I felt like I was blessed by the Gods the very afternoon when my editor came to me with food.
And not just any food. It’s the on-demand, highly elusive — Nissin Korean Army Stew.
Like every other Korean fanatic and normal Singaporean, I jumped at the chance to try out the cup noodles — because despite its normality, it’s pretty hard to find — we had wanted to review it for last week’s #ThirstyThursday but it was sold out everywhere, and one of us just happened to find these gems recently.
Of course you’re wondering: isn’t #ThirstyThursday about drinks?
To which we should say: broth is for drinking.
But anyway, I was chosen for this review because I love anything Korean.
And also because I’m perpetually broke and cannot afford the legit budae-jjigae at restaurants.
Now, is this worth the calories and the journey to ten supermarkets?
Let’s find out.
The very preparation of the noodles was clumsy — in my excitement, I mixed up the steps. It felt so surreal as if I wasn’t just eating any cup noodles; I was eating the cup noodles.
So for any first timers, just remember to add in the seasoning oil after the cooking the noodles. Not the usual before.
Not that it mattered though, as the oil mixed in just fine.
Tastes Like How It’s Named
As usual, Nissin didn’t disappoint. For someone who even cooks army stew at home, I’d say that their Korean Army Stew stays true to the name.
I’d tell you that it tastes exactly like how an instant noodles version of army stew would be, but it’s probably better to break apart the gamut of flavours in this tiny cup of heaven.
A Lot of Ingredients
Upon opening the cup, there is the usual assortment of vegetables; but the added dried kimchi adds a nice Korean touch. Other than that, there are bite-sized bits of eggs (which looked like corn, but it’s not) and chicken.
Honestly, I was a little skeptical about the dried kimchi at first — it’s difficult to accomplish the right flavour, after all. However, I was pleasantly surprised; as a kimchi lover (it’s cheap, filling and healthy!), it hits the right spot with its tinge of sourness and sweetness.
The egg itself is decidedly sweet, like the kind that you get in sushi. When eaten with the noodles, it adds a depth of flavour to the usually salty instant noodles.
The chicken, on the other hand, is coated with the broth’s flavour — though it does hit you with a subtle sweetness. What Nissin did right was its tenderness, which was not flaky.
We all know that army stew is not army stew without luncheon meat — however, adding it in will up the saltiness level significantly, which I’d do without.
As with all Nissin cup noodles, the amount of noodles betray the size of the cup; it is definitely abundant enough to be filling. Even if it weren’t, I don’t mind spending on one more cup — it’s pleasing enough to not be sickening.
As for the umami broth, the texture was definitely more oily and less thick than the typical army stew that incorporates the gochujang (red chilli) paste. After downing the broth though, the lingering tinge of army stew flavour made it distinctly different from Nissin’s other cups.
Besides, even if you didn’t want to drink the broth, the noodles soak up the flavour adequately.
The spiciness of the broth hits the roof of your mouth, its mild spiciness comparable to that of the legit army stew. So even if you had low spicy tolerance, this cup wouldn’t be a problem.
The Right Amount
Flavours aside, one of the appreciative things about their cup noodles has to be the right amount of ingredients — with every mouth, you’re getting a little more flavour and texture along with the noodles.
For $1.50, it is definitely satisfying enough to tame my cravings for army stew when I’m broke (which is always).
The best way to enjoy it? I’d say make yourself comfortable, turn on your favourite Korean drama and grab a cup of Nissin Korean Army Stew to immerse in the full Korean experience!
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