ZenPop Subscription Box - Ramen Hanabi


I'm already familiar with subscription boxes, I bought a couple back when I was a book blogger, and even tried an anime one. 

I've tried a Japanese snack box as well, which was absolutely fantastic, but I wanted to try new stuff. I came across Zenpop while searching for Japanese snacks subscription boxes, and they offer different options, from stationery to sweets, and so on. However, I'd already tried a snack box, so I decided to go for their Japanese Ramen Pack. 

According to the description on their website, each ZenPop Ramen Pack includes:

  • Full sized servings of Japanese Noodles, shipped direct from Japan!
  • The newest and most popular varieties of instant noodles
  • Limited edition, regional, and / or seasonal products
  • Favorite ramen types like tonkutsu, shoyu, and shio
  • Discover udon, soba, yakisoba, and more Japanese dishes

I went for the month-to-month subscription—priced at $31.19 (which is about €30)—because I honestly just wanted to try it out, and I have to say that the price is definitely worth the box contents. There were 7 full-sized servings of Japanese noodles, and I'm really excited to show you what I got and my opinion on each! 

The theme for the August 2022 box was Ramen Hanabi and, as explained in their booklet (which can be downloaded from a QR code, isn't it cool?!), Summer (natsu, 夏) in Japan is the season of fireworks (hanabi, 花⽕, literally, fire flowers). Sitting by the riverside and watching the skies light up in rainbows of colors is a summer-favorite activity. You’ll always need some food while watching, so why not bring some tasty Japanese ramen?

The booklet also contains cooking instructions and timing for each serving, which was awesome because I can't read Japanese that well yet! 😅

Are you ready for some tasty ramen now? *The following are in order as they appeared in the booklet.

Charumera Cup Consommé Tomato Flavor from Myojo


Myojo Foods Co., Ltd. presided by Akihiro Toyome is releasing a new collaboration design version of the long-selling brand Myojo Charumera in preparation of the One Piece Red (ワンピース フィルム レッド) movie release. Are you ready for this? If you haven’t yet watched One Piece, it’s been one of the most popular anime of the last decade. To celebrate the occasion, not 1 but 2 tasty limited-time One Piece designs are hitting the shelves. Which one do you have in your pack? Consommé Tomato Flavor is what lies beneath the lid: full of flavors and red like the movie! The tomato bouillabaisse flavor is made with an addition of seafood, because, what else would pirates eat while sailing the Red Line? 

I'll admit I'm not a fan of One Piece, but I was really curious to try this since it didn't seem to be particularly spicy—and also because I like tomatoes. It was utterly delicious, and actually one of my favourites among this selection!

Shio Ramen Donburi Kanitama Style from Sanyo Syokuhin


Ise, one of Japan’s most sacred places as it hosts the Imperial family’s shrine: Ise Jingu (伊勢神宮). Sapporo Ichiban surprises us again with delicious flavors made from local products. Mie prefecture (三重県) boasts a beautiful coastline and fresh seafood from the ocean. In this Ultraman collaboration, the main ingredient is Ise lobster that gives all its umami to the soup. It’s combined with some rich miso and gives some depth to the whole experience. The dish is topped with eggs, green onions and some wakame seaweed!

I'm not a big fan of fish either, actually, and I was genuinely worried because the majority of noodles cups contained fish. However, this was heavenly! I'm not exaggerating, it may be because I've never had lobster before, but it was truly exquisite, and it is a strong contender for the best ramen in this box.

Ikasumi Yakisoba from Peyoung


One of Japan’s standard dishes, yakisoba (やきそば) comes with some new, original flavors: Ikasumi (イカスミ, squid ink). Peyoung is behind this innovation. The company has been making those since the 1970s. Contrary to the common yakisoba recipe, this one is not stir-fried the classic way. The black and white hard package has also spilled a lot of Japanese food blogger’s ink, as it’s quite unique and eye-catching. Filled with squid and garlic toppings, the dish is very tasty, and the sauce reaches near perfection! Cabbage is the vegetable of choice for such a dish, and Peyoung did not forget to add a sizable portion.

Unfortunately this was a big miss, which was quite disappointing as it was supposed to be the "premium" noodles. 

Super Cup 1.5 Bai Seafood Flavor Setouchi Lemon Shitate Ramen from Acecook


This product is a new product of the "Super Cup 1.5x" series in collaboration with AOASHI, which is familiar to a long-selling brand released in 1988, and this time it is a limited-time product released so far under the title of "Heisei's blockbuster revival series". This dish gained popularity for its seafood flavor that uses seafood soup stock mixed with pork, initially released in May 2001. It has been newly developed with the same taste from the early Heisei era (平成時代) to satisfy everyone’s nostalgia. Spicy seafood oil is the decisive factor for the taste! The "seafood oil" that condenses the taste of seafood such as squid, scallops, and shrimp is combined with the spiciness of chili peppers and a hint of delicious Setouchi lemons (瀬戸内レモン)!

