Lunch for me usually means leftovers from last night’s dinner or a bento. But I have another lunch-time weakness (besides McDonalds, lol): store-bought Asian noodle bowls.
While I’ve never cared for Italian-style pasta dishes, I have always loved Asian noodles. When I was in high school, going out to lunch with friends meant chicken lo-mein at the local on-the-cheap Chinese restaurant. And while I often cook Asian noodle dishes at home, I work morning shifts so when I come home hungry, there’s no time or desire to cook! Store-bought Asian noodle bowls make for a quick and convenient lunch. I decided it would be good to review the ones I try!
Today’s bowl is a Miso Udon noodle bowl by Annie Chun brand.
Includes noodles, miso soup base, and vegetable packet. Takes about two minutes to make in the microwave. Price: About $3.50 USD
The noodles are pretty much perfect as far as udon goes. White, thick, and slightly chewy, these noodles taste very fresh and authentic. The miso soup base is also tasty. It’s a combination of white and red miso pastes and is pleasantly salty and savory. Don’t use as much water as the package directs because it waters it down too much. It’s surprisingly low in sodium and fat. It is also a very quick and convenient meal, plus the bowl is biodegradable!
I don’t like the vegetables that come with this soup. When you pull them out of the package, they look like a questionable light green brick. It dissolves into the real vegetables that you see in the picture. (reminds me a bit of the dino-egg oatmeal from my childhood where the sugar eggs would dissolve into candy dinosaurs.) The vegetables, which in this include scallions and spinach, taste almost like plastic. They look good once cooked, but the taste falls flat. I will use fresh veggies next time.
The other bad thing is the price. $3.50 is a lot for a little soup bowl, and for that price, you could easily go to McDonald’s and buy a double cheeseburger, a small fry, and a medium drink. (I would dare say that the soup bowl is the healthier alternative!) Annie Chun’s brand has other products that are a bit cheaper; their miso-udon bowl is one of their more expensive. But I guess you get what you pay for. The soup is healthier than other ready-made-lunch options and tastes a lot better.
I give it four out of five stars.