Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is still in it’s earliest stages. There will be a list coming soon rather than having to dig through everything. Please feel free to email me any and all questions that you would like to see answered here! Contact me at hans@theramenrater.com.

Q: Can I look at a list of all the instant noodles you’ve reviewed that is sortable? Say, by rating or by brand or country or variety, or review number or whether it has been re-reviewed?
A: Yes. People asked me for this for a long time and its finally here! If you go to the Big List page, you can download a spreadsheet where you can check everything out. Don’t worry – there’s a free Excel spreadsheet viewer link there as well.

Q: What is the first instant noodle you reviewed?
A: That’s a tricky one but here… I estimate that the first one I reviewed was this one, Nissin Creamy Chicken.  You’ll notice that that is the 23rd review though. Let me explain! Originally, The Ramen Rater was a simple HTML table with a background and links to the company. I would include a picture of the package, an extremely short review, a rating and not much else. When I got to around 40-50 reviews, I stopped working on the site and literally just let it sit for about 7 years, all the time renewing the domain. During this time I had a website called The Sauce Rater where I reviewed hot sauces. Got up to around 280 varieties and then decided to quit since most of them were the same and I found I enjoyed making my own much better.  In 2009, I decided to attempt to breathe some life into it again. I had been blogging a bit and decided to manually put it on Blogger. It was kind of nice; it was very organized and searchable but rather thin on content. In early 2010 I completely dumped Blogger as a platform and adopted WordPress. I think that decision really is what caused this site to flourish (well that and moving to an area with a ton of awesome Asian markets within walking distance). So the #23 issue… Well, the original Ramen Rater site was alphabetical. When I set it up on Blogger manually, I started with the A’s then the B’s and so on to completion. WordPress has an auto-migration tool which allows all posts from different platforms like Blogger to be imported. Wren this happened, the posts were in chronological order, so the first post I put on Blogger was one that started with A, making it the oldest. The #1 post on the current manifestation of The Ramen Rater is by Westbrae, pretty late in the alphabet and most guaranteed not the first I had reviewed. Pretty sure it’s the Creamy Chicken. I would say this post is when the site really ‘came back’ from the ashes. This is when I lived in Anacortes and started reviewing again from my small remodeled garage airplane fuselage shaped garage home. This is where the form of blogging using WordPress started and got to the current form.

Q: I would like to look at all your reviews, starting with #1 – how would I do that?
A: The way to do that is to have a lot of time and then to click here and keep clicking the next newer post button. enjoy! I would also recommend reading the above Q&A about which the first review was.

Q: What’s your deal? Why ramen noodles?
A: Well, I’m legally blind and like to create things. I journal, watch copious amounts of science fiction with my lovely wife Kit, root for the San Francisco Giants, collect calculators… Instant noodles kind of go along with all of that pretty well. My folks introduced me to some great Asian grocery experiences in Seattle at an early ago – Uwajimaya being most memoprable. There’s also a restaurant in Seattle called Sun Ya which I can’t recommend highly enough – dim sum is wonderful stuff! Art, Asian food and a curiosity about the world around me has led me to instant noodle fandom. I also have reviewed hot sauces and for a while ‘skinned’ robots – something that led me to the stage a couple times.

Q: I am in (insert country other than United States here) and I would like to buy some of the noodles.
A: I am not a noodle manufacturer or distributor – I’m a ramen rater – someone who reviews (taste-tests) instant noodles and then gives them a rating. You can email about these kind of things, but unfortunately I probably won’t be able to help you.

Q: How did you get started with this? Do you really eat instant noodles all day every day?
A: Here are a couple good newspaper articles I did – this one and this one – they’ll give you the whole scoop. No I eat other things too of course. Often though, my breakfast and lunch are instant noodles with eggs, oven baked chicken, veggies and other things to round them out.

Q: You put all sorts of things on your noodles, then you give them a rating. Your ratings are invalid.
A: What I do is I taste the broth, veggies (should they occur) and noodles BEFORE they are given a score. What some of you don’t understand is that I do eat these things; I don’t just have one bite and toss it. Usually these are my breakfast and my lunch. Check out the How I Review page for more on this.

Q: I got some of these noodles and they are horrible! Will you refund my money or replace them please?
A: As I said, I am not a distributor or manufacturer of instant noodles. However, I might be able to help you get on the right path to those who do deal with such things.