This was a really good ramen! I did not enjoy it as much as I would have loved, though, because the lemon taste was a bit too strong for my liking, but it was very very tasty. Also, I feel I'm obliged to point out that nooo, I did not buy this subscription box just because it was featuring an anime whose theme song was made by my favourite JRock band...

Hiyashi Stamina Niku Soboro Soba from Toyo Suisan


Summers in Japan are hot and humid. Eating a steaming bowl of ramen might not always be the best option, unless you want to feel like taking a 3-hour nap right after. Rest assured, Japan has prepared many alternatives, including a wide range of cold noodles. We’ve selected the "Cold stamina meat soboro soba", characterized by its solid taste with the spiciness of chili oil and the richness of garlic. Soboro (そぼろ) refers to ground meat, fish, or eggs that are cooked into fine, crumbled pieces. In this case, the soba (そば) noodles come with meat. The dish is light, and flavorful and comes with gentle aromas.

This was another good one. I like soy sauce, so the soba was very flavourful. It was a little bit spicy but it was bearable, and the toppings were an appetising addition!

Nissin Men Syokunin Yuzu Shio Flavor from Nisshin


Nissin’s Menshokunin (麺職⼈) series is always fun to eat. Especially when they decorate their packaging with beautiful hanabi (花⽕, fireworks). The concept of those noodles is simple: make them yourself. For the summer months, we’ve selected a delicious yuzu shio (柚⼦しお) flavor that is both, tasty and refreshing. This newly released product replaced the traditional vegetable flavors by yuzu, a fresh citrus fruit popular in Summer. The portion is very generous, and a detail that makes it stand out, is the deliciousness of chicken oil! The yuzu soup, which has a refreshing aroma of yuzu and a rich flavor of seafood, goes well with the non-fried whole grain noodle. Topped with eggs and green onions, it’s a dish that remains simple, yet packs a punch of flavors!

Sadly, this one was a slight miss. I mean, the seafood flavour was okay, but the yuzu was way too strong for me—even more than in the AOASHI ramen—so I couldn't fully enjoy it. 

Maru Uma Tottori Gyukotsu Ramen from Acecook


Tottori (⿃取), Japan’s least visited prefecture is host to many beautiful sceneries, and tasty food. This dish is actually from one of the region’s most famous ramen stores: Kamikotsu. Fans have been traveling to the location for over 60 years to enjoy the unique taste of local ramen. Characterized by the soy sauce flavor paired with beef bones (⽜⻣), the noodles come with a slight sweetness and lovely beef aromas. The dish is finished with black pepper that elevates the whole combination and leaves you with a satisfying aftertaste. The noodles are non-fried, medium thick, chewy, and exactly what you’d want in that kind of ramen. Together with some char siu, bean sprouts, and green onions, those ramen are awesome!

This ramen was quite exquisite! The beefy flavour combined with the soy sauce was an utterly good match, and I enjoyed it a lot!

🍜🍜🍜

Overall, I'm considerably satisfied with this box. Yes, there were a couple of misses, but the majority was truly tasty, and I also discovered new flavours that I now like. Plus, I have to say that the portions are very filling, so I can understand why Japanese people eat this a lot. 

Have you tried Zenpop Japanese Ramen Pack? Or any other Ramen subscription box? Let me know in the comments!

次回まで。♥

6 comments

  1. I LOVED that I could enjoy this deliciousness with you, Fran! You already know that my personal favourite was the Super Cup 1.5, but I just wanted to share this with the rest of your readers: "This ramen is is soooo good that delicious doesn't cover it! 😍😋" Also, I want to add that your favourite JRock band happens to be mine as well, so I'm particularly happy that the ramen I loved the most in this box was actually the one featuring アオアシ 😁❤️ Fantastic review, my dear, I'm definitely ready for more tasty food from Japan!

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    1. Awww, thank you!! I'm really glad I had the chance to share these with you! I know you really liked the Super Cup 1.5, I'm sure that if there was an extra one in the box you would have slurped that with pleasure despite the heat! 😊

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  2. This sounds great. I think I'd really like to try the last one because I love the sound of the beef flavor and soy sauce, plus the pepper as well. Sounds divine!

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    1. Thank you, Greg! That ramen was very good, I do like soy sauce, so it was a really tasty dish! I normally prefer meat over fish, however, I did enjoy some of the fish flavoured noodles in this pack.

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