You might tend to associate instant "cup noodles" with low-quality fare -- for less than a dollar, you can grab a sodium-laden starchy meal that fills you up and keeps you going, which is especially tempting if you happen to be a broke college student. But that's all changing.
For around $1.80, you can purchase one such dried, instant meal, courtesy of a beautiful partnership between Nissin and Nakiryu, the second ramen restaurant in Tokyo to receive a Michelin star instant ramen, according to Rocket News 24.
One Rocket News 24 writer who had previously tasted the fresh ramen at Nakiryu's brick-and-mortar location grabbed a package of the instant stuff and was pleasantly surprised with the "luxuriously deep red color" of the sesame-based oil that gets added at the end and said that the broth was "very impressive," while he said that the meal in general was "magnificent" :
He decided to begin by sipping the broth. It had a mellow chicken flavor that was perfectly complemented by the sesame. There were also intermingling sour and spicy flavors that were distinct yet refined, for a solid blend overall. … One of the more memorable parts of Nakiryu's Dandan was the delectably textured noodles, and much to our reporter's surprise the cup noodle version managed to somehow recreate that! Just like in the restaurant, the thin noodles trapped in the broth for an even flavor in each bite.
Others gave similarly glowing reviews. Though you might have a little trouble spotting this in supermarkets outside of Japan, you can order it online for $3.30 plus around $6 for shipping.
The product description on Hobby Link Japan describes it as a "robust soup" with "sweet, rich sesame and red peppers combined with cooked rice and soy sauce, with slim bamboo noodles for added sweetness." Sorry to betray my beloved Top Ramen, but this sounds pretty dang delicious.