Back in 1986, a South Korean company called Nongshim 농심 (which translates to Farmer’s Heart), introduced a product called Shin Ramyun. Since then it has been one of the most popular varieties around the world. In this post, I’ll do a deep dive into the product – a tear down of the package and it’s contents, my tips of preparation, and some things you might not know about it. While not my favorite variety I’ve tried, chances are it may be yours. I run a group called Ramen Junkies on Facebook and the topic and focus of the bulk of posts on there surround this product.
The Definitive Guide To Nongshim Shin Ramyun Noodles
Shin Ramyun has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but it’s main recipe has stayed virtually the same. You have a thick ramyun style noodle, a spicy broth, and some vegetables in the ‘flakes’ sachet. There are a few variations that I’ve seen over the years. First was Shin Ramyun Black, a version augmented with Sul Long Tang (oxtail soup) flavor, imparting a more savory flavor. Other iterations include a Shin Ramyun Spicy Mushroom flavor, Shin Ramyun Shrimp flavor, Shin Black Onion Flavor, and Shin Red Super Spicy to name a few. Recent addition Shin Light has been introduced, with a non-fried noodle which lowers fat content and calories. You can see all my Shin Ramyun varietal reviews here.
Original Shin Ramyun can be found in pillow packs, multipacks, flats, bowls, and cups. In 2021, sales outisde South Korea hit 53.6% overall – higher than inside South Korea. It’s a very popular product around the world, and very easy to find online as well as in stores.
What’s in a name? Shin is derived from the Chinese character 辛 which means spicy. The name of the founder of Nongshim’s last name is Shin as well.
Here’s some timeline of the product from Wikipedia –
- Shin Ramyun was introduced in October 1986 by Nongshim. The Nongshim R&D team came up with the idea of Sogogijanguk, a cabbage and beef stew, which is one of the most popular traditional South Korean dishes.
- After Shin Ramyun was introduced, Nongshim’s market share hit 46.3% in 1987, and exceeded 50% for the first time in 1988 (53.8%). With the market share of over 20% just by itself, Shin Ramyun is a leading brand of the instant noodles in Korea.
- August 2014, Nongshim revised its recipe for noodle blocks across its line for a chewier consistency, along with a revamped external packaging.
- 2007 Nongshim launched a Kimchi Flavour version of Shin Ramyun.
- 2019 Nongshim launched a non-fried version of its packet noodle which has almost half a reduction on calories.
- 2015, Shin Ramyun achieved 28 billion units sold since it was first introduced. Shin Ramyun is listed on the National Brand Consumption Index (NBCI) as the number 1 brand in South Korea (2012~2016) for its brand awareness and brand power
Here’s a video where I prepare the product, garnish it, and consume it. It should be noted that adding cheese is a popular thing in South Korea. It should also be noted that the use of rice to add to leftover broth is very popular.
The iconic package. This package is produced at Nongshim America’s plant in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Here’s a great video from a tour of the plant you might enjoy. In 2012, my wife and I were invited to visit Nongshim and had a chance to do the tour, seen here. If you live in the United States, this is where you Shin Ramyun is manufactured. It should be noted that there are Nongshim plants in many places – as of 2016, Nongshim has 11 manufacturing plants around the world: Korea (Anyang, Ansung, Asan, Gumi, Busan, Noksan), United States (Rancho Cucamonga, California), China (Shanghai, Qingdao, Shenyang, Yanbian).
To prepare, boil 550ml water. Add in all package contents. Cooking time can range from 4~5 minutes as per package recommendations. Less time allowisfor a more al dente noodle and longer for a softer noodle.
The noodle block. These fit into a small pot quite nicely.
The soup base sachet. This contains a reddish powder which is spicy and savory.
A sachet of vegetables.
Finished (click to enlarge). Shin Ramyun prepared with mushroom, beef, spring onion, processed cheese, raw egg yolk, sesame seed, and crushed red pepper. I usually will mix the egg into the broth which imparts a nice creaminess. Once the noodles are eaten, adding rice is a way to finish things up – if you have room of course – Shin Ramyun is a pretty large serving on its own.
Other Ways To Use Shin Ramyun
Of course, there are other ways to enjoy this product. You can crush the noodles inside the pack and add some of the seasoning. Shake it, and eat it dry as a snack. You can use the seasoning on popcorn. You could make a burger out of it (seen here). I ground up noodle blocks from Shin Light and made ‘bread.’ I’ve also created a Prison Ramen Burrito from Shin Ramyun, albeit not so enjoyable, it was fun.
Nongshin Shin Ramyun Pizza
Prior to baking
Here’s the Nongshim Shin Ramyun Pizza (click to enlarge). This one was a little drier as I didn’t use mung bean sprouts and the seasoning wasn’t a paste but a powder. Cheddar worked well here and a lot of spring onion helped quite a bit. Chashu fit well, but I think perhaps ground beef would be nicer.
A side shot (click to enlarge).
Where Can I Find Nongshim Shin Ramyun?
Chances are, if you look for it, you’ll find it pretty easily. You can get it on Amazon here.
Nongshim Shin Ramyun is most certainly a juggernaut in the instant noodle universe, popular the world over. As I said in opening, in my group, many posts are dedicated to pictures of what people do with it. While not my favorite product in the noodleverse, it is quite good. Many people try it and just stop. I think what’s important is to keep trying new things, at least for me. My favorite variety is the one I haven’t tried yet, be it good or bad. The experience of trying new things is really what I enjoy. Nothing wrong with having a favorite, though!