A review of Umai Crate- a monthly subscription box featuring instant noodles and garnishes from Japan!
Disclosure: I received the August 2019 Umai Crate Box in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own.
Umai Crate is a subscription service created by Japan Crate featuring handpicked ramen and other instant noodles shipped straight from Japan. Each box includes a variety of high-quality noodles that are often new and difficult to find outside of the country. I also reviewed their Japan Crate August 2019 box last month.
The boxes are available on a monthly auto-renew plan (which can be cancelled online at any time) and are currently $30 per month. Prices decrease with longer subscription plans. Shipping is included in the price and can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on the final destination. Mine took a little less than two weeks (California). Here are some examples of their previous crates.
Each Umai Crate box holds 8-10 quality Japanese noodles, a culinary bonus item, and exclusive recipe card. The small guide has the name of each item in English and Japanese, a photo, small description, and cooking instructions.
The August 2019 Premium Crate was filled with 7 types of noodles, a Taiwan Mix Soba Sauce, a bonus Yuzu Sesame Sauce, and a recipe for Crispy Noodle Kakiage.
Asakusa Sauce Yakisoba
The Asakusa Sauce Yakisoba was my personal favorite. This Asakusa-style yakisoba is coated in a savory and sour sauce and ready within 3 minutes. Recommended toppings are red pepper flakes and ginger.
Claire really enjoyed the Udon Dappe. Thick udon noodles are served in a lightly sweetened bonito broth with green onions, seaweed, and shredded pieces of deep-fried fish. Shichimi pepper and/or bonito flakes are a couple of suggested toppings.
Mini Bunashimeji Mushroom Udon
The Mini Bunashimeji Mushroom Udon is another delicious udon soup. Whole grain udon noodles are cooked in hot water for 3 minutes, then mixed with a bonito seaweed broth, bunashimeji mushrooms, carrots, and green onion. A side of fish is recommended as a pairing idea.
Seafood Sara Udon
Sara Udon comes from Nagasaki and consists of a mixture of seafood, meat, and vegetables in a sauce served over the thin, fried noodles. This Seafood Sara Udon package includes two servings of the thin and crispy noodles along with seasoning packets to make your own Sara Udon at home!
Healthy Vegetable Ramen
This Vegetable Ramen is slightly healthier than other types of instant ramen. The noodles are boiled in water for 2-3 minutes, then the soup flavoring and toppings are mixed in for a quick and easy light lunch. Want a more filling meal? Top the ramen with egg, onion, and bean sprouts.
Fururu Cold Noodles
One of the spicier additions to the Umai Crate was the package of Fururu Cold Noodles. Cold, Korean-style Bibim noodles are cooked for a couple of minutes until tender, rinsed with cold water, and coated with a sweet and spicy gochujang sauce. Additional topping options include eggs, cucumber, and kimchi.
Taiwan Mix Soba Sauce
The Taiwan Mix Soba Sauce was another spicy item in the box. I paired this blend of soy sauce, minced meat, and garlic with the Chinese noodles (photo below). Suggested toppings are egg, seaweed, and green onions.
The package of Chinese noodles was the recommended pairing for the Taiwan Mix Soba Sauce. They are perfect as the base for a variety of hot or cold noodle dishes. There was also a recipe card in the box with an idea to toss the Chinese noodles with vegetables, shrimp, flour, eggs, and ice water to make Crispy Noodle Kakiage and serve with the Yuzu Sesame Dipping Sauce below.
Yuzu Sesame Sauce
I used the bonus Yuzu Sesame Sauce as a delicious accompaniment to chilled noodles. The packet (with enough for multiple servings) includes a mixture of “grated sesame with a zesty yuzu flavor.” The combination was quite refreshing.
Overall, this August Umai Crate was definitely a fun treat for us. We loved trying all the different flavors and many of the items were completely new to me. Like the Japan Crate, it was also a great way to get the kids excited about our trip to Japan next year.