Saturday, 28 January 2012

Kabuto Noodles


Kabuto Noodles is a range of posh instant noodle pots that come in three flavours: Chicken Ramen, Beef Pho and Miso Ramen.


The concept of adding boiling water to dehydrated noodles and seasonings isn't new, but Kabuto are aiming for a more upmarket image than that of the infamous Pot Noodle. I guess their competitors are the instant noodle pots from East Asia such as Cup Noodles.

Chicken Ramen
I liked the chicken ramen. It had a surprisingly natural tasting soup, with a nice depth from the ginger and a pleasing hint of chilli. Along with the coriander and spring onion, the soup had a somewhat South East Asian flavour rather than the Japanese taste I was expecting. The noodles, a Chinese-style egg noodle rather than Japanese-style ramen, were decent quality. If I were to be ultra-critical, I would've preferred slightly thicker springier noodles.

Beef Pho
I also tried the beef pho, and again the soup had a nice depth from the ginger and a pleasing hint of chilli. The addition of garlic was welcome, and I could also pick out some cinnamon. However, there was something missing. The soup lacked that perfumed aniseed punch that star anise provides. Its absence was profoundly felt, as pho (and indeed beef noodle soups in general) should always be made with a stock containing star anise.

My other gripe was the presence of sweetcorn. Not only did it seem out of place but it also didn't hydrate sufficiently. And those of you expecting slippery rice noodles, you'll also be disappointed as the same noodles used in the chicken ramen feature in the pho. Nothing wrong with these noodles, but pho should be made with the proper rice noodles. That said, I can come across as the Lynne Truss of the noodle-world, and most of you probably couldn't give a toss about the noodle used.

Of the two flavours I've tried (I haven't got round to trying the miso yet) I prefer the chicken ramen. I would even go so far to say that it would hold its own against many of the East Asian brands. However, even allowing for the fact that Kabuto Noodles is a premium product, I'm not sure I'd fork out £2.95 for a pot (Waitrose Online) or £17.70 for a six-pack (Amazon). Not when you can pick up some instant noodle pots from a Chinese supermarket for a fraction of the price.

I received a free sample of Kabuto Noodles from their PR peeps.

15 comments:

  1. Looks tasty. Do they claim to be better/less bad for you than normal instant noodles?

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  2. £2.95?! I think I'll stick to my Koka chicken noodles with a ton of chilli bunged in.

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  3. If they can reproduce the same quality as in Asia, then excellent. But this will always come at a premium over here sadly.

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  4. Katie - Kabuto don't use additives/preservatives So in that respect, I'd say they are healthier for you.

    Sharmila/Mzungu - if it was half the price, it might be more of a contender.

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    1. Agreed - if they were half the price, I'd be ordering them now. At £3 - there is temptation just to buy/order in noodle soup.

      Not to mention that the Chinese ones are usually 50p-£1

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    2. I just had the Miso Ramen instant (bought in Waitrose). I have miso ramen frequently in restaurants and from supermarkets. I would describe this version as the worst I've experienced, in that it was tasteless pap.

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  5. WOW - that's pretty pricy for an instant noodle.

    Instant noodles are a filthy little snack for me, so I don't go for them with health in mind. It's strange that they haven't used rice noodles, it's not like it's not possible as I've seen instant rice noodles.

    I'd like to try them out but it would take a lot to sway me from ye old faithful (spicy seafood cup noodles. Complete with fake crab.)

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  6. The Lynne Truss of the noodle world - I love it! Think I will be calling you Lynne from now on.

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  7. Talk about old wine in new bottles eh, very nice looking packaging tho! Dehydrated sweetcorn irks me too!

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  8. Lizzie - I think Kabuto have probably gone with one type of noodle to keep costs down. I'm OK with that but I'm not OK with them attaching the labels 'ramen' and 'pho' to noodles that are no such thing.

    GChick - I just may write a noodle 'grammar' book in the style of Eats Shoots Leaves!

    HFemale - that corn wasn't good.

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  9. I've yet to be convinced by "gourmet" instant noodles, do they really taste all that different from regular ones? That said they don't sound too bad, and if they were half the price... Out of curiosity, what are the purple strands floating in there?

    And as for "Pho" with egg noodles... it's not really pho at all is it?

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    1. I think the purple strands might be rehydrated 'beef'! Tastes better than it looks, I assure you.

      Don't get me started on noodle 'grammar'; it's a whole new post waiting to be written...

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  10. I'm a huge fan of instant noodles. Perfect comfort food :) and I love sweet corn in these, but you're right they have to soak up the soup and be soft!!

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    1. I'm normally OK with corn in instant noodles, but not sure it works in a noodle called pho. Especially when they're still hard!

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  11. Kabuto miso noodles Absolute tasteless overpriced nonsense.

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