Tag Archives: 2014

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2014 Edition

Welcome to the 2nd annual The Ramen Rater’s top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time – the 2014 edition. In the last year, I’ve tried a slew of new varieties from Taiwan that were just amazing. Really discovered some great new products that I think everyone should try! What’s special this time is that I’m actually going to be in Taiwan during a layover on my trip to Malaysia! Figured I’d put this out a week early as it’ll be quite hard to post when I’m overseas. This is a list comprised of the best of the best of the 127 different varieties of instant noodles that I’ve tried that were made in Taiwan. As a side note – I’m also going to be traveling through Singapore and then my destination of Malaysia – there will be top ten lists for those two countries coming as well as soon as I’ve reviewed enough varieties to have a wide sampling. I’ve done just over 40 from each so far. With that, let’s have a look at the best noodles I’ve tried from Taiwan!

#10: A-Sha Dry Noodle Mandarin Noodle – Onion Oil Sauce

The noodles are exquisite in that they have a wonderful chew and just plain make me want more. The flavoring is top-notch in this one – a strong and sweet onion flavor with sesame and soy notes . A masterpiece of simplicity. #6 in 2013. Original review

#9: Deshome Aloe Noodle Red Onion & Sesame Sauce

Wide, flat noodles infused with aloe. The aloe is farmed by the company as well. They’re non-fried; dried in the hot sun! They have a freshness and texture that it really amazing. The red onion and sesame flavors intermingle nicely. #5 in 2013. Original review

#8: Amianda Noodle Tachia Dried Noodles – Rou Zhao Meat Sauce

The noodles are spectacular – elastic and perfect chewiness. The flavoring is awesome! Has a sweet and salty braised pork flavor that is just out of this world. #4 in 2013 Original review

#7: Unif Man Han Feast Sichuan Chili Eel Flavor Instant Noodle

The noodles are flat and broad. They have a nice quality to them; not too chewy but very good for a bowl noodle. The broth is rich with a good spiciness. The added bonus with this is the eel – it’s really good! Everything is rich and hearty and it’s definitely a feast to behold and consume. #3 in 2013. Original review

#6: Deshome Aloe Noodle With Basil Sauce

The basil flavoring goes extremely well; reminds me of marinara but different. I am continuously impressed by how Taiwanese noodles that I’ve tried recently don’t contain a huge list of ingredients but rather they take an avenue of simplicity that works so nicely. This one is excellent – bravo! #2 in 2013. Original review

#5: A-Sha Dry Noodle QQ Thin Noodle – BBQ Sauce

These noodles are great! Very light and thin and honesty they seem to be happy. It’s a perfect balance of texture and delicateness. They definitely are wonderful to chew. The BBQ sauce? Well, this isn’t what most would think of when you say BBQ sauce – it’s not the 99 cents a bottle stuff at the local grocery store. Instead, it’s a very enjoyable and tasty flavor with nice depth. Soy sauce, garlic, a slight spiciness and other flavors are represented in a wonderful flavor that doesn’t have the usual American ‘slather’ BBQ sauce feel. This is excellent. #1 in 2013. Original review

#4: Deshome Sun Dried Noodle Chlorella Powder Noodle With Curry

This unique noodles really got me. First off, they’re green – really green! They had a nice texture and an amazing curry flavor that was truly great. As most of you know, I’m a big curry fan and it’s sweetness and rich taste were just spot on. Original review

#3: Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor

It’s amazing how sometimes when I do a top ten list, some of the best ones are right before the cutoff for my list! I tried this one a week or so ago and let me just say – wow. The noodles are of an excellent quality and texture with a perfect chewiness. The flavor is well balanced with not too much saltiness but definitely not bland; it’s rich and delectable stuff. Original review

#2: Chering Chang Curry La-Men

This is the first variety I’ve tried of this brand and if the others they make are anything like this, they’re going to be doing very well with my reviews! The noodles are of a standard instant noodle gauge but have a very fresh feel to them. The curry broth is a wonderful sweet curry with a excellent richness to it. The included vegetable sachet was a show stopper on this one, with everything hydrating to perfection and a really ample quantity. Original review

#1: Mom’s Dry Noodle Sichuan Spicy Flavor

After trying their Onion Oil & Shrimp, I couldn’t wait to try this one – and it was a real treat as well. What sets this one apart are the noodles. Sun dried and with a perfect texture and thickness. They’re absolutely amazing. As for the flavor, it comes together via three sachets: mushroom oyster sauce, sesame oil and chilli paste. The heat is ample and so wonderfully balanced with the sesame and oyster sauce. The clear winner this year. Original review

Thanks for reading! By the way, please take a moment and vote for The Ramen Rater for Best Food Blog In Western Washington – it is highly appreciated! Thank you!

