Eric Cadman
Eric Cadman
Eric is the co-founder of My Subscription Addiction. He's been hooked on geek subscription boxes since 2012 thanks to Loot Crate and Nerd Block. Geek boxes sparked his desire for collecting Funko Pops and comic book statues!
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I did it! I avoided a review until I received my box in the mail (just arrived today). So glad to see all the finished ramen as part of your review. I fancy mine up a bit but it’s good to see them “bare bones” to give me a better idea of how to build upon the base. I go to Asian markets quite a bit but ramen is usually packaged in bulk with the exception of the India ramen. I received the same gashapon but now I want one with the shrimp in it. Believe it or not this is the box that I get the most excited about although I received my first Japan Crate last week and that was pretty darned good.


I have basically tried most of the ramen out there, my hobby but to my personal taste since I like spicy food, shin ramen is the best.


for instant ramen, that is and since I live in the east coat – I have easier access to a wide variety of ramen. I would recommend this subscription for those who can’t easily get access considering the cost. Thanks for the review!

Lola EB

The toy is cute. I use Ramen noodles to make a stir fry or my own version of chow mein. Suate garlic and onion and other veggies from the longest to cook to the quickest to cook. If I want meat it is cooked on the side. Mix all together then add noodle package breaking up the noodles as I go. I don’t use the season packet because of the high salt content. I add a couple tablespoons of water to soften noodles a bit. I likeep min a tad crunchy so don use much wate as the steam from the veggs will soften them. When water absorbed I then add a soy sauce or a teriyaki sauce or soyaki sauce from Trader Joes. Sometimes I add cashews, almonds. Or chestnuts and maybe sesame seeds. It’s just a toss together one pan dish that everyone likes and you can experiment with spices and flavors from an Asian store.


Having lived exclusively in cities on the west coast, I’d probably rather go to an asian food mart and pick out random fun looking packets (plus then know where to get more if I like them), but this nonetheless looks like a fun box. And I’d definitely be interested in it if I lived somewhere it was less convenient to go pick things out for myself. Thanks for getting a group together and trying these all out 😀
The included keychain is really adorable, and seems like a really fun addition to the subscription! I’m going to have to see if somehow there is someone who puts one up for swap.


I don’t know, Eric, it sounds like none of these are as good as simple Top Ramen which, btw, I’m now in the mood for.


It’ll definitely depend on your personal taste. I used to love top ramen. And then I got older, and tried various asian brands of noodles, and found some I loved. And I recently went back and was eating top ramen and it was sort of disappointing to me. But it’s hard to find the ‘best’ noodle, and what that is is different for everyone. I’ve actually tried one of the noodles reviewed (and a second similar one). I had the giant udon noodle one and I didn’t think it was tasteless, the broth was decent, but I also didn’t like it as a whole. The noodles felt too soft and gooey to me (which is sort of a feature of udon, but it turns out I just don’t like it). The sapporo mini bowl (first one) I’ve had the same flavor as a packet, and thought it was pretty good. So, all a matter of taste.

And you should totally go make yourself some top ramen in the future 🙂 If it sounds good, I vote go for it! ….this review and then commenting on it makes me want to go make my own noodles. I think I know what lunch tomorrow is.

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.