New instant noodles don’t even bother trying to replicate restaurant toppings.

One of the major differences between restaurant ramen and cup ramen is the toppings. Eating in a restaurant, you can expect large strips of chashu pork and freshly sliced vegetables, but with instant ramen, you’re generally getting nothing more than a few meager morsels of ground meat and bits of dried veggies.

But hey, that’s the tradeoff you get for the affordable price and convenience of cup ramen. All the same, it was startling when Myojo Foods decided to go with a new low in effort for cup ramen toppings with its new Noodles and Broth Only.

However, this isn’t a simple case of Myojo Foods getting cheap or lazy. By giving up on toppings, they’re able to devote their expertise entirely towards making the noodles and broth extra-tasty. Eager to see if this strategy paid off, we picked up a pack as soon as they went on sale this week.

Partly peeling back the lid revealed three packets, containing the ingredients for the broth and its seasonings. Oddly enough, despite the simplicity of the “broth and noodles only” philosophy, the preparation is a little more complicated than standard cup ramens.

To start, open up the blue broth base pack, and inside you’ll find another packet. Place this packet on top of the noodles, then add the boiling water and let them cook for four minutes, not the standard three.

▼ The packet inside the packet

This packet contains the seafood dashi base, a combination of bonito, mackerel, flying fish, and kelp stock. The packaging slowly releases the stock as it heats, and once the four minutes are up, you’re supposed to grab the packet with your chopsticks and give it 10 quick stirs inside the bowl before taking it out.

Doing so creates an enticing seafood aroma, and taking a quick test sip at this intermediary stage proved we were off to a great start.

Next, open up the pink broth base packet. This contains a mixture of chicken stock and soy sauce, which is itself a combination of standard soy sauce and tamari soy, the slightly sweeter version often used for sushi and sashimi.

Finally, the green seasoning packet has black pepper and a few specks of green onion, the closest Noodles and Broth Only gets to toppings.

▼ Yep, this is the finished product!

Myojo describes the broth as “golden chicken broth,” and sure enough it’s got a luxuriously regal look to it, glistening under the lights.

More importantly, though, it tastes fantastic, with a strong, rich chicken flavor and a touch of sweetness from the soy. Surprisingly, the multiple seafood elements end up playing a subtle support role, but they too make a fine contribution, and the overall flavor is far more complex than the simplistic straightforwardness of most instant ramens. It also leaves a longer-lasting sensation on the palate, allowing you to savor its various components.

The noodles, likewise, are excellent. They’re a non-fried variety, straight and smooth with excellent texture.

In the end, Myojo Foods’s experiment is a satisfying success, and with Noodles and Broth Only priced at just 248 yen (US$2.40), it’ll still leave you with enough money for some kind of side dish if you absolutely need something other than just ramen’s two core ingredients.

Photos © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!