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March 21, 2005 12:01 AM

Broken: Nong Shim soup instructions

NongOwen Minns writes:

These instructions for a packaged soup mix made me shake my head for a minute before I readied my lunch: should I use 3 cups of water or 550 mL? Looks like it depends upon which language I read, or perhaps upon the measurement system implemented in my kitchen implements!

For the benefit of the SI metric system-impaired, I appended the actual conversion rate (thank you Google converter) to the bottom of my photograph.

P.S. I boiled about 700 mL of water, and the soup was pretty good.


metric water boils slower

Posted by: Ed at March 21, 2005 08:03 AM

As the author pointed out, the problem is in the non-uniform treatment of ostensibly the same measure. A cup, or for that matter, a gallon is not the same in the U.S. as it is in the U.K.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at March 21, 2005 08:46 AM

Why can't we Americans just give in and adopt the metric system. It would make everything so much easier.

Posted by: a cheesepuff at March 21, 2005 09:45 AM

I think, nothing is broken.

German 'Suppentassen' (about 250ml.) are bigger than US cups. Both languages say 550ml.(250ml + 250ml = 500ml, about 550ml) So, Americans, lets start using the metric system and you all will find out, US stuff is not always the biggest.

Posted by: Mario at March 21, 2005 10:54 AM

Um, Mario, you missed something. It says "3 cups", not two.

Posted by: anitsirK at March 21, 2005 10:58 AM

This is what I said, German cups are bigger.

'Ca. 2 Tassen' means about 2 cups, therefore german cups must be bigger than (3) small US cups.

Posted by: Mario at March 21, 2005 11:07 AM

Mario, you're missing something else.

The packaging implies that German cups are bigger, but they are really smaller, if we go by your measures.

A German cup is 250 mL, a US cup is 280 mL.

Posted by: Shadow at March 21, 2005 11:48 AM

btw, Mario, you're using a type of flawed logic called a "tautology". "The packaging isn't broken because the packaging says stuff that wouldn't be broken if it weren't broken." Yes, and I'm God because if I were God, I'd be God. You fail to realize the condition of "if I weren't God", or, in this case, "if the packaging says stuff that were broken [false]."

Posted by: Shadow at March 21, 2005 11:53 AM

Its truely quite simple, it says about 550 ml. If looking from a legal stand point nothing is truely broken with this, since after all, they are both within about 550 ml.

unless of course your trying to be a rules lawer.

Posted by: Picho at March 21, 2005 12:03 PM

You've got to be smarter than the average soup these days.

Posted by: J at March 21, 2005 01:01 PM

OK, cheesepuff, let me explain why we Americans have not adopted the metric system.

Sarcastic Answer:

If you haven't noticed, the White House has a trend to be, say, different. I know a lot of you are from England; would your country attack another country because of suspicions that they might have nuclear weapons, which they don't, and meanwhile ignore another country that does?

Note: All facts are from Fahreenheight 9/11. If inaccurate, please feel free to ridicule me.

Serious answer:

Most except new immigrants, scientists and mathemeticians would riot. I'm for the metric system, personally, but that won't stop others from refusing to adjust.

Posted by: nickd at March 21, 2005 04:46 PM

ERRATA: Fahrenheight 9/11, not Fahreenheight 9/11

Posted by: nickd at March 21, 2005 04:54 PM

ERRATA (*@#^!): mathematician, not mathemetician

Posted by: nickd at March 21, 2005 04:56 PM

Nickd, I read typoese, but love the fact that you care enough to read your own posts and correct them, as not to appear moronic to the rest of us. Mmmmmmwwwaah! ( that's the correct spelling of appreciation, wink wink )

BTW, the instructions say "add noodle and all the soup packages." Is there more than one serving inside or just the noodles and a flavoring packet? Or is there just one BIG noodle? Translation, translation, translation. Did you remove it FORM heat? I'm curious.

Posted by: suchana at March 21, 2005 06:15 PM

Is there only 1 noodle in the package. Because it says add noodle.

Posted by: unknown at March 21, 2005 06:17 PM

Well, lets be defenition happy then. the word noodle also is the human head, but its also a stupid, weak, or foolish person. this is'nt broken, its a repair device! OH MY IT WANTS YOU TO BE A CANNIBAL.. unless your not human.

Posted by: Picho at March 21, 2005 07:10 PM

Ok, I just got out one of my cookbooks from Australia that has international measurements in it (yeah, I'm a loser, but it only took me a minute, so I don't care. :P )

1 cup (liquid) = 250 mL. The only place I've *ever* seen anything different (and I use recipes from all over the place, regularly) is on a dry goods scoop, which calls it 240 mL. Incidentally, I live in Canada, which means that all of our stuff (ie liquid measuring cups, etc) comes with US units on it, as well as metric. I've never seen a cup measurement that was 550/3 = 183 1/3 mL. German cups aren't bigger. This packaging translated many things incorrectly. Must have been translated from german, since that's the only one that is correct? I'd find this odd, since it's udon noodles, but whatever.

Posted by: anitsirK at March 21, 2005 07:30 PM

The Chinese instructions are correct (and they don't mention anything about cups or adding egg/vegetables). All the others are wrong.