Q: There are some varieties I have here that you don’t have reviews of yet – can I send some to you?
A: You sure can! Thank you! Many of the reviews on The Ramen Rater wouldn’t be remotely possible if it were not for readers donating. Email me at hans@theramenrater.com for more details.

Q: I represent and instant noodle manufacturer – would you take samples of our product line for review?
A: Definitely – not only that, if you are up for doing a short email interview about your company and send samples, I’ll do a ‘Meet The Manufacturer’ special about your company where I’ll spotlight you for up to 15 consecutive reviews. Email me at hans@theramenrater.com.

Q: I see you have gotten gifts, even a trip once to a noodle manufacturer. Does this change the way you review?
A: I answer to the highest authority I know of. My taste buds.


  1. More and more people are getting on the healthy kick…you should have a top 10 for health that also taste good…are there any with low sodium for example? Also i would like to see a section on your website for what you add to spruce them up. Also is there a top 10 for ones that have big chunks of veggies? most have very little, but i would think in all your reviews you could come up with 10 that have big chunks of mushrooms or other dried veggies??? website is nice, but i could see these improving the quality of your website.

    1. Since people’s idea on healthy varies so much, I leave that to the consumers to decide. As for big chunks of veggies, that would be kind ofcool but not worth the extensive effort required to look through every review I’ve ever done for vegetable size. What constitutes a ‘big veggie?’

      – TRR

    1. n-escio –

      It really depends on the variety I’m reviewing. Sometime I sautee beef or pork, sometimes I just bake and season chicken. Sometimes I will taste the noodles and broth and then add in some beef and boil it with the noodles. Is there a particular review you’d like to know about how I prepared the meat?

      – TRR

  2. Hi there

    I am partial to a good bowl of instant noodles, I love the variety and appreciate the time you have put into reviewing many brands

    Unfortunately though, my digestive system doesn’t handle MSG well. I get stomach cramps and worse on about 75% of occasions when having instant noodles and if I am unlucky with a cheap chinese restaurant/takeout

    Do you have a list of instant noodles that contain no MSG? I know it is a push since it is an essential ingredient for such an item, but I guess if anybody knew, it would be you



  3. I think some of the Korean ramens you review should be directly imported from Korea. They are often the ones made in China, which is very different from the one they make in Korea.

    1. I completely agree – and yeah they have factories all over. Each factory has it’s own recipe for the local population, and the ones in China seem very different from the ones made in the US as well as South Korea. Unfortunately, it is very hard for me to source the South Korean made varieties that are also made here in the USA.

      – TRR

  4. I have some packages of Mr. Noodles 85g and I have looked everywhere for the expiry date. All I can find is the numbers 877 546 3 is that the expiry date?

    1. That’s a tough one – maybe go to the store you got it from and ask them… It could be that the expiration date is only printed on the box they come in? Usually codes like you mention can be converted to the expiration date, but I wouldn’t have a clue how that converts.

      – TRR

  5. Hi, Hans–
    Can ramen noodles be purchased separately? I make my own broth and don’t use the seasoning packets. Which ramen NOODLE is best? Where can I purchase it in the US?
    Thank you.

    1. K –

      Yes most definitely, although straight instant noodles are easier to find in other countries. Usually they come in a big pack with a bunch of bricks in it. I can say one easy to find here it one from South Korea called Ottogi Ramyonsari – literally a block with no seasoning – and good stuff I might add. To be honest, I’d just go to an Asian grocery and look – you’ll find them in there.

      – TRR

  6. I didn’t really know where to post this but I wanted to say this website rocks. Thank you for these reviews, I am a ramen lover myself and can identify with your love for ramen.

  7. Have you found any instant Ramen noodle packs that are gluten free? My husband found out he is gluten intolerant last year. We LOVE Ramen and this is the one area where he would cheat and deal with the consequences later. We’ve tried other soups, mostly containing rice noodles. It’s the snap of the ramen noodle that is missing. Unfortunately, Nongshim Potato noodle contains loads of wheat ingredients, alongside the potato. Have you tried anything like this that is totally wheat-free in the world of ramen?

    1. Leah –

      I think you might have luck with rice noodles. There are lots of kinds – I especially like the Thai Kitchen ones. The thing is that I have no clue as for the gluten content of the seasonings. But yeah – hit up your Asian grocery and look at the rice noodle varieties!

