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Umai Crate Subscription Box Review – November 2016

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 the 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.

The information booklet lists out every item you receive, including a variation on one of the noodle cups. The booklet includes all the cooking instructions and suggested additions to the noodle recipes.

If you’re feeling extra ambitious, there are two full recipes you can follow to really bump up your noodle experience!

Mamee Chef Curry Laksa Flavour

The booklet states that Mamee Chef is the brand to go to for instant laksa and I have to agree! This was so full of flavor and somehow tasted sweet, salty, sour, and spicy all at once! If you’re a fan of curry, I would suggest trying this one. I liked that it has spice but not the kind that overtakes the flavor. The packet with garnishes had a little tofu in it and if I make this for a meal again, I think I’d add more baked tofu and green beans (a suggestion from the booklet). Yum!

Myojo Chukazanmai Oriental

This was a nice break from spiciness from some of the other dishes. The base of the broth was garlic and sesame. I love the smell and taste of sesame and I think that came through a little stronger than the garlic. This definitely felt like a mild soup for a quick snack. This simple dish good on its own but could also easily be dressed up with veggies, tofu, eggs, etc to make it a full meal.

JML Beef & Sour Pickled Cabbage Noodles

This was my favorite by far! I don’t usually love beef flavored things but I really enjoyed it when combined with the flavor of pickled cabbage. There was a little packet of spices that added a pretty serious kick so I followed the suggestion of adding cilantro. I ended up adding a heaping pile of cilantro which worked so well against the sour and spicy flavors.

Daikoku Kitsune Udon

This dashi-broth based bowl had a really interesting, almost sweet flavor. This bowl had a piece of aburaage tofu in it. The texture of this tofu (which had previously been fried) can be a little odd if you don’t eat tofu often. It becomes a little chewy and mushy but it’s so delicious because it soaks up all the flavors of the bowl. This bowl was warm and flavorful without any single overpowering seasoning. It tasted like comfort food to me.

Dragonfly Instant Noodles Seafood Flavor

This was one of the bowls where I followed the optional suggestion and added an ingredient. This bowl had a pretty standard broth with some seafood seasoning. Along with the mild seafood flavor, there was a mixed vegetable packet which added a little texture and flavor. The booklet suggested adding a soft boiled egg but I’m not great at the timing needed to soft boil an egg so mine was more on the hard-boiled side. I was surprised at how large this bowl was! The bowl was definitely a filling dinner portion.

Itomen Tamanegi Shoyu Ramen

This packet of ramen had a simple flavor. After trying a few spicier options, the sweet onion in this broth was a nice change. It’s definitely more on the plain side but the sweet onion broth with the noodles was great on its own. If you’re feeling adventurous, this would be a great base for all kinds of vegetables and protein options.

Nissin Demae Iccho XO Sauce Seafood Flavor

This was another one of the large bowls which was so filling! XO sauce is described as dried seafood, chili peppers, garlic, and onion. The sauce plays off the seafood broth really well and has a nice spiciness to it. The garnish packet included corn and narutomaki which added some nice texture and color. This one definitely smells like seafood (think shrimp chips) so if the smell of seafood is unappealing, it can be a little overwhelming. I thought about following the suggestion to add an egg but this was so flavorful and filling that I skipped it!

Bonus Item: Black & Silver Chopsticks

Chopsticks are the perfect bonus item for this box! I haven’t ever bought myself chopsticks and they’re so much nicer (not to mention more environmentally conscious) than disposable chopsticks.

Verdict: The variety of flavors in this box made it a really fun experience. I would estimate most of these to be in the $2-3 range but a few were around $4-5 where I was able to find them online so it definitely feels like it’s over the $25 value. This box is a nice introduction into the world of ramen that not a lot of people may be familiar with. These were nice meals to keep on hand and some were so huge and filling! I really appreciated the serving suggestions and two recipes included in the booklet. I enjoyed the meals and I got a few ideas for recipes of my own!

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

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Written by Sarah Paul

Sarah Paul

Sarah’s first box was Honest Company and she was excited to learn that there are boxes to cover many of her interests which include coffee, sci-fi, books, pop culture, comics, and makeup. She’s currently loving Stars Hollow Monthly and Vegan Cuts, and can’t wait to find more!

Posted in Subscription Box Reviews, Umai Crate Reviews| Tags: umai crate | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. 4 of them are not Japanese, Chinese!

  2. My fave in the November box was the Myojo Chukazanmai Oriental. I am stopping my sub after the January box. I love ramen but only eat it maybe 2x a month so I have a huge stockpile after the past few months. It’s a great sub. I’ve been to several Asian markets and now I know what I’m looking at in the ramen aisle. Unfortunately for me the few that I’ve really loved I haven’t seen in a B&M store. this is probably my favorite sub and I’ll def sign back up after I’ve eaten through my stash. Most of these items have zero english on them so to have them described in the booklet as well as what goes well with them has been so helpful with shopping in a regular store.

  3. Definitely looking into this!

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