Umai Crate Subscription Box Review + Coupon – October 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
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This month’s Umai Crate booklet goes into detail about how you can find healthy ramen out there! T’s Restaurant is a popular vegan restaurant in Tokyo, and Umai Crate is featuring one of their noodle cups this month and outlining what they are doing to provide healthy ramen options. You will also find a detailed recipe for making Kakiage, a popular side dish in Japan that can be served over a hot bowl of ramen.
Time to get cooking!
Yamamoto – Kizami Udon
Kizami Udon uses a deep-fried tofu as a garnish that has been toasted. The noodle is soft and really packs the bowl full. The fried tofu, unfortunately, become very soggy in this bowl which made it taste more like soggy bread. The broth had a mild salt flavor, but you really got a lot of the tofu flavors in each bite. Sometimes tofu, especially if it retains too much moisture, can have a strong flavor to it. This dish really tasted like that tofu, which made it a little overpowering for my taste. However, once I added some hot sauce to it, I thought the overall flavors rounded out a bit more. Not my favorite dish that I have received.
Yamamoto – Umakaro Shrimp Ramen
Sometimes seafood ramen can have an overwhelming fish smell, not this dish though, and even the mini shrimps are growing on me! The broth was light with that perfect amount of shrimp and salt flavor. The noodles were rich, really soaking in the flavors from the broth. There was a really nice amount of greens in here as well that provided a light crunch. Normally greens in dishes can become soggy to the point that you don’t even notice them, but you really got a lot of the green flavors in each bite. This was probably one of my favorite seafood ramen bowls!
Yamadai – T’s Noodle Sura Tanmen
As I noted earlier, T’s restaurant is a popular spot in Tokyo to eat their 100% vegan ramen bowls. The booklet notes that by including no animal products you cut the oiliness and grease found in other ramens. Sura Tanmen is a Chinese style noodle that was long and skinny with a little crispiness to it. I think this ramen cup proves that you don’t need to pack your bowls full of meat if you don’t have to. This dish was incredible, my husband and I fought over who got to finish it! The broth itself was spicy, spicy, spicy that lingered on your lips, but then you got a hint of sour. We added a hard boiled egg to really round this dish out, and boy was it fantastic!
Itomen – Sansai Udon
This is known as the mountain vegetable udon because it features veggies that can be found and foraged in the wild. Obviously, a lot of these vegetables can be purchased on farms now so we didn’t have to forage for any of the featured ingredients! The broth in this dish was so rich and thick with a light saltiness from the mushrooms. The greens were plentiful and added a nice earthy flavor that you don’t normally find in these bowls. The noodles were soft and really played a backseat in this bowl allowing the vegetable and broth flavors to really shine. I added some baked chicken to this that soaked up all of the flavors nicely.
Kenko Foods – Shoyu Ramen
The next bowls are all made by Kenko Foods, a health-conscious food company that uses safe and natural ingredients. Shoyu Ramen is a soy sauce based broth that is normally a bit darker and sweeter. At first, I didn’t get the sweetness, but as I continued to eat I really got a lot of the sweet flavors in the broth. The noodles had a nice crunchiness to them that really stood out to me. While I did enjoy this dish, the sweetness was a bit too much for me to finish the whole bowl on my own. Luckily, my husband really enjoyed it so he was happy to finish it off!
Kenko Foods – Shio Ramen
Shio ramen is a salt based broth which is why it appears lighter in color and is the saltier of the ramen soup types. This to me tasted more like ramen bowls that I have had, most likely because it is saltier. The broth itself was very light, almost like a homemade chicken soup. While this is a salt based broth, I didn’t think it was overwhelming. The noodles were so fluffy and creamy. All I did was add a little hot sauce to this and dug right in. My bowl was super hot, making it the perfect comfort food to enjoy on a cold fall night.
Kenko Foods – Miso Ramen
I love miso broth, which I only recently discovered! The broth is full with lots of layers to it, making it very bold and easy to eat. The noodles were puffy, filling the bowl while it soaks in all of that yummy broth. Can you tell how much I loved this dish?
Bonus Item – Egg Squishy
Squishy’s are a popular toy in Japan and come in different food shapes. Egg and ramen go hand in hand so it makes sense why this was the food they picked for the bonus squishy! While it is very squishy, you will quickly become addicted to touching and moving the toy around. A fun and silly toy for all to enjoy!
Verdict: Umai Crate has become a staple in my house. I know when it is arriving and plan our meals out based on when it will be at our door. While ramen might seem like a simple dish, my husband and I love taste testing each bowl together. Then, we each pick which one we want to eat the rest of and dress it up with a meat and an egg. I received 7 ramen packets this month, which breaks down to about $3.57 per packet with the monthly fee of $25. Considering each bowl can be used over the course of a few days for lunch and dinner, you really are saving on the cost of what you would spend on those meals. Umai Crate has really taught me so much about the complexity of ramen bowls, that there are so many different ways to enjoy them, and that there are restaurants out there focused on providing healthier options. Umai Crate, you have made cooking dinner and lunch prep so much easier for me once a month!
What was your favorite bowl from the October Umai Crate? Did you like the healthier options featured this month?
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