 

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles Of All Time 2014 Edition

THE TOP TEN SPICIEST INSTANT NOODLES OF 2015 HAS BEEN RELEASED, REPLACING THIS LIST – SEE IT HERE

If you like it hot, you’re in for a real treat here. These are the spiciest instant noodles you can get that I’ve reviewed from my 1,446 reviews thus far. If you can’t handle spicy foods, these definitely aren’t for you – these are serious! Many of these were so hot, I couldn’t finish the bowl – and I can handle a decent amount of heat! I used to review hot sauces! Anyways, Hope everyone is having a great summer and here are the spiciest instant noodles of all time for 2014!

#10: Nongshim Harmony Korean Spicy Noodle Dish With Chipotle – United States

This unique instant is very new and quite spicy. What’s interesting about is that you can serve it hot or cold, but the spiciness is going to bite you either way! This is the only variety I’ve found featuring chipotle pepper heat. Original review

#9: Mamee Mi Segera SLLRRRP! Perencah Kari Xtra Pedas – Malaysia

The noodles are good – plump with a nice chewiness. The broth is very spicy and hot – not for the faint of heat! It has a good curry flavor to it. If you like spicy curry, check this one out. By the way, Kari Xtra Pedas means extra hot curry if you couldn’t figure that out! Original review

#8: Maggi Extra Spicy Curry Instant Noodles – Singapore

2014_8_4_tts_008Maggi 2 Minute Curry is a nice instant with a little bit of heat, and with the demand for more hotness, they made this new variety. Extra Spicy Curry has a really great flavor to it and a heat that will definitely challenge many. Original review

#7: MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle – Malaysia

2014_8_4_tts_007When MyKuali’s White Curry Noodle hit this list last year, there was a bit of a craze for it in Malaysia! People really wanted to give it a try. Not only is it retaining it’s spot this year on the spicy list, but it is the reigning number one on The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2014 list. If you can, you have got to try this spicy marvel! Original review

#6: Indomie Curly Noodle With Chicken & Chilli Paddi – Indonesia

This one’s a lot of fun; kind of like Russian roulette on a plate! You’re eating your noodles and all of a sudden wham! There’s usually a couple of these little chillies in there and they pack an extreme punch. You’ll definitely know it when you find it! Original review

#5: emart Dare You! Habanero Jjamppong – South Korea

Extreme heat is paired with nice bit of seafood broth and lots of bits of seafood. All the fire and flavor melded together with thick ramyun noodles make it hot as well as delicious. This one comes in at 1,960 SHU (Scoville Heat Units). Original review

#4: Paldo Teumsae Ramyun – South Korea

On the list for three years now! Another South Korean ramyun with serious kick to it. This isn’t to be trifled with!  Teumsae has restaurants in South Korea which serve up some seriously spicy fare. I really like the text underneath the word Teumsae which reads, ‘Flavor. Culture. Human’ Original review

#3: Samyang Foods Buldalk Bokkeummyeon – South Korea

I would say that I’ve seen dozens of videos of YouTube showing people competitively eating this one. This stuff is extremely hot. Another brothless variety and it really packs a punch as well as has a nice taste to it. Thick ramyun noodles round everything out nicely and will transmit the spicy sauce to your tongue. Original review

#2: Paldo Bulnak Bokkummyun Spicy Fried Octopus Ramyun – South Korea

See that little octopus on the package with the smile on his face? He’s laughing. Laughing as he watches you sweat as you eat this ultra spicy ramyun! I’m not kidding this one was over the top spicy! Bring a fire extinguisher. Original review

#1: emart Dare You! Habanero Ramyun – South Korea

For the third year running, this stuff tops the list. See the little guy in the top right? Yeah – it’s not one to underestimate; this is violently hot. The broth just keeps delivering the heat and it’s just insane. Try licking a lit candle – I swear this stuff is hotter! Original review

Top Ten 2014 Re-Review: Prima Taste Singapore Laksa La Mian

There’s a reason there are three Prima Taste products are on the top ten list – they’re amazing. Two big sachets with serious ingredients and noodles that are so nice and tasty. I’ve really enjoyed the products they’ve made and hope they make lots of more noodle varieties in the future! Let’s give this one an up close and personal look.

