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Instant Noodles: Nong Shim Shin Big Bowl, Gourmet Spicy

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While preparing for the Big Birthday Blowout scheduled for yesterday, I caught a quiet moment in-between chores and ate a bowl of instant noodles. A very satisfying bowl of noodles, I might add! (Actually, I DID add.) The noodles in question: Nong Shim’s Shin Big Bowl, Gourmet Spicy. (Since I’m traveling today to Washington, D.C. for the ACS Fall Meeting, I thought I’d put this up for you to read in my absence.)

Nong Shim is a large Korean conglomerate that started making noodles way back in 1966. The Nong Shim family of companies now has nine major corporations under its umbrella, including a hotelier, data processing systems, research and engineering, and the Mega Mart stores in Korea.

They also make an excellent variety of noodles, in many flavors and serving sizes. The interesting thing I noticed about my bowl of noodles was, they weren’t made in Asia! Says Rancho Cucamonga and Made in USA on the label. (See the pic above too.) While researching these noodles I found out that Amazon will ship you case lots for about a buck a bowl, a pretty reasonable price. When you find these lovelies in Amazon, you’ll get an opportunity to set up a continuing “subscription” which ships you as many cases as you want, on your schedule: Every month, two months, quarter or half year. Imagine that! A lifetime supply of instant noodles. All you have to do is pay for them! And eat them, of course.

Shin BowlThis is the largest instant noodle bowl I purchased. I don’t remember if it was the largest on the shelf, but I think it might have been. The package says 4 oz size, quite a lot given how dry the noodles are to begin with. When I opened the paper lid I found only 1 package, called soup base. I poured it out, and it’s an enticing, deep red with a zesty fragrance. I tasted a pinch, and I could detect plenty of dried red chile, maybe some cayenne with others. I poured in the boiling water, let them steep, then topped them off and dug in.

These were also the spiciest noodles I’ve tasted so far! Just a bit more zest than the Uni-President noodles I tasted, and there was a bit more of them. The bowl is styrofoam, and quite sturdy given its large size. There was no fork or other implement of destruction consumption included. I guess they figure, if you’re interested in noodles you’l have your own sticks and spoon. Good idea.

These noodles were good to the last slippery string and sip of broth. I did learn a couple of things, though. First, the broth is very hot, even after four minutes of steeping. (I couldn’t wait, I guess; I think the tastebuds will grow back, they did the last time.) Second, don’t attempt to slurp this broth! If you get a bit down the wrong pipe you’ll be coughing all evening. Leastways, that’s what I heard. (I’d never do anything so crass as to slurp.)

Nong Shim has a great selection of noodles. If spicy isn’t your choice, then try their beef, chicken or seafood varieties. They come in bowls (like the one I tested), cups and ramen (ramyun) bags. I haven’t tried the others, but if their spicy cousin is any indication, you can’t go wrong with Nong Shim.

These folks have also put up the best website in all of instantnoodleland. Stop by and you can learn about nutrition, what makes a great bowl of noodles and more. They have a cyber tour, interesting info about the company, and a nice customer service page too. The only quibble I have is, they could use some small assistance from a native English speaker for their English version site. A couple of places I got lost in translation.

I give these instant noodles an A- for a score. Why not a full A? Well, because they ran out before I was ready. Also, I gotta leave room on the off chance I find another bowl that’s better. (Not likely, for a buck.) This leaves Nong Shim’s entry into the sweepstakes a full letter grade ahead, so far…

Enjoy the (Big and Zesty Noodle Bowl) Heat!

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