Umai Crate Subscription Box Review + Coupon – March 2017
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 + free shipping
COUPON: Use code MSADD3 to save $3 off your first box.
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.
Umai Crate has a super thorough info booklet that they include in each box.
Inside, you’ll find a product list, details on what makes each ramen style unique, and tips on how to enhance your ramen (with add-ins, etc.).
I will say that what I like most about ramen is how fast and easy it is to make. But it’s interesting to see how, if I wanted to take the time, I could take this ramen to the next level with veggies, proteins, and extra seasoning.
Speaking of seasoning, the surprise bonus item in this month’s box is this togarashi blend. It has a peppery, paprika taste with notes of aromatic Asian flavors. I read online that this brand of togarashi has seaweed, ginger, and orange peel in the recipe!
Yamamotoseifun Pompoko Ramen
Thanks to this subscription box, I’ve discovered the magic of miso-flavored ramen. I’ve long loved miso soup, but I had never seen miso as a ramen flavor in the store. This style featured the salty savoriness I expect from ramen, but with the unique, almost herbaceous undertones of miso.
Yamamotoseifun Mune Hanarou Chinese Soy Sauce Noodles
I love soy sauce, but I think in the context of ramen noodle seasoning, the flavor becomes a little too strong for me. Maybe that’s because ramen tends to be on the salty side already—the addition of super-rich soy flavors makes it a little hard to eat more than a few bites (and even then, I needed a few big gulps of water).
Yamamotoseifun Mune Hanarou Chinese Salted Noodles
Ironically enough, I find the flavor of salted ramen the least overwhelming. I was worried it would end up being too salty, much like the soy sauce ramen. Instead, the salt flavored broth has a lighter, simpler flavor that makes it easy to gobble up. It’s still salty, of course, but I found the saltiness to be a more subtle flavor. It makes a lot of sense that they suggest pairing it with seafood, given its refreshing, almost briny taste.
Mini Cup Noodle
I recognize this noodle brand! This “mini” version of the classic chicken cup noodle is about half the size of an average cup. It’s just enough for a snack. I’ll admit that I was a little bit disappointed getting this flavor in the box, simply because this is a brand that’s super common in the states. What I like most about this Japan-based box is how it introduces me to uncommon flavors and items I wouldn’t find in my local grocery store. This was tasty but more familiar than I would’ve liked.
Sankei Shimbun Osaka Ramen Soy Sauce
This was the second soy-flavored ramen noodle in the box. In terms of flavor, I couldn’t tell too much of a difference between the smaller pack and this bowl. These bowls sure are big, though! I could only finish about half of this salty dish in a sitting. I wish the flavor of the soy sauce was just a slight bit less powerful—the info booklet mentioned a more complex salty-sweet flavor punctuated with onion, but I couldn’t get past the salty soy taste!
Sapporo Miso Ramen Mini Bowl
Another miso bowl! Though again, the flavor didn’t strike me as terribly different from the first version of miso ramen I tried, I did appreciate having a second one of these in my pantry. I also liked that this bowl was slightly smaller than the other bowls in the box. It was still plenty filling, though!
Daikokou Foods Big Curry Udon
This was my favorite bowl in the box! I love the mild, somewhat aromatic flavor that the curry brings to the big, wide noodles in this bowl. The saltiness of this one was a little less in-your-face, too, while still being deliciously savory. Even though this bowl is on the bigger side, I gobbled through this entire serving. It was just that good!
Verdict: This box felt a bit redundant because of the duplicate flavors. I know the first few were “Chinese” versions of miso and soy sauce flavors, but I didn’t really pick up on the difference (especially since I ate these a few days apart each). The box is $25.00 (with free shipping worldwide!), meaning each item would be about $3-$4 each. I think that’s more than I’d pay for a ramen noodle pack at the grocery store, but I suppose it’s worth it getting rarer flavors right from Japan. I just wish the flavor assortment this time around was more diverse and that they’d not included the too-familiar Cup Noodles brand.
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