Umai Crate Subscription Box Review + Coupon – May 2019
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: $30 a month + free shipping
The Products: 7-8 Japanese-exclusive instant noodle dishes + a bonus item.
Ships to: Worldwide
Umai Crate May 2019 Review
This month’s Umai Crate booklet lists each of the items with a quick description, cooking instructions, and recommended add-ins. This is super helpful to review before and during taste testing. There is also a recipe card for sanuki cold wheat noodles.
Let’s get to noodling!
My Friend Big Wakame Spicy Chige Ramen
The name of this ramen made me laugh. There’s a lot going on, and all of it lives up to the title. It’s certainly big, full of wakame (the featured ingredient), pretty spicy from the chige broth, and a dish I’d consider my friend. A great way to kick off this month’s box, indeed!
Kinchan Bukkake Udon
Once I got past the name, I found these noodles were so, so very good. Whenever I see udon on a restaurant menu, it’s usually my pick. However, the texture of instant udon has left me a little underwhelmed. The noodles in this bowl were thick, chewy, and just needed to be warmed up with a little bit of boiling water. I then drained the noodles and tossed them with a mix of bonito and seaweed sauce, plus a crunchy garnish of green onions, sesame seeds, and some pink things. I was pretty impressed with these. The texture was spot-on and the flavor was delicious.
Tanuki Pork Bone Broth Ramen
These noodles didn’t really stick out to me, which is a shame, because I do love a good bone broth. They were essentially classic Cup of Noodles in a deeper bowl. I didn’t mind them, but they didn’t knock my socks off or anything.
Seaweed Wasabi Soup
This soup was so interesting! It delivered on its promise of seaweed and wasabi flavor, which was equal parts unique and pretty delicious, without being spicy. The sesame seeds were a nice touch as well. I’d love to have this again, and highly recommend it if you happen to see it floating around your nearest Asian grocery store.
I love tempura, and I love soba, but only one of those things translates well into instant form—and it’s not the tempura. The soy broth and soba noodles of this dish were hearty and savory as expected, but the tempura pieces got soggy very quickly and sort of melted away into nothing. Did that ruin these noodles for me? Nah. Did it disqualify them from earning the favorite spot for this month’s box? Yup. And that’s okay.
Soy Sauce Ramen
These noodles were soft and mild, much like the tanuki ramen, but without the vegetable pack. They’re an excellent canvas for protein and vegetables, so with a little love and care, they’d make for a solid meal.
My boyfriend generously offered to test this seasoning, as I’m not much a fan of salmon. I made 1/2 cup of brown rice and sprinkled the dried mix of salmon, green tea, and seaweed strips over top without adding any hot water on top because the info card said that step was optional. However, my boyfriend claimed it “tasted like salt cereal” and said “hot water would help”, so I rehydrated the seasoning with hot water. He said there wasn’t much flavor, but that might have something to do with the amount of water I added. Who knows. He also said it was quite salty, which is to be expected from this combination.
Sanuki Cold Wheat Noodles
These somen noodles are meant to be served cold and dipped in sauce during the summer. They weren’t salty like other noodle bundles I’ve received from Umai Crate; instead, their flavor was incredibly mild, making them a great vehicle for sauce. Three minutes was a perfect amount of time to boil them, so they’re pliable but still have a little bit of chew to them. I’m looking forward to experimenting with different dipping sauces for the rest of the servings left in the pack.
Bonus Item – Chopsticks with Fortune Telling Paper
This is the first bonus item I’ve received that wasn’t a seasoning or a consumable in quite some time, and though I have a personal surplus of chopsticks, it was nice to receive these. They came wrapped with a fortune that will allegedly determine my luck for the rest of the year, and I could use some luck right now, so this little treat was very sweet.
Verdict: This month’s Umai Crate was all right. The spicy chige ramen, kinchan udon, and wasabi seaweed soup were my favorites, while the tempura soba and tanuki ramen came up a bit short, but we’re still all right. With an average cost of $3.75 per item, this box was worth it, even though it wasn’t a slam dunk.
To Wrap Up:
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? No, you will receive the June box.
Value Breakdown: This box is $30 a month with free shipping. I received five instant noodle packages, one soup, one pack of rice seasoning, and a 3-pack of somen, which come to an average of $3.75 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What was your favorite bowl from the May Umai Crate? Do you have any go-to add-ins for instant noodles?