      – TRR

  8. Hi…I have just started trying some dry ramen in packages; however, I have seen articles and heard people talk that dried noodles are not healthy because they contain MSG, Fat, and worse of all some kind of chemicals to keep them from sticking together when you cook them. What do you know about the unhealthy factors of eating packaged noodles?

    1. Marvin –

      As far as I know, there really isn’t anything all that bad about instant noodles; there’s no weird chemical that keep the noodles from sticking together – is you made your own noodles at home and boiled them in water, they wouldn’t stick either. As for the MSG, some people have a reaction to it(look up info on Chinese Restaurant Syndrome) but most of the bad press noodles get is hogwash.

      – TR

  9. Hi Hans,

    Do you ever go out to eat at japanese restaurants that specialize in ramen e.g. Ippudo, Men Oh, etc? (Not sushi restaurants that happen to have ramen on the menu). What do you think of them? Do you still prefer instant ramen compared to these places?


    1. Hi – I get asked this alot. I have only been to one and I found the broth to be pretty salty, but not bad. The thing I like about eating instants is that I can do it all myself. I don’t have any aversion to going to these places you’re mentioning though! Whenever I have the chance, I’ll try more of them. I just went to Malaysia and tried authentic curry and prawn noodle soups that were astounding.

      – TRR

  10. Hi Hans,

    I noticed you said you usually eat instant noodles for breakfast and lunch. Has this caused you to become deficient in anything or caused any other health related affects? I ask because instant ramen tend to be notorious for their high amount of chemicals and processing.



    1. Lilya –

      I can say that I’ve only had one effect from eating instant noodles I didn’t like. In tthe past, I would have two in a day and find myself feeling a little poorly from the sodium. Since then, about a year, I’ve only had one a day for my first meal of the day. I always add something to them (almost always at least). I also take vitamins, fiber, drink plenty of liquid to keep hydrated and have lowered my caloric intake. I also walk every day. In the past three months, I’ve lost over 30 pounds. I would say that the ill feeling I would sometimes get from instant noodles were simply from overconsuming them. Alternately, I decided to have some pizza and ice cream the other night. After having that, I felt absolutely horrible and sick. I slept poorly that night and woke up feeling nasty; almost like a food hangover. I felt unmotivated to go for my regular walk as well. What’s more, I felt like eating more that day. I think that the amount of instant noodles I have daily (1 pack, cup, tray or bowl) works for me.

      – TRR

      1. Hi! I just want to add that to combat the sodium you can try to increase your potassium intake (bananas, supplement, coconut water, etc) because contrary to general belief it’s not really the sodium that matters– what actually matters is the sodium potassium balance.

  11. Hello Hans, I just discovered ramen recently and your website is fantastic and full of great information. I really like the way you add extra ingredients. I have a question though. When you add, for example, bell pepper, onion etc.. do you add these uncooked at the end? Or do you add them to the liquid so they cook for a few minutes? Or would you stirfry them foirst then add them to the noodles? There is so much great experimenting to be done with ramen!
    Kindest thanks


    1. Dean –

      Hey glad you like the site! I do the veggies in different ways. When I do it with a broth noodle soup, I cook the broth and noodles and then after I’ve tasted them, I add the veggies and let them cook in with everything. If it’s a brothless variety, I’ll boil them and then drain and stir in or like this last week, I sautee them with other stuff like beef. Since you’re not reviewing ramen and don’t have to sample the base product every time before adding things, I’d boil water and add the seasonings and the veggies and then dump in the noodles.

      Welcome to the world of ramen and instant noodles!

      – TRR

  12. Hi there – yes as a matter of fact I have on many occasions. If you look at The Big List under the Resources tab, there’s a column where the re-reviews are. I have the most current rating in the rating column. My early reviews from ten years ago were very short and my palate has definitely changed.

    – TRR

    1. That’s a good question but very hard to answer. I would say for me it is easier to make a top ten list of my favorites – and I have one – click on the top ten tab. I would say right now that Korean brands make my favorites right now, but in the past it’s been Indonesian. It really depends on what I’m in the mood for. Tough to pick a fave out of 900+ reviews!

      – TRR

  13. where do you find these noodles/where do you buy them? I’d like to know where I could buy ‘Paldo Teumsae Instant Noodles With Soup’ and the ‘Namchow Mee Jang Noodle Soup Sour Spicy Chicken’.

    -omnomnom ramen


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