First though, what is laksa? I’m sure most folks in the United States have never heard of it – but that should change as it’s so good!  Wikipedia had this to say:

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan culture, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay elements found in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Short and to the point – and now you know! Let’s continue on.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains crustaceans. To prepare, add the sachet contents to 2 cups of water and mix well. Bring to a boil, add in noodle block and reduce heat. Cook for 7 minutes and enjoy!

The noodle block – round noodles with a wide gauge.

The paste sachet – very large.

Has a strong scent of shrimp and spices.

The dry powder premix sachet.

A light powder – mainly coconut.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added bean sprouts, shrimp, mint, sweet onion and tofu puff. The noodles are nice and chewy with a great gauge and premium feel. The broth is spectacular with a nice heartiness and deep flavor; well-balanced richness and spiciness caress the taste buds lovingly. Wonderful! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 013934067995.

Prima Taste Laksa La Mian, 185g, (Pack of 6)

A TV commercial for Prima Taste Laksa LaMian.

Top Ten 2014 Re-Review: Prima Taste Singapore Curry La Mian

When I first had curry it was when I was a kid. My mom would make curried chicken liver over rice and it was really good. Yep – liver. I really liked some things I don’t think my 8 year old son would touch with a ten foot pole! My mom would use curry powder and it came out really good. Since then, I’ve relished on many, many different curries. I think my favorites by far have been in paste form; there’s such variety and strong flavors that are involved – a true playground for the senses. Let’s have a look and see why this one made the last two top ten lists.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains crustaceans. To prepare, add the sachet contents to two cups of water. Mix well and bring to a boil. Add the noodle block and lower heat. Boil for 7 minutes. Enjoy!

The noodle block. Note how thick the noodles are.

The first of two very large sachets.

The paste has a strong curry scent.

The second sachet – dry powdered ingredients.

Coconutty!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added chicken baked with some garlic salt, tofu puff, sweet onion, mint, bean sprouts and potato. The noodles are round in shape and wide gauged. They have an excellent chewiness and feel and are just wonderrful. The broth is so good – thick and has that excellent curry flavor and a real heatiness, fullness and richness rarely found in a pack of instant noodles. There is a little spiciness, and it works well. This it really good! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 013934067964.

Prima Taste Singapore Curry Lamian Noodles, 26 Ounce

As this one is cooked a little differently, here’s a video showing how to do it – easily prepared.

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Chinese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2014

China: the birthplace of the noodle. Billions of serving of instant noodles are consumed there every year – more than any other country in the world!  I thought today being Chinese New Year (more widely known as Lunar New Year), it would be an opportune time to release a list of my favorite instant noodles that are made in China. These are the most memorable and finest varieties I have enjoyed from China of the 1,290+ I’ve reviewed over the years.

#10: Chencun Noodle Spicy Beef

This variety features rice noodles and a really great spicy beef flavor. I would consider it hearty; something I don’t usually find in a rice noodle based variety. Original review here

#9: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Onion Flavor

This is one of the best onion flavored varieties I’ve ever had. Dragonfly’s noodles are plentiful and of good quality. The onion flavor is full and rich. A bowl I look back on fondly. Original review here

#8: Master Kong Spicy Beef

Spicy beef? You got it! Excellent beef flavor and thick broth along with a slew of great noodles. Original review here

#7: JML Instant Noodle Artificial Stew Beef Flavour

You may be sensing a theme here – beef! What I find most engaging about Chinese beef varieties is that they have this little bit of sweetness that sets them apart from other region’s varieties. This one’s no different and quite enjoyable. Original review here

#6: Uni-President Unif-100 Pickled Cayenne Flavor Beef Ramen

The broth is interesting; it has a sort of beef-vinegar-spicy triumvirate melding together. Usually I’m not a big fan of vinegar and beef, but this worked well. The little peppers? They’re salty and pretty hot. They’re like pickled peppers. Original review here

#5: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Artificial Pork Ribs Flavor

Excellent noodles. The broth has a really nice sweet and meaty flavor – rich and excellent. Original review here

#4: Master Kong Premium Taste Roasted Beef Noodle

Seriously excellent beef flavor in this one. Very rich! Original review here

#3: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Artificial Hot & Sour Shrimp Flavor

Combine full, almost buttery noodles with a broth that has an almost tom yum flavor. Truly unique. Original review here

#2: Dragonfly Artificial Beef Flavor Instant Noodles

Beef again? Yes. Beef is a great flavor and so good in this one. A great beef flavor with an almost bacon like finish. Not only that, the carrot and cabbage hydrate perfectly and add a little crunch. Original review here

