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Double Review: Crab Udon and Crab Shumai

Myojo Crab Udon Noodles
Price: $.33
Rating: **** / *****

The noodles come in a myriad of flavors ranging from hot and sour to mushroom. As a seafood enthusiast, I decided to pick up the crab variety. I feared that it would be something like that crab juice Homer bought from the Khal-Khalash stand in New York. I thought about how crab possibly couldn't be translated into soup form, especially from a packet of powder and some bare noodles. In my head, it was going to be over-the-top pungent or taste more like tree bark than crab meat. Don't ask me why I know what tree bark tastes like.

So I prepared the noodles as directed, by dropping it in some simmering water and bringing it to a boil with the soup mix. There were little flakes of what appeared to be crab, but it really only showed up in trace amounts. That was okay, though, as the flavor was very mild yet distinctly crabby. If you've ever eaten a whole crab that's been boiled or steamed, you'll know that it can be messy. The soup tastes like what you slurp out of a crab in a very pleasant way. But then again, my favorite part is the crab brains, so I'm not sure if my tastes would appeal to everyone. I know I'm probably making it sound disgusting, but let's just say it has essence of crab down pat!

The noodles stayed firm throughout the cooking process but had no chewiness whatsoever when eaten with the soup. There really isn't enough substance to eat it by itself, though. Compared to ramen noodles, it is a bit lacking in texture and versatility. I really recommend buying a few of these packets and seeing which flavors you like. It's cheap and a nice change of pace from the regular ramen foodstuffs. I find that it goes best with a nice compliment though...would that be shumai?

Ajinomoto Seafood Shumai w/ Crab Meat
Price: $2.78 for 15
Rating: ** / *****

Well, I've had some good frozen shumai, but this isn't it. This is odd, considering that this company makes a shrimp variety that I really like. However, crab is literally a completely different animal. Since crab is more expensive, I discovered that there is very little actual crab in these little dumplings. Most of the crab actually comes from imitation crab meat, which is a mysterious entity made of pollack and the dreams of our youth.

Upon opening the microwave, the first thing I noticed is that it smelled like I had thrown a few whole onions in there. Indeed, it tasted and smelled strongly of onion...probably because onion is the first ingredient in the filling! Yuck. Onion wasn't even mentioned on the front of the box. Still, I finished my serving with the udon and masked the taste with soy sauce, though my breath could not be masked at all.

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