Despite all the tumultuous and unnerving events of our current age,, I am happy to announce that I’ve got a new list for our year, 2020. In the past fe hundred reviews I’ve done this past year there have been some real standouts and of course many have remained. These are my absolute favorites of reviews 1 through 3487. It’s hard – I feel like I should be doing a top 20, or even a top 50 at this point, but the sheer amount of time that would take with being a stay at home father of two while trying to get in a few hours of exercise every day just isn’t in the cards. I’m hoping in the coming months to come out with the regular top tens and maybe some new ones, but it’s a tough juggle these days.
This isn’t a popularity list – these are my favorites; they might not be yours, which is fine. One thing that people will invariably ask is ‘where is Japan’ – a very valid question. The bulk of Japanese varieties that come out only are out for a very short period of time – some for just a few weeks. I try to balance availability into the mix on this list annually as so many will want to try them. Rest assured in the next batch of lists will be Top Ten Japan which will not be sensitive to this aspect.
One thing I should mention too – I have been called a ‘Michelin’ reviewer in some Asian media recently – I just want to clarify although honored to be considered to have this mention, I have no connection to the Michelin organization. As always, if you are interested in having your products reviewed and shown to the world on The Ramen Rater, please drop me a line – As long as there’s water to boil and a fire under the pot, I will be reviewing noodles. With that, let’s commence with The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition.
The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All TIme 2020 Edition
A visual presentation of the list along with special announcements at the end.
The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition
#10: Prima Taste Singapore Black Pepper Crab Flavoured La Mian – Singapore
New to the list this year. Fusing the legendary chewy and thick noodles of Prima Taste with a luxuriant black pepper sauce, this ones something to linger over. One of the best known flavors of Singapore, this is the newest addition to their lineup of traditional Singaporean flavors. Definitely not one for a mukbang – like I said – savor it. Original review
#9: MyKuali White Fish Broth Noodle – Malaysia
When the folks at MyKuali sent me this I wasn’t sure what to expect. They bowled me over in 2013 with their Penang White Curry, still a perennial favorite in my home, alongside their Hokkien Prawn and Penang Red Tom Yum Goong offerings – all previous top ten shortlisters. This is a departure as it is not with a high focus on spiciness. The noodles are the same – great texture and plumpness. The broth is much like a fish chowder – with a rich aroma and deep flavor. Again, MyKuali satisfies. Original review
#8: Sau Tao Tom Yum Kung Flavour Ramen – Hong Kong
Tom Yum – wait, Hong Kong? Not Thailand? I know that’s what you’re saying, but hear me out. This one marries a straight noodle with just a perfect gauge and softness along with a rich and robust tom yum. The flavors burst with crisp notes of lemongrass, tomato, and a little spiciness. What’s more, they have this seasoning in a myriad of noodle pairings like ho fan, rice vermicelli and more – however this is my absolute favorite. Original review
#7: Mom’s Dry Noodle Dan Dan Noodle – Taiwan
Dried in the beautiful sun of Tainan, these non fried noodles impart an exquisite texture and chewiness. The flavor is very complex – sweet, salty, spicy, savory – all of the best aspects of Taiwanese food come through in these. This is yet another example of a mastery of simplicity that I’ve come to expect and truly appreciate from Taiwan as well as Mom’s Dry Noodle over the years. Original review
#6: Prima Taste Singapore Curry Wholegrain La Mian – Singapore
This one has been on the list for years in its wholegrain version and was on the list with their regular version before that. The noodle is chewy and hearty – never gritty as wholegrain can often seem. These noodles are paired with a thick broth, full of exotic spices and herbs as well as an enormous sachet of coconut milk powder. Delightful and delicious. Original review
#5: A-Sha Gourmet Braised Beef Noodle Soup – Taiwan
A broad Taiwanese noodle is bathed in a very flavorful beef broth. A dash of green garnish. Then there’s the beef, which is very succulent and savory. It is a very nice representation of what is quite possibly Taiwan’s most revered dish, beef noodle soup. They also make an even more premium variety which contains Wagyu beef which is released of special holidays such as Lunar New Year, but this one’s my favorite. Original review
#4: Red Chef Green Tom Yum Soup Noodles (New Formulation Dec 2019) – Malaysia
A constant of Malaysian cuisine is improvement. You might visit a hawker stall you visited last week and they’ve changed a recipe. This is also true for the noodle companies. This new version includes the same great noodles, however the broth has changed a little – more prawn flavor. Just a neat bowl of noodles to behold and a flavor that really satisfies. Original review
#3: Samyang Foods Carbo Buldak Topokki – South Korea
Samyang has been making so many different varieties of their ever popular Buldak line of products. The spicy stuff has taken hold, that’s for sure. This one has their tasty Carbo – short for carbonara – paired with a chewy noodle and also including topokki! Topokki is like a tube made from rice flour which are chewy. If this one’ s a little too spicy for you, try adding a little cream cheese perhaps. It’s seriously good stuff. Original review
#2: Red Chef Spicy Sakura Prawn Soup Rice Vermicelli & Noodles (New Recipe) – Malaysia
Last year’s number two spot was held by this one, except it only had fried noodles. This year, baked noodles and rice vermicelli are paired alongside the prawn broth. The broth has the strongest, sweetest, and oiliest prawn flavor I’ve had and it’s sheer delight – topped off with fried onion, this is sure to blow your mind. Original review
#1: Prima Taste Singapore Wholegrain Laksa La Mian — Singapore
Yet again, Singapore’s Prima Taste nabs the top spot. The artisan feel of the wholegrain noodle is second to none. The broth has a super rich flavor which enrobes the palate in the taste of Singapore. Exotic spices and a hefty sachet of coconut cream powder are responsible. Tastes more like something you’d find from a restaurant than something that boiled on the stove for a scant few minutes. Just as good as can be. Original review
The Ramen Rater Shop
People have been asking where to get a lot of varieties and so I’ve partnered with Exotic Noods to bring you The Ramen Rater Shop. Here you’ll find an expending variety of instant noodles at a pretty decent price. Spend $35 and get free shipping. You’ll be able to try a wide array of varieties and not have to buy a ton of each variety. I really wanted to have a way you could just buy a single pack of two at a time. The same way I do when I visit an Asian grocery.
The All New The Ramen Rater App For Android
The Ramen Rater App for Android has been given a whole new look and functionality. You can scan bar codes to see reviews I’ve done while at the store, peruse the top ten lists, and do simple searches. It’s really great – even a dark mode! Best of all it’s free and currently ad-free.
In memory of Mordechai ‘Motty’ Kopman
On Christmas of 2018, my wife Kit got me a DNA test kit. I had thought it would be interesting to see if I was maybe a tiny percentage Asian. Perhaps that would account for my noodle interests. Well, I wasn’t. But long story short, it turned out my parents had a child that they had put up for adoption over sixty years before I didn’t know about.
In April of 2019, I got to meet my broth Moshe for the first time. He brought me something called a kugel – a Jewish dish that his son Motty had made. Finding out I had a brother and that now I was an uncle was a really life changing for me. Sadly, before his time and before we had the chance to meet, Motty passed due to complications from coronavirus. My heart goes out to my brother and his family and his message to stay safe is an important one. Please follow the guidelines about hand-washing and social distancing – especially for those with compromised immune systems. The more we adhere to these rules the sooner we can all be back together enjoying our lives.