Easy to prepare, suitable for microwave or stove. Made from natural ingredients, a healthy and fast meal.
This was a rather interesting packet and once I found the English words on how to cook the vermicelli, I opened the pack and went to it. I noticed the packet was rather confusing and it was really busy with to much going on all over the packet. The picture on the front looked appealing and I was interested to try it. I have used vermicelli a lot with cooking being a ex chef. I asked my son if he would try it with me.
I opened the bag and put the vermicelli into a bowl and added the water to the line like it said. It took me a little while to find the line that they were talking about though. I noticed the water did not cover the vermicelli so I tried to break it up a little as I knew it would not cook like this. I added the flavouring and thought it smelt rather funky but went with it anyways. I stirred it in. the packet said 7 minutes in the microwave but I went with 3 to start with. It started to splatter so I stopped it about 2 and half minutes. the flavouring was splattering over the microwave.
I got it out and stirred it and let it sit for a bit. I got my son to come and try it and he smelt it saying I don't want to try that. I told him to take one mouth full which he did and spat it into the bin saying it tastes weird and he is not eating it. I have to agree with him on that one. I did not like the flavour either which was a bummer as it is a great idea and could work well with a different flavour maybe.
I've always been a fan of vermicelli chop suey for as long as I can remember so I naturally thought this ready to cook vermicelli meal would be excellent but I can say after having it that it is merely ok if that. It is a disappointment because I had such high hopes for this and wanted it to be great. Let's start off with the packaging it's very congested with a lot of different languages which take up most of the packet and the image on the front looks very sloppy to me and not presented very well to be appealing.
The meal itself can be microwaved or stir-fried in a pan so I opted for the latter believing I would have more control of cooking it and get a better end result. The taste itself isn't too bad but I found it to be far too peppery so I tried to dilute it with water but that didn't help as the flavour was almost gone but it was still very peppery. The fact that it had such a profound pepper taste to it is odd due to the ingredients stating the pepper is only 2% of the makeup. I let my eldest daughter have a portion and she said she loves it purely because of the pepperiness to it.
The vermicelli noodles also were very chewy and I found chewing them almost seemed like a task not worthy of the reward and they clumped together and were very sticky. The mushrooms were also cut up far too finely for my liking and once I had finished there were so many little pieces of mushroom in my bowl as they didn't seem to stick very well with the noodles. The mushroom flavour didn't really seem to be there which was a letdown. The only thing I can really say is a positive for this is that it is fairly easy to prepare.
I don't think I would purchase these unless they can improve them drastically and I can think of so many other meals that can be made in the same amount of time or quicker that are far superior. I can only recommend this to someone that is a die-hard vermicelli fan and absolutely loves pepper.
Before I saw this Ready-to-Eat Vermicelli product on the KIWIreviews website I had heard the name Vermicelli used but never really known what it was or what it tasted like. So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a try. I'm a busy working mum so anything that promotes a "healthy and fast meal" is of great interest to me.
For those that don't know what Vermicelli is, the easiest way for me to describe it is like a very very thin noodle and from what I've read is a popular instant food product which is what I was hoping I'd have. Very similar to "two minute noodles" but much thinner and less carbs.
I was a little worried when it arrived because most of the front of the packet is in a language I couldn't read but when I turned it over there were some instructions in english with some pictures for me to follow. I opted to cook just the packet and not add any meat but the packet did have instructions to cook with meat if you preferred. I followed the directions on the packet to cook them in the microwave but must have done something wrong because I managed to only cook half of the noodles and the other half which were above the water line were very hard and crunchy and no amount of stirring would soften them up. So, onto plan B and I carefully removed the uncooked parts and happily ate the rest.
The noodles were exactly what I hoped they would taste like. Similar to other instant noodles I've tried but because they are so much thinner they weren't as heavy in my stomach. The Shiitake Mushroom flavour was very mild and there were very small chunks of mushrooms in it. One thing to note though, is that the picture on the packet with the large mushrooms is clearly just for advertising purposes and they've added the large mushrooms as a decoration and they are not included within the packet.
Next time I cook these I will definitely keep a closer eye on the cooking and make sure they are cooking evenly so I don't waste half the noodles. At $2.50 a packet I think they are a fantastic price and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out to buy some more so I can keep them in the cupboard for a quick and easy meal.
"Instant" or "two-minute" noodles are one of those modern convenience foods that are often the staple diet of teenagers in their last years at secondary school or their first years in tertiary training - quick, filling, reasonably tasty and inexpensive. These noodles are one up on the student variety: they take longer to prepare (5-7 minutes), and the addition of oyster sauce and dried mushrooms adds flavour without that artificial salt/sweet taste of common instant noodles.
