Noodle Bowls Are A Breeze with Oakland’s Nona Lim

Miso Ramen in a flash -- with the help of Nona Lim.

Miso Ramen in a flash — with the help of Nona Lim.


Bowls of brothy noodles are the ultimate comfort dish. But you can work yourself into a tizzy in the time and care it takes to create one from scratch.

Oakland’s Nona Lim makes it easy to enjoy your favorite Asian noodle bowl in a flash. Lim grew up in Singapore, and worked as a consultant in the tech industry, all the while training competitively in fencing. After moving to the food-centric Bay Area, she knew she wanted to start a business built around healthful and tasty food.

Her broths, soups and noodles are made in small batches. Find them in the refrigerated section at such stores as Draeger’s, Sigona’s, and Whole Foods for about $4.40 per package.

I had a chance to taste a couple of samples recently. The broths are super convenient — all you have to do is warm them up in a saucepan. The noodles — wide Pad See Ew, flat Laksa ones, and thinner Pad Thai ones — are all made from rice, so they’re gluten-free. Just boil them in water for a minute, drain, then add to your bowl of broth.

Then, get as creative as you like by adding tofu, chicken, mushrooms, cabbage, Sriracha, green onions — or pretty much anything you like.

I paired the Miso Ramen Broth with the Pad Thai (or Pho) noodles, then threw in smoked scallops, spinach, enoki mushrooms, green onions and cilantro. The broth had nice color, but I found it lacking in flavor. Maybe it’s because it was strictly vegetarian without the kick of umami found in a traditional dashi made with preserved fish. I ended up doctoring it with extra miso paste from my fridge to add more bang.

The Thai Curry & Lime Broth was far more flavorful. Combined with the Laksa Noodles, it made for a soothing bowl full of zesty lime and gentle spiciness.

Find them in the refrigerated section of select stores.

Find them in the refrigerated section of select stores.

Do note that the packages of broth serve 2, while the packages of noodles serve 4. That means you either need to buy two packages of broth for every one noodle package — or be content with a huge heap of noodles with not so much broth.

The packages of broths and noodles keep well in the freezer, making it easy to have a noodle bowl whenever the mood strikes.

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  • Who doesn’t like a noodle bowl? I have yet to met such a person (although no doubt they are out there). What a terrific idea for a fast, tasty meal! Although I know I should always have a tasty broth on hand in the freezer, usually I don’t — so this would be perfect. Great review — thanks.

  • Oh wow, I didn’t know about these! I need to try that miso ramen broth – thanks for sharing the note about flavor. Nothing a little fish sauce can’t fix! Thanks for sharing xo Lisa

  • Carolyn, thanks for this tip on Nona Lim. I never noticed her products before.

    I’m always looking for quick afterschool snack ideas for my kiddos and they’re big fans of the Asian noodle bowl. Such a nice alternative to the lesser products in this area! ( And lucky for me, they’re GF too.)

    Hope you’re well!

  • I liked their carrot ginger soup. I agree the miso one needs more flavor. I buy the noodles all the time for a quick weeknight meal.

  • I like to have this kind of noodle handy in the fridge…I would love to try the miso one…
    Thanks for the post Carolyn…hope you are having a great week 🙂

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