This is the fourth year of The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time lists. The list definitely has had a lot of movement every year – a good sign as those who produce instant noodles in Taiwan are innovating and producing new styles and flavors all the time! Here are my pick of the tastiest and most memorable Taiwanese varieties from my over 2,000 reviews to date.
A video of this year’s list presented by Hans Lienesch, The Ramen Rater.
#10: 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
#9: 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
#8: 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
#7: Tseng Noodles Rice Noodle Seafood Laksa Flavour
Laksa isn’t something that I would immediately connect with Taiwan, but now I think that’s going to change. This was a really interesting variety to try; the rice noodles have a neat gauge – just a little thicker than their others. The broth was very much on the thick and rich end of things with a nice flavor to it. Luxuriant and aromatic. Original review
#6: Jingqi Aloe Vera Guan Mian Cyanobacteria Noodle With Ginger Oil Sauce
Okay – cyano-what? Cyoanobacteria is often sold as Spirulina – the healthful blue-green algae. The noodles are extremely wide in this one and have a nice softness to them. The flavor was great – a kind of sweet with ginger and salty thing going on here which was absolutely delectable. Original review
#5: A-Sha Dry Noodle Veggie Noodle Baby Grass Noodle With Toona Sauce
The noodles have a very good elasticity to them. They have a broad flat nature and a premium texture and chewiness. The flavor was a soy and something else – the Toona aspect I imagine. It had an earthiness which was subtle and light – just right. I very much liked this; it seemed like something that would pair well with the acidity of tomato and richness of some kind of beef with wine juxtaposition. Original review
#4: 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. #1 in 2014. Original review
#3: Mom’s Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor
The noodles are really primo – excellent gauge and chewiness. They’re thick and have a gourmet quality to them. The flavor is really great. It goes from an initial hit from the black vinegar’s sourness, then mulls around with the heat and almost transforms into a sweetness at a point. It’s a very active flavor that kept my tastebuds fascinated the whole time. Excellent! Original review
#2: A-Sha Dry Noodle Veggie Noodle Tomato Noodle With Vine Ripened Tomato Sauce – Taiwan
The very first Taiwanese instant to make the annual top ten overall list. But there’s no denying – this is absolutely marvelous stuff. The noodles have a great gauge – broad, flat and soft with a light chew. The great part is the tomato flavor – when I opened the sachet of sauce the whole room smelled like fresh tomatoes. Not only that, there’s more than enough sauce to flavor all of the noodles.Original review
#1: Tseng Noodle Scallion With Sichuan Pepper Flavor
This is only the second Taiwanese variety to ever make the annual top ten overall list. These noodles are simply wonderful – wide with a sturdy chew and strong backbone. The flavor is salty and savory with a great hit of Sichuan pepper – hot, but not too hot. Excellence! Special Top Ten Re-Review
The Top Ten Taiwan list is coming late September and a few Taiwanese companies are sending me their latest products ! Let’s see what A-Sha Dry Noodle has to offer!
A note – click to see the other side.
Check it out (click to enlarge)! Three new microwavable tray varieties of A-Sha Dry Noodles! They come in original, spicy and oyster sauce bbq!
I’ve tried the A-Sha Seaweed Snacks before – they’re pretty good. Seaweed with puffed rice in between and a nice little sweetness to them. The spicy one was pretty good – opened it soon as I saw them. I gave one to my son Miles to see if he’d eat it. He took a couple decent sized bites for a 1 year old, however I think he realized it was a little too spicy for him and then proceeded to destroy it. That’s pretty good though – if he didn’t like it he wouldn’t have put it in his mouth at all.
Here’s a couple of big bags of seaweed snacks (click to enlarge)! Thanks to Young, Daisy and everyone at A-Sha! will be reviewing the new tray varieties shortly!