As noodles go, I thought they were among the nicest I had tasted, and I can see a wide range of uses for them. First of all, our kids all love noodles whether on their own or as the starch component of a meal. We tried them with prawns and spring onions stirred through (for the adults) and with some shredded meat instead of prawns for our fussy kids. Everyone said that they found the noodles quite sweet and very tender. I had followed the instructions on the packet and broken up the noodles before cooking them, and was glad that I did as one little corner that had been missed ended up stuck together and quite hard. Clearly it pays to read the packet!
I kept some noodles back and put them into one of my favourite dishes - omelette with spring onions, peas and chopped mushrooms. I usually put plain thread noodles into this dish, so I used the shiitake mushroom noodles instead. It made a very nice, filling meal which had a lot more flavour than the plain version. Although you could not see the mushroom pieces in the noodles themselves - they were too small - you could taste the difference when they were prepared this way.
The "best by" date was hard to read because it was printed in black on dark blue, but a combined effort by two people armed with a strong torch enabled us to work it out. It is a pity this was not more visible as that is something that is essential when you are buying dry goods; it is important to know the shelf life. In this case, the "best by" date turned out to be March 2019 - something which would influence me to buy it as I know it is not going to deteriorate overnight.
I will probably buy this product again as I know the children will eat and enjoy it, and the ingredients don't rely on lots of chemical additives to make them more attractive. It is marketed as being a healthy snack food, and this is exactly what it is.
Sometimes life just means that I'm in a rush and a good portion of that time, I forget to feed myself, so I liked the idea of what looked like it could be a fast and filling meal. Now, it's very important to point out that the image on the front is not what you get, though I didn't expect anything other than the shiitake mushrooms to be in this product. The packet has a handy tear open option, but the little bag of flavour inside ended its me needing to get a pair of scissors to open it. The front of the packaging lets you know all you need to add is water and throw it in the microwave for seven minutes.
The back of the packet is very hectic, there's two sets of ingredients listings (with a 0.5% discrepancy in mushroom quantity, which one is correct?), instructions for both microwave and frying pan cooking and it isn't helped by wording in two languages. It took me a moment to find the red line for measuring the water, but I measured it out, poured it into a microwave proof bowl and added the flavouring. It did take me a little while to mix it in completely, but once I added the vermicelli you could see it soaking in. The instructions say that if you want to add meat or veges then you get it out at five minutes but as I wasn't, I went for the full seven minutes.
Getting it out of the microwave, I wasn't impressed or eager to give it a try, it was one big lump of noodles. I had to try and give it a good mix for a little while to break it up a bit and to mix the mushrooms through, as they'd all sunk to the bottom. These pieces of mushroom are tiny and given that the packet states that 9.5-10% of this product is mushroom, I had the impression that there should be more. I found the food itself to be a mix of stringy, rubbery and chewy, even the little bits of mushroom. The flavour was ok but I did find that the pepper overpowered pretty much everything in this dish.
The appeal of a quick meal is a good one but this was a dish I couldn't finish, so this will not be on my to buy list.
I have an issue with these products that try to save time by having multiple languages on the packaging. Sure it might save a bit of money, but it really isn't appealing from an aesthetic standpoint. Trying to find the English instructions is a chore (even trying to find the name of the product took time, and it made me feel like the product wasn't really designed with me in mind. Such directions like "stretch the packet and place it on the table before filling with water" come across as a little confusing with its choice of wording.
But I went ahead and tried anyway. The directions state that you microwave for 7 minutes. That seemed like a very long time to me (considering you can heat the thicker noodles in 2 minutes), but I tried it for 7 minutes to see what would happen. Perhaps the most important thing within the instruction is that is species an 800W microwave. I don't know if people really know what wattage their microwaves are, but a quick scan of the Noel Leeming website shows that the majority of microwaves sold are 1000 to 1100W. So really if I was writing the instructions for this packet I'd err on the side of caution and give a time for a higher wattage microwave. You can always heat it for longer if it is undercooked, but you can't uncook something once you have overdone it.
As you may have guessed, my microwave is probably much stronger than 800W, and I let it run for the full 7 minutes. The product I had ended up dry, and overcooked. When I was mixing the water and "seasoning" as per the instructions I noted that the mushrooms were just tiny little pieces; nothing like the large pieces and entire mushrooms that were present in the picture on the front of the packet. Whether it needed more water, less time in the microwave, or both, there was no way this product was going to live up to the expectations set by the imagery on the packet.
It is unfortunate. I ended up with a ball of twine, and as I tried to eat it, I couldn't help but note how some parts at the bottom were saturated with flavour, while the top didn't absorb any of the water at all and was still uncooked. The entire thing remained in one piece, which proved difficult to eat.
Perhaps someone will have better luck by stirfrying the product as you can easier gauge how well the product is cooking throughout the process and ensure everything is properly mixed. But the microwave instructions were a fail for me, and the end product didn't feel worth the effort to try get it right.
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