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Umai Crate Subscription Box Review + Coupon – April 2017

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 item!

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.). Pro Tip: Hold on to this booklet until you enjoy all of the different noodles unless you read Japanese well. The actual packaging doesn’t have the English directions pasted over top like normally when I get these from the local Asian market. The pages describing each item also includes cooking directions here. 🙂

This month features a noodle bowl with Kumamon. He just happens to be the most popular yuru-chara (mascot) in Japan!

Itsuki Kumamon Totoro Kombu Kelp Udon – Value $3.61 (couldn’t find anywhere in the US to order, but found here and converted to USD)

So let’s start with his Udon bowl! First off, I think Kumamon is totally cute. I’ll try anything he endorses. Udon noodles have to be one of my favorites because they’re so thick n chewy. This bowl had two different flavor packets, one being a healthy portion of tororo kombu kelp, which I don’t think I’ve ever had. It’s a very fine, soft seaweed. I enjoy this flavor, even though the tororo kombu kelp’s texture is a little…hairlike.

Sakurai Food – Vege-Cup Soy Ramen – Value $2.12

I liked this one right away because the eco-bowl it comes in makes it easy to take to work, and was very sturdy (and made of sugarcane fiber!). This particular one came with dehydrated veggies and seaweed, so it was a little more substantial than the ones that come with a flavor powder only. A good choice for my vegetarian friends as well!

Sakurai Food – Soy Sauce Ramen – 100% Vegetarian – Value $1.95

This one is perhaps my least favorite. It’s 100% vegetarian, which is nice, but the flavor is just kinda blah. I bet it’d be better spruced up with mushrooms and veggies, but as-is it falls flat.

Higashimaru – Seafood Dish Udon – Ultra Fine Noodles – Value $4.99? (Can’t find this anywhere online!)

This is definitely the outlier of the crew since you don’t actually cook these noodles. The package comes with 2 helpings and directs you to mix the packet (seafood flavor) with water, then add meat or veggies that you have stir fried in with it and heat. Then you pour the whole shebang over the crispy noodles to enjoy! The seafood flavor is on-point and the textural difference in this compared to the other noodles was a cool surprise!

Sokensha – Soy Sauce Ramen – Value $1.69

Probably my favorite flavor of the box! This packet was not unlike your usual top ramen. You boil the noodles, add the flavor packet and enjoy! Soy sauce can be salty, but the flavor here wasn’t too overpowering. Nice and subtle.

Sokensha – Shio Ramen – Value $1.69? (Couldn’t find this online except to buy $180 worth, so comparing to above flavor by same company)

The booklet says this is a similar style to the soy sauce flavor ramen, but scallop was used to make it saltier. Maybe that’s why it was a little more powerful. I was about to tell you that this reminded me of the chicken top ramen flavor (my fave), and when I went to look up what “shio” was, Wikipedia told me it was salt-broth made with chicken, so I’m glad to know my taste buds are sharp! This also came with some dehydrated seaweed which added a little texture. Yum!

Sapporo 1st Adult Mini Kitsune Soba – Value $2.50? (Another one I can’t find so I will place a value between the larger bowls and the packages w/o bowls)

I appreciate that this soba cup has 40% less sodium than the average noodle cup. It suggests it as a light snack, so I went ahead and had this mini for breakfast. I could tell that it wasn’t as salty as others, even though it had that slight “fishy” flavor that comes from the seaweed that was most likely in there. I noticed here that the directions given in the booklet are most likely generic because it told me to remove the flavor packets before filling with water, then add later. This particular cup didn’t have any packets, so I had a quick panic since I had already put the water in, not seeing any obvious packets before hand. After double checking, I was in the clear. Just watch out for that either way.

Bonus Item: Cupmen! 

I love this little dude! I didn’t know what it was when I first opened the box, so I went to the Umai blog, as directed by the booklet. I was pleased to find out that he was sent to help keep the lid closed on any cup of noodles I may want to enjoy moving forward. As we’ve learned, you always pour hot water into the bowl or cup to let steep with the flavor packets, and this brave gent weighs the lid down so no heat escapes during the process.

Verdict: I am a noodle nut, so I really enjoyed this box! It’s nice to break free of the basic 10 cent ramen most kids in college live off of, and I appreciated that they included veg, seafood, and meat flavors, as well as some self-contained meals in bowls. The booklet included had a wealth of info that I found really helpful, and it was great that they gave you ways to “doctor” them up. As far as value, this one is tough, because it clocked in at about $19, but costs $25/month. The shipping for this IS free though, and it seems like they’d be pretty hard to order online, so this might be your only chance to try them. What do you think?

Are you noodle-centric enough to subscribe to Umai Crate?

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Written by Marne Orenich

Marne Orenich

Marne is a lipstick connoisseur, record collector, and twice over cat mom. She loves discovering new clean beauty brands and has quite the collection of beautifully packaged serums and moisturizers.

Posted in Subscription Box Reviews, Umai Crate Reviews| Tags: umai crate | 6 comments

Comments (6)

  1. Can you put a picture of each noodles when they’re already cooked in next Umaicrate reviews?

    • Great feedback, Ankira! I’ll definitely do that next time!

  2. I was always interested in this box but 7 cheap noodles for $25 no thanks.

    • Well, for me this box is mostly worth it if these noodles are hard to find in your place or anywhere online?

  3. Excellent review!

    • Yay! Thanks for reading, Donna!

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