November 16, 2020

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2021 Edition

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2021 Edition

I’ve got to give it to Taiwan. They’ve really done well with the pandemic, that’s for sure. Just another reason why I love that place; I’ve visited twice and hope I get to again soon. People there are nice, Lots of interesting things going on, and of course… the food! This list is born out of controversy – in 2013 when Taiwan wasn’t on my annual top ten, their media took notice and they got mad. So, I decided to try some ‘noodle diplomacy’ and asked companies to send some samples and they did – and they have been for years now. All sorts of neat innovations, unique styles, and more. If you have a company or a favorite variety you’d like me to review, contact me. Also, I invite everyone to join the Instant Noodles – The Ramen Rater group on Facebook – a large community of people who enjoy noodles and share their thoughts on them. Let’s check out this years shortlist of my favorites from this beautiful and fascinating place.

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2021 Edition

Video Presentation

A short video slideshow of the winner of The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2021 Edition.

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2021 Edition

#10: TTL Pickled Vegetable Beef With Hua Diao Liquor

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition

This one I enjoyed immensely – lots of noodles, but the broth was the show stopper. The combo of the liquor and the rich beef broth was very savory. Add vegetables and real beef from the retort pouch and there’s why it’s on this list. Original review

#9: Little Couples Dry Noodle – Onion

The noodles were boiled six minutes. They had a very thick gauge and a sturdy chew. The sauce didn’t seem like it was going to coat evenly however this was some of the most flavorful onion dry noodle I’ve had to date. Just fantastic and I decided diet be damned and savored every bite. Original review

#8: Shin Horng Lukang Thin Noodles Ginger & Sesame Oil Flavor

#7: Shin Horng Lukang Thin Noodles Ginger & Sesame Oil Flavor

A very recent review. Found this at a local store and the combo of ginger and sesame was intriguing. Take a thin noodle and combine it aptly with the aforementioned flavors and there you go. Very tasty ginger and sesame are in the forefront and it’s just plain umami incarnate. Original review

#7: Tseng Noodle Scallion With Sichuan Pepper Flavor

#6: Tseng Noodle Scallion With Sichuan Pepper Flavor

A wide noodle with scalloped edges. These have the bonus of a thin edge and thicker center, giving a delicate as well as hearty aspect. The flavor is very good – a soy bump, some onion hit, then the Sichuan pepper oil. It all works together magnificently. Original review

#6: Hi-Lai Foods Lai Noodle

The noodle comes out just perfectly with a very hearty chew and quality. The flavor is wonderful – notes of Sichuan peppercorn intermingle with soy and this charming Vegan mince that has a sweetness that lingers around the palate and then ducks in and out. Everything I love about Taiwanese dry noodle with a unique addition. Original review

#5: Three Meters Pepper Sesame Belt Noodles

These were just excellent – super-wide noodle with a decent quantity. Pair that with a nutty paste and a peppery taste as well. Reminds me a little of Biang Biang with a different tack. Original review

#4: Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Chicken

#5: Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Chicken

This bowl, in fact, is two bowls. One you steep the noodles in. The second? Drain the broth from the first by poking holes in the lid and pour into it. The noodle is accompanied by a spicy green curry and chunks of vegetable and real chicken. The broth slurping soup worked well too. Original review

#3: Mom’s Dry Noodle Sichuan Spicy Duck Blood Bean Vermicelli

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2021 Edition

This one is a seriously innovative and unique newcomer to the Taiwan list. A spicy broth with nice vermicelli is met with coagulated duck blood. Not just a little, but a lot of it. If you’ve never had it, I can say it’s very rich with a thick custard like consistency. Really pleased with this one – an ingredient you don’t see often in an instant variety. Original review

#2: Mom’s Dry Noodle Dan Dan Noodle

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2021 Edition

The noodles came out with a very nice chew. They aren’t mushy whatsoever and have a confident backbone. The flavor is very good as well. The notes of sesame, Sichuan pepper oil, Sichuan pepper in the dry mix, sesame sauce as well as soy sauce all work together and play well with each other; nobody’s feet get stepped on. Simple yet complex. Original review

#1: A-Sha Gourmet Braised Beef Noodle

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2021 Edition

For a long time, I’ve really enjoyed this style of noodle from Taiwan. It’s wide, with a center line which is thicker, and the sides are thinner – which gives them a very unique and wonderful mouthfeel. I’ve also always thought that these would just sing is in a broth (usually they are presented with a combination of sauces but no broth). The soup is rich with a strong beef flavor and hint of Sichuan peppercorn that do not overwhelm. The nice part is the inclusion of real beef in here. It should be noted that there is a special version of this that comes out during Lunar New Year which includes Wagyu beef – very expensive at a whopping $15USD per serving!, but very tasty as well. Original review

Honorary Mention: PLN Food Co. Ltd.

I have had the fortune to be contacted by a company this year that makes frozen varieties in Taiwan and shipped me samples at great cost to them. I can happily say that these are absolutely wonderful varieties – the noodles are succulent and the flavors just amazing. If you happen to be in Taiwan, I highly recommend trying these – they cook up fast and taste great! Original reviews

News & Updates

Changes To Instant Noodle Recipe Time

Due to constraints to my time as my children are doing school online, I’ve had to split Instant Noodle Recipe Time into two shows. INRT now is a short format video cooking presentation. I have now started episodes of Walking & Talking With The Ramen Rater, where I chat about what I’m up to and am joined by special guests from time to time. Check them both out on YouTube. Eventually when they’re back to school, the show will return to it’s original format. You can help by continuing to wear a mask, limit gatherings, and get the vaccine when it becomes available! Thank you!