Posted by: rc at March 21, 2005 08:07 PM

This whole thing is so stupid, it should go in to "This is Stupid" site.

Take 550ml of water, cook it, add the god-dam noodle(s) and boil it for 4-5 minutes (smoking a cigarette takes about 4-5minutes) and start eating.

I could handle this as a non-chinese, reading the chinese instructions only. Its right there 550... something, 4-5 ...something. What else you have to know for a stinking chinese soup.

Posted by: Mario at March 22, 2005 10:16 AM

What is stupid is that the translations are wildly inconsistent, which is an example of 'broken' packaging design or copy writing. I'm not sayin' that the instructions are 100% impossible to follow or that they will cause bodily harm if you only read German or anything, I'm just pointing out the fact that that they are broken.

I did enjoy the soup, remember!

Mario, if you would like to, please feel free to use this image on your 'Stupid' site as well.

Posted by: Owen at March 22, 2005 11:02 AM

who cares, just put enough water to make the soup and be happy.

Posted by: eaglebird at March 22, 2005 01:56 PM

How are you supposed to know how much water you need to make the soup unless you try it, run out of water, and ruin the soup?

Posted by: fuzzy at March 22, 2005 02:08 PM

Practice does make perfect.

Posted by: Picho at March 22, 2005 06:16 PM

All of you are stupid.

Posted by: birddog101 at March 22, 2005 07:45 PM

All of you are stupid.

Posted by: birddog101 at March 22, 2005 07:45 PM

It appears all of you are overlooking one VERY important word (I'm surprised the [U.S.] lawyers out there did not pick up on this:

The instructions plainly,clearly and at the very outset ofthe instructions state to add "ABOUT" 3 cups... Ah-Ha, then! Your (italics) 3 cups might be quite a bit different than my (italics again) 3 cups!


Posted by: ScottRandolph at March 23, 2005 12:36 AM

I've found that the necessity of water to soup can vary for how you want it to taste, some people like more water in their soup then i do, and others, less.

Posted by: Dragon at March 23, 2005 12:37 AM

They might be talking about Chinese cups, in which case it's an entirely different measurement. It actually sounds about right because I remember hearing that a cup is about 180mL. 180*3=540mL

Posted by: @llen at March 23, 2005 11:02 AM

nickd: Your errata contain errata (um...wait).

Try "Fahrenheit"..

Posted by: Brian at March 23, 2005 11:53 AM

You know, I thought my comments would stir up something about the mess that is the White House. I guess that any of the Americans here are Democrats.

Posted by: nickd at March 23, 2005 04:36 PM

Ah, not broken, who cares about dried soup anyway. Loosers.

Posted by: dusoft at March 23, 2005 05:54 PM

No, it has been choosen to ignore the post in which you had made, since after all, unlike democrates, we, the Igrovin, do not wish to stir up trouble. oh wait.. never mind, your talking politics. that sort of stuff is broke

Posted by: Picho at March 23, 2005 06:56 PM

Nickd, you corrected your spelling, and it was still wrong. Fahrenheit.

Posted by: jmm at March 24, 2005 06:53 PM

Imm, you apparently skipped Brian's correction. Yes, I realize my errata has errata, and realized that before. But, if errata #1 is "ERRATA", and errata #2 is "ERRATA (*@#^!)", then what do I do for errata #3? Will I have to actually type out the word that was replaced by *@#^?

Posted by: nickd at March 25, 2005 10:04 AM

Am I the ONLY one here who doesn't measure precise amounts, and just throws in enough water to look proper? It works, and we don't run into these silly little tiffs!

Just put in water 'till it looks right!

Though the nonstandard seems broken, I don't see why it matters. If whatever amount doesn't look right, just add more (or take away some).

Posted by: Liz at March 27, 2005 06:34 PM

Imm = Jmm. Oops.

Posted by: nickd at March 27, 2005 08:29 PM

I have to agree with Liz. I always just throw some water in to what looks decent. You have to remember that some is going to evaporate, but if you use too little, the soup will just be stronger. If too much, it'll be a little weak. I make mine enough to make the soup so I can dilute it with more water afterwards. It also helps with the cooling process, and if too spicy then it will help make it less spicy.

Posted by: So Yun at April 5, 2005 03:05 PM

how do you remove something "form heat and seve."?

Posted by: waldoma at April 8, 2005 08:13 PM

If one can form heat, does that mean that this soup was originally marketed for dragons and other types of firestarters? Hmmm.

But let me digress more with this factoid from PopSci's "Worst Jobs In Science" list:

Number of people staffing the U.S. Metric Conversion Project - 2

At this rate, we should have U.S. metric cookbooks by the time the Sun burns out.

Further digression: 'noodle' can also be a verb, meaning "to think, to ponder." If one thinks about the soup enough, is that counted as virtual consumption?

Dry soup mix = yickhhhhh. Gimme my grandam's homemade vegetable beef any day of the week.

Posted by: Christoff at April 26, 2005 04:54 AM

That's not soup! It's Ramen!

Posted by: unknown at August 17, 2005 07:28 PM

I agree with you the way you view the issue. I remember Jack London once said everything positive has a negative side; everything negative has positive side. It is also interesting to see different viewpoints & learn useful things in the discussion.

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