#1: Master Kong Potatoes & Stewed Beef Instant Noodles

The broth and noodles come together masterfully and this honestly tastes so good I’m going to say I’m truly sad I don’t have any more of it! It literally tastes like a dish centering on beef and potatoes. I love it. Original review here

Thank you for reading! I hope that if you have a favorite variety from China I’ve not yet reviewed or represent a Chinese instant noodle company that you will contact me. I would definitely like to have a broader base of Chinese varieties to sample and share with the world!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2014 Edition

It’s no secret that I eat a lot of instant noodles. Last year alone, I did 320 new reviews! I’m often asked, “when you aren’t reviewing, what instant noodles do you like to eat?” South Korean ramyun is the answer. In 1963, instant noodles were first introduced to South Korea as ‘ramyun.’ People were a little confused at first; they thought it was a textile! They also weren’t super keen on it being chicken flavored; South Koreans prefer rich beef flavors as opposed to lighter poultry tastes. With a little tweaking, the spicy rich beef noodles synonymous with ramyun were born.  The thick noodles, rich broth and spiciness keep me coming back for more. This list contains my favorites from the 1272 reviews I’ve done thus far. They are all made in South Korea, and many will be hard to find in the United States, if not impossible. With that, here’s my list.

#10: Paldo Cucumber Bibim Men

Regular Bibim Men is quite good, but this has a little extra something. It is a cold variety, great for the summer months and delivers a spiciness and slight sweetness. The cucumber bits hydrate and end up crunchy and refreshing. Original review here

#9: Ottogi Bekse Curry Myon

I’m a big fan of curries from all over the world.  We start with thick ramyun noodles. The broth is rich and luxuriant with a nice deep curry flavor. The little potato pieces (a rarity in the instant noodle realm) are very welcome and give it a little extra comfort food appeal. Original review here

#8: Paldo Namja Ramyun

A spicy premium ramyun variety. The noodles are thick and chewy and the broth has beef, chicken and garlic components. Namja translates to “men’s” or “guy’s.” Strong stuff and quite good. Original review here

#7: Samyang Foods Buldalk Bokkeummyeon

This spicy fried chicken flavored broth-free variety means business! It’s on the Top Ten Spiciest list from 2013 and it really packs a punch! Great noodles and great flavor. Comes with sesame seeds and seaweed as a garnish. Original review here

#6: Paldo Rabokki

Rabokki is a cross between ramyun and ttebokki. Ttebokki is a populat dish which features tube shaped chewy pasta made from rice and usually a thick spicy sauce. Basically, this is ramyun with a ttebokki sauce – and it’s really good! Wish they’d bring this one to the United States! Original review here

#5: HoMyeonDang Premium Noodle House Crab Jjampong

This is a very premium and fancy variety. The noodles are very good with a premium feel to them. The broth has a rich crab flavor augmented with a little sesame oil which gives it a little extra heartiness. The vegetable and crab piece mix rounds it out masterfully. Original review here

#4: Paldo Kko Kko Myun

This one is like a bowl of candy to me. We start with nice quality noodles, and then the broth takes over. The broth has a kind of chicken and jalapeno flavor to it. The flavors play off of each other quite nicely and deliver both a strong bite as well as a mellow comfort food flavor in one bowl. The vegetable packet includes little chicken pieces. Original review here

#3: Paldo Cheese Noodle

I really like cheese added to ramyun. This one already has a cheese flavor packet with it – perfect! It’s got a spicy broth which is pretty common of South Korean instant ramyun, but once you add the cheese powder packet, the broth takes on a different tack. It softens the blow of the heat yet maintains a balance where the one doesn’t completely overwhelm the other. Original review here

#2: Samyang Foods Baked Noodle Maesaengyitangmyun

Samyang Foods celebrated it’s 50th anniversary in 2013 – they originally introduced ramyun to South Korea in 1963 (people originally thought it was a textile). They decided to make a new baked noodle line for 2013 as something new. The result is a rich creamy broth with a twist. Maesaengyi is almost like a woven seaweed thread. It is fine and wispy and breaks apart in the broth and gives the broth an added ‘from the sea’ kind of taste, slightly reminiscent of a chowder. The baked noodles smell and taste quite nice. Original review here

#1 Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja Ramyun

This is the fourth time in a different top ten list. Jinjja Jinjja is absolutely wonderful stuff. The noodles are quite nice to begin with – classic gauge and chew. The broth has a strong spiciness couples with a pork flavor. To finish things off, there’s a packet of peanut powder with black sesame seeds. Jinjja Jinjja translates to Really Really – and I really really think this is excellent stuff! Original review here