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Umai Crate Subscription Box Review + Coupon – August 2020

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Umai Crate by Japan Crate brings you Japanese-exclusive instant noodles each month. You’ll receive a variety of instant noodles, soups, and sauces to try, along with a culinary bonus item!

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My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

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About Umai Crate

The Subscription Box: Umai Crate

The Cost: $30 a month + free shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.

COUPON: Use code MSADD3 to save $3 off your first box.

The Products: 8-10 Japanese-exclusive instant noodle dishes + a culinary bonus item.

Ships: Worldwide for free!

Umai Crate August 2020 Review

 

The Umai Crate booklet lists each of the items with a quick description, cooking instructions, and recommended add-ins. The translations aren’t always accurate, but they generally get the job done. This is super helpful to review before you get started and while you’re tasting everything. There is also a recipe card for eggplant and tofu stir fry.

If you’re down for some sodium-rich content, grab a glass of water and let’s get into it.

 

Nature Ramen Shio

I’m pretty sure these are a repeat but couldn’t easily find evidence of such after a quick review of the Umai Crate review catalog. Anyway, these noodles tout themselves as “healthy” and “guilt-free” but if you’re a fan of convenience foods, chances are you’ll know what you’re getting into. This pack was very light on flavor so I punched it up with a curry-seasoned egg, some peas, and some corn for a nice little lunch.

 

Crispy Salad Noodles

These crispy fried noodles are a suggested topper for salads, ramen, okonomiyaki—you name it. They arrived in a uniform nest and I cannot wait to put them to use. I broke off a piece for a quick taste and it was crunchy, savory, and pretty delicious. I’m thinking I’ll sprinkle these over some red curry noodles later this week for some noodle-on-noodle fun.

 

Cold Ramen

These are a repeat from July 2019. My thoughts:

More cold noodles, coming right up. As you can see, I was pressed for time when whipping this together, so I didn’t pile on the toppings. The sesame and seaweed topping was still great, though! I didn’t mind eating this cold at all—in fact, I’m really starting to see how noodles can be refreshing. The sauce on the bottom of the bowl was just slightly different from the sauce from the other cold noodles in this delivery, but it was still very good.

 

Yuzu Somen

These are a repeat from October 2018 and November 2019. My thoughts from November:

Speaking of repeat items, here’s another one! The last time this somen showed up was in a different box to highlight the warm-weather quality its hint of yuzu reflects. Anyway, these had a splash of citrusy goodness in addition to a savory base, chewy noodles, bits of egg, green onions, and little pink fish cakes shaped like blossoms.

 

Tokyo Soy Sauce Ramen

Something new! This pack of shoyu-style noodles had some rather specific directions: boil water, turn off the stove and let the noodles steep in the water for 2 minutes, then boil them for another 2.5 minutes before serving. I just let ’em actively boil for 3 minutes as a mid-point solution and they were great. The noodles had a really unique texture with a wonderful bite, courtesy a 48-hour low temperature aging process instead of frying. I think this is about as close as I’ve gotten to restaurant-quality ramen at home and was a big fan of these.

 

Tanukioyaji Super Spicy Mazemen

I was not prepared for how painfully spicy these noodles were. Sure, I could have heeded the “super spicy” name as a warning, but did not and paid dearly. These were this month’s no-broth inclusion, meaning they boiled in water, had the water drained, and were mixed with the included volcanic-level spices. The flavor was excellent but the chili peppers about killed me. The egg I included didn’t soften the blow at all, and as a last-ditch effort, I threw in a handful of shredded cheese, a tip a Korean friend passed on to me years ago when she would cook “baby-level” tteokbokki that would leave me in tears every time. My face was red for a while after polishing off the bowl. Delicious, but dangerous.

 

Cold Noodle Udon

These are a repeat from July 2019. My thoughts:

Even if it’s 1,000 degrees outside, I’m still hungry for a hot bowl of noodles. Umai Crate curated several cold dishes this month, and while I respect the well-planned seasonality, I wasn’t entirely excited at first pass. Cold noodles haven’t always been my favorite, but trying new things and broadening horizons is the joy of subscription boxes, right? Anyway, now that I’m done eating up all these udon noodles, I can now eat my words for dessert. These were great! The packaging had one of those clever drains in them, so after the udon cooked for 5 minutes, I just poured the water right out of the top. I then mixed in the soy-based sauce, the chili seasoning, and some green onions I’ve been growing in my window. Lastly, I finished things off with a soft-boiled egg, some seaweed furikake, and the tempura bits included with the noodles. I appreciated the crunch, and the combination of savory, sweet, and spicy. So good.

 

Japanese-Style Sesame Miso Sauce

Big fan of miso over here. This is a generously-sized single-use packet for noodles, protein, vegetables, or anything else your heart desires. I am up to my eyeballs in zucchini and yellow squash right now so I’ll probably use this sauce to dress up some sautéd garden veggies with a side of rice.

 

Bonus Item: Asahi Tofu 1/60 Size

In the 2 or so years I’ve been reviewing Umai Crate, this is the first instant tofu addition I’ve encountered. Though I’m not personally a huge fan of tofu, I was still excited to see this inclusion because I know a lot of people love it—especially my partner. I rehydrated a few of the slender cubes in warm water for about an hour, though the info card said 10 minutes would be sufficient. They were slightly springy and light on flavor, exactly what you’d expect from tofu. I’m happy to have these in my pantry to jazz up plenty of miso soup this winter.

VerdictUmai Crate was all right this month. If you’ve subscribed to this box for as long as I have, you’ll notice some repeats here and there, so if that’s not your speed, then there’s a chance you wouldn’t be too thrilled with the August delivery. I was pleased with the variety of textures and flavors this time around, with the destructively-spicy noodles being my favorite despite the pain. I also appreciate receiving unique, shelf-stable foods like these for quick lunches during the workday. $30 might seem steep for instant noodles, but I’ve yet to see most of what’s arrived in UC at my local Asian grocery store. Plus, at the expense of sounding like a broken record, this subscription saves me from having to go out shopping as often, which we all know is a real pain right now. This box breaks down to about $3.75/item, and with the addition of an egg, vegetables, and maybe some seasonings, that shakes out to about $4 per lunch, which isn’t too shabby.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if I sign up today? No, you will receive the September box. Japan Crate will oftentimes add items from previous boxes to their online store, so if any of these really jump out at you, check there if you’d like to make any individual purchases. 

COUPON: Use code MSADD3 to save $3 off your first box.

Value Breakdown: This box is $30 a month with free shipping. I received 8 items (not counting the bonus item) which comes to an average of $3.75 per item. That’s pretty consistent with most deliveries I’ve received.

Check out all of the Umai Crate reviews to get more information on this subscription, and take a look at even more of our best food subscription boxes.

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What was your favorite bowl from the August Umai Crate? Do you have any go-to add-ins for instant noodles?

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Written by Savannah Sprowls

Savannah Sprowls

Savannah spends her days testing the creative limits of an all-black wardrobe, rattling about years spent overseas, and whipping up carb-heavy meals at home. Degustabox was her first foray into the world of monthly subscription boxes, and she still gets wildly excited every time a package arrives.

Posted in Food & Drink Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Umai Crate Reviews| Tags: umai crate | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Your reviews always make me hungry and your eggs always look perfect!

  2. This looks so fun! I went to order it for my husband for his birthday and when I went to check out it was going to charge $10.95 for shipping:( If they ever offer free shipping again I’d love to try it!

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