Thank you, Mr. Lee’s Noodles, for sending us these products to review!
As everyone in my family knows, I am a huge fan of ramen noodles of all types, especially the instant cups. So naturally, I was really excited to review the 8-pack of Mr. Lee’s Noodles sent to us. Four flavors of gluten-free instant rice noodle soups, some of which are vegan.
The flavors available include Tai Chi Chicken Rice Noodle Soup, Zen Garden Vegetable Rice Noodle Miso Soup, Coconut Chicken Curry Rice Noodle Soup, and Hong Kong Street-Style Beef Rice Noodle Soup. My favorite of these would probably have to be either the first one or the last one, but I enjoyed them all.
Even though these flavors are notably different from one another, they all seem to revolve around 200-260 calories. In addition, they are all and gluten free; and the Zen Garden Vegetable Rice Noodle Miso Soup flavor is apparently vegan. I noticed that there were chunks of what looked to be chicken, but the taste and the inside of the cup said it was vegetable meat.
The inside of the cup has lots of messages, actually. You will notice as you eat the soup that the walls of the cup will not only have a recommended fill line, but it has notes written on them as well. These messages mostly talk about how they make the soups as good as they are (freeze-drying everything), and about their original flavors and recipes. There is also a description of each flavor to help the consumer decide what flavor they might like the most.
These soups are sold at Whole Foods as well as on the Mr. Lee’s Noodles website (the dietary requirements filter is very confusing, as the Hong Kong Street-Style Beef Rice Noodle Soup flavor is marked as vegetarian), and an 8-pack of any flavor or combination of flavors is $31.99, so about four bucks a cup, which is about what they sell for at Whole Foods.
Whether these are worth that much money is a different question. While I understand that a person with specific dietary needs does not have many other options, I am not sure if it is worth it for everyone, because while they may taste decent and have original flavors, but it is not quite in everyone’s budget.
Ignoring the price, though, these soups are not bad. A couple of the flavors left my mouth tingling a bit with their spice, as most of these selections are far from bland. They are hard to stir really well, so the bottom of the cup often ends up being uncomfortably salty, as much of the flavoring powders and spices sit in the bottom crevice throughout the meal, and I found that quite annoying.
The hotter the water is, the softer the rice noodles become. That is one thing I noticed when I tried each flavor. When they are soft, I found that they were quite delicious, and I liked them a lot. I also noticed that they are super slippery, therefore making them difficult to collect on the spoon. Another thing is that the meat chunks in the soups are actually quite sizeable, as well as the vegetable pieces. The rice noodles truly complimented every flavor I tried, and I certainly wasn’t gypped on the delicious meats the soups had to offer. In general, I found that Mr. Lee’s Noodles Instant ramen soups were very yummy, and I enjoyed all of the flavors available.