Umai Crate Subscription Box Review + Coupon – January 2018
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
About Umai Crate
The Subscription Box: Umai Crate
The Cost: $25 a month + free shipping
COUPON: Use code MSA3 to save $3 off your first Japan Crate Premium, Doki Doki Crate, Umai Crate, or Kira Kira Crate
The Products: 7-8 Japanese-exclusive instant noodle dish + a bonus collectible
Ships to: Worldwide
Umai Crate January 2018 Review
This month’s Umai Crate booklet lists each of the ramen bowls with a small description and cooking instructions. This is always super helpful to review before and during taste testing! As usual, there is always a super fun recipe for Tonkatsu Curry Udon.
Time to get cooking!
Wakame Kombu Udon
The first bowl of the month was a unique one! It is filled with two kinds of seaweed, wakame and kombu. Both seaweeds are a staple to udon noodle soups. The wakame seaweed had a very soft sweetness to it that you could taste throughout the dish. The broth had a very earthy and fresh taste to it that I really loved! The seaweed made each bite crunchy which was unique for a ramen bowl. The noodles added a fluffy texture that I thought paired really well with the seaweed. I didn’t add anything to this bowl, but I could see shrimp really spicing this up!
Fujiko Tororo Kombu Soba
This cup of noodles was so comforting! The noodles were crispy and filling. The broth was so rich with a light saltiness and hints of pepper throughout. The flavor that comes through the most is this bold onion that pairs so well with the crunchy noodles and incredible broth. This particular dish is the first collaboration with Fujiko and Ace Cook, and they made this focused on using high quality and naturally sourced ingredients. You really can taste the love and attention to detail in this one!
This bowl is super interesting! According to the monthly booklet, chikara means strength and the bowl is served with a piece of mochi on top. The mochi itself was really unique as it softens with the boiled water to an almost cheese-like texture. I didn’t get a ton of flavor from it, but it was really fun to try! The broth had a chicken flavor to it that I really loved, and then you get hints of a butter flavor in each bite. The noodles are extra thick and fluffy which could be what is making the butter flavors. I didn’t want to do too much with this bowl so I just added a hard-boiled egg and some hot sauce, perfection!
Akai Kitsune Udon
This bowl might seem smaller than the others, and that is because it is meant to be a snack instead of a full meal. If you are like me though, you can always add some shredded chicken to bulk this bowl up a bit! The best part about this bowl is that it is topped with fried tofu! The tofu really adds a bold flavor to the entire bowl, and I even got a light sweetness from it that was really unique. The broth was very light and simple with hints of salt and a bit of an egg flavor. The noodles are long and fluffy, my favorite kind of noodle. Nothing fancy here, just a really delicious little bowl!
Nature Salt Ramen
This was my favorite ramen of the month! Developed by nature focused radio personality, Michio Kawamura, keeping his focus on creating ramen with natural flavors and domestically sourced ingredients. The main ingredient in this dish is nature salt, which is really what you taste throughout. It isn’t a typical salt flavor that you would get from say a soy sauce, it is lighter and almost refreshing. I added some green onion, shrimp, and hot sauce to mine to really play up those salt flavors. On a super cold and snowy evening, this was my perfect meal and you really can taste the natural ingredients that go into making this!
Healthy Vegetable Ramen
This was probably my second favorite ramen of the month! Developed by Kenko Foods, this ramen is focused again on bringing naturally sourced and healthy ingredients into the ramen world. You really get a strong vegetable flavor that mixed with the noodles and broth tasted like a veggie tempura. So good! The noodles were so fluffy and filling, and I got hints of salt throughout the broth. I added chicken and a hard-boiled egg to this bowl to make it into a full dinner. This was an incredible bowl of ramen!
Healthy Curry Udon
Last but not least we have something very unique, a curry udon! According to the monthly booklet, “it is not unusual in Japan to have udon in Japanese curry or curry ramen.” It is important to note that the cooking instructions note to stir everything together very well as the broth thickens or else the noodles will harden. The noodles themselves were very thick and crispy, a great texture to soak in all of the curry broth. The curry was sweet and spicy and so comforting! My husband claimed this bowl as his own and opted to not add anything to it since the curry flavors were just so delicious on their own.
Bonus Item – Bowl Coaster
The bonus item for this month is a rubber bowl coaster. It comes in this beautiful bright yellow that really pops. Ramen bowls can get super hot, and if you are like me you don’t want that hot bowl to ruin your wooden dinner table. Just slip this little coaster under your bowl to make sure no damage is made to any tables or counters while you enjoy your super hot ramen!
Verdict: This month’s Umai Crate was hands down my favorite that I have received to date! What I love the most is that many of the bowls were healthier and focused on using natural ingredients. There were so many unique flavors that were so bold and delicious. Umai Crate continues to make taste testing new versions of ramen fun and interesting each and every month. Plus, I am always blown away by how much food we get, I have lunch and dinner for days covered!
To Wrap Up:
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? No, order by the end of January to receive the February box.
Coupon – Use code MSA3 to save $3 off your first Japan Crate Premium, Doki Doki Crate, Umai Crate, or Kira Kira Crate
Value Breakdown: This box is $25 a month with free shipping. I received seven ramen bowls which come to an average of $3.57 per item. These dishes are all very unique and harder to find which is really where you see the value each month! On top of uniqueness and quality, you are also receiving so many bowls that will last you through lunches and dinners.
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.
What was your favorite bowl from the January Umai Crate?