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Our Japanese taste tester gives us his verdict on America’s pancakes, sausage and egg flavour.

When you think of instant ramen, the brand that comes to every noodle lover’s lips is likely to be Japan’s Cup Noodle, which is understandable, given that it’s manufactured by Nissin, the company that invented instant ramen in the first place.

However, in the company’s illustrious 65-year history there’s never been a variety quite like the one we’re about to try today. Making it even rarer is the fact that you can’t even get it in Japan, as it’s only being sold in the U.S. — where the brand is known as “Cup Noodles” — and what’s more, it’s only available at Walmart, and only online.

▼ Behold, the Cup Noodles Breakfast.

This is no Japanese breakfast we’re talking about, as this instant ramen smashes together the traditional flavours of an American morning meal, with pancakes, maple syrup, sausage, and egg playing the starring roles.

While sausage and egg aren’t too far out of the box — or cup — in terms of noodle flavours, pancakes and maple syrup are definitely out there, especially for our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa, who’s used to eating more traditional ramen varieties.

Seiji was keen to give the new product a try, though. In fact, he was so desperate to satisfy his curiosity for the new noodles that he messaged his contact at Nissin Japan and they ended up ordering it from America for him.

▼ Oddly enough, in a country famed for its noodles, this U.S.-exclusive is likely to be the rarest ramen in Japan right now.

Upon tearing off the lid, Seiji rubbed his hands together with glee at the ingredients in front of him. It looked similar to a Japanese Cup Noodle, with dry noodles and mystery meat inside, but the fillings only came to about halfway up the cup. Thinking this was less than usual, he compared it to a locally bought variety and found he’d been fooled by the visual, as it actually contained five grams (0.18 ounces) more than a Japanese Cup Noodle.

The differences extended beyond the visual, as the directions for preparing the meal were also unique. Instead of pouring boiling water over the mix and leaving it to soak for three minutes like he’s used to, Seiji would have to add room temperature water to the pack and then pop it in the microwave for four minutes on 1,000 Watts.

Unfortunately, the microwave in the office doesn’t go up to 1,000 Watts so Seiji had to make do with 700 Watts. It seemed to do the trick, because when he pulled it out of the microwave, the meal had transformed into a tasty looking batch of instant noodles.

However, there were a couple of differences here as well, with the most noticeable one being that instead of being hot to touch, the cup was merely warm. Also, there seemed to be a whole lot less broth than usual, with so many noodles in the way that Seiji had to tip the cup to one side in order to check the soup was actually in there.

▼ This could’ve been the result of heating at 700 Watts, but Seiji doesn’t think 1,000 Watts would’ve produced much more broth.

After dutifully performing his visual checks, Seiji was now ready to get a taste of an American breakfast…in noodle form. Raising the cup to his lips, he could smell an aroma that reminded him of consommé-flavoured potato chips, which was a surprise. 

▼ Then he took a big ‘ol slurp…

▼ …and allowed the steam to fog up his glasses as his taste buds tried to make sense of what was happening.

Wha — what is this taste?!?” Seiji wondered out loud. He was totally confused, because he was expecting the flavours to be somewhere on the savoury spectrum, but instead the whole thing tasted strangely sweet.

If he’d tasted this type of sweetness while eating a pancake, he wouldn’t have batted an eyelid, but here, in a cup of noodles, it tasted totally out of place. The flavour was nothing short of shocking for Seiji, and he likened it to eating a bowl of Tenkaippin noodles — famous for its thick broth — only with a big dollop of maple syrup drizzled all through it.

In the end, this variety of Cup Noodles turned out to be too out-there for Seiji. Sure, he could eat it, but would he want to? And especially in the morning? Definitely not.

It was fun to try, and a good example of what’s possible in the world of instant noodles, but Seiji is content to stick to less extreme flavours, like Gyoza Ramen and Barbecue Sparerib Cup Noodle, which now sound positively tame by comparison!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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