Do you prefer stinging pain with or without soup?

SoraNews24 loves taking on food challenges, especially when it involves spice. So when we heard the buzz about Yama Wasabi and Salt Ramen and Yakisoba by Seiko Mart (or Secoma for short), we were intrigued.

Rumor has it that the biting spice of the Hokkaido-sourced wasabi in both of these instant meals is spicy enough to make just about anyone suffer and cry. To test this theory, we enlisted the help of Japanese-language reporters Tasuku Egawa and Takashi Harada to try them out in our Tokyo office.

Since we didn’t have a Seiko Mart nearby, we ordered them online: a 12-pack each of the yakisoba and the ramen. The yakisoba cost us 1,440 yen (US$13.11), and the ramen was priced at 1,320 yen, so they were 120 yen and 110 yen a piece.

Not bad, especially considering the pain that Tasuku and Takashi were supposedly about to experience. Tasuku asked Takashi to try the instant ramen first.

▼ Perhaps sensing some danger in the cup,
he gave the cup a good sniff before digging in.

Just opening the cup enough to waft the biting spice of wasabi throughout the room. The closer you got, the more damage you were likely to experience in your eye and nose areas.

Despite this, Takashi started to dig in, bravely grasping a group of noodles with his chopsticks and giving it a good slurp.

▼ “Is he all right?” Tasuku thought in response to Takashi’s face as he took the first bite of noodles.

Despite the weird face, though, he kept scooping up more noodles. Was it… not that spicy?

Takashi said that he definitely felt the bite of wasabi upon first taste, but the delicious flavor of the ramen outweighed the fear of spice.

▼ The more he ate, the less spicy it got!

So Tasuku also asked Takashi to try the yakisoba, which has a red label on it warning buyers to use their better judgment when deciding to give this to a child or someone who can’t handle spicy food.

Since Takashi fell under neither of those categories, in went the sauce and wasabi, full-blast. Still feeling the afterglow of his success with the instant ramen, Takashi took a sizeable slurp of yakisoba.

▼ And then the pain really started.

Tasuku could see tears in his eyes, and he was rubbing between his eyes where the sting of wasabi usually hurts the most. Ah, yes, this is the reaction we were hoping for!

▼ “How was it?” Tasuku asked after it looked like most of the pain had subsided.

▼ With a small smile, Takashi answered, “I want to eat this with a side of rice.”

What does that even mean? Takashi elaborated that even though it was painful, it was also delicious enough that he wanted to make it into a full-blown meal. White rice or no, Takashi finished the whole thing.

Interestingly, when Tasuku challenged himself to try both dangerous dishes as well, he reacted differently from Takashi. Where Takashi struggled with the wasabi yakisoba, Tasuku was hardly fazed by it.

But when it was time to try the instant noodles, Tasuku could hardly get through one bite without sustaining immense damage in his nose, eyes, and mouth. He couldn’t even distinguish the ramen’s underlying flavor amid the spice storm.

In the end, our taste test proves that Seiko Mart’s Yama Wasabi and Salt instant meals are, indeed, spicy enough to make you cry.

You could also probably make it even deadlier or friendlier depending on how you prepare it, by using different amounts of sauce, water, by turning it into chawanmushi Japanese egg custard, and so on. So if you like wasabi or spice challenges in general, we recommend giving this one a taste.

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

[ Read in Japanese ]