Every year, I review a ton of instant noodles – and every year I come out with quite a few lists. This list tends to change the least of all my lists – I’ve had a lot of spicy instant noodles in my time and just seems like nobody’s getting any spicier products to market. Could be that they don’t want to melt people’s faces off perhaps. Anyways, here’s this year’s list – the spiciest varieties out of over 2,100 reviews. Enjoy – if you dare!
A video presentation of The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles Of All Time 2016 Edition.
#10: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja – South Korea
While still not available in the United States, Jinjja Jinjja is back in South Korea! This one packs a serious punch of heat along with pork, peanut and black sesame seeds. Original review here
#9: JML Emperor Instant Noodles Spicy Chicken – China
I wasn’t expecting this one to be extremely spicy at the outset and then was in for a ride. Very very hot – augmented with a large sachet of coarse chilli peppers. Original review here
#8: 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 here
#7: MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle – Malaysia
MyKuali’s new recipe added a big punch of heat to their already amazing and groundbreaking Penang White Curry Noodle. Thick almost saucelike broth fires up the palate and includes a generous amount of garlic this time. Original review here
#6: Ching’s Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles – India
When I found this one at a local Indian market, I was very enthused. I thought to myself ‘hey, I like garlic!’ I kind of expected a salty, buttery and almost fettucini kind of thing. But no – this innocuous looking plate of noodles was violently spicy! Super hot garlic spiciness just builds and builds! Original review here
#5: Mi E-Zee Perisa Kari Mi Segera – Malaysia
The noodles plumped up well and were nice and springy. The broth – ah, the broth. Here’s the improvement! The curry taste is much stronger (the old version called for 450ml water and this one calls for 400ml) – not only that, the little sachet of chilli pepper flake just puts it over the top. It’s hot – real hot – like walking around the living room as my mouth and lips are burning saying ‘ooh’ repeatedly hot. Original review
#4: Paldo Teumsae Ramyun – South Korea
On the list for four 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 here
#3: Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyeon – South Korea
I would say that I’ve seen dozens of videos on 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 here
#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 here
#1: emart Dare You! Habanero Ramyun – South Korea
For the fourth year running, this stuff tops the list. Despite a packaging design change, you should still heed the warnings; habanero pepper top right corner, temperature gauge and screaming person, black packaging… 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 here
Another one my sister picked up for me in Canada – thanks again! Today, my boy Andy’s feeling a little under the weather, so I thought some Canadian chicken noodles would do him good. Well, I should say my sister sourced them in Canada; the package says they are a product of the United States. I really wonder who private labels these for Walmart. I’m sure someone will let me know! Anyways, let’s see what’s up with this cup.
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but look for yourself. To prepare, add boiling water to fill line and let steep covered for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!
Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).
The noodle block.
Some vegetables from the cup – looks like spring onion, corn and carrot.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added kamaboko and processed cheese. The noodles are a little more hearty – thick and chewy. They hydrated well and there’s a decent quantity. The broth has flavor! Not bland! What is also nice is that it tastes liike chicken! The supplied vegetables hydrated well enough. I think I’m seeing a theme here – Canada should import it’s instant noodles from the United States. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 628915231724.
A fascinating video about the futuristic looking transport systems that Walmart is investigating to bring products to their stores more efficiently.
South Korea has the highest per person consumption of instant noodles in the world. It’s not a surprise that their instant noodle are quite good – usually the noodles (known as ramyun) are thicker and accompanied by a spicy broth. These are my very favorite varieties of South Korean instant noodles – hope you enjoy!
#10: 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
#9: Paldo Jjamppong Seafood Noodle King Bowl
Thick and chewy ramyun noodles are augmented by a broth with a good consistency – a little thickness was very good. Also a slightly sweet, seafood and spicy flavor to it I thoroughly enjoyed. Original review here
#8: Samyang Foods Red Nagasaki Jjampong
The noodles are perfect – what I like to find in ramyun! Thick and chewy. The broth is amazing – an excellent level of heat balanced with a respectable amount of seafood flavor. The added vegetable pieces hydrated quite well. Top notch! Original review
#7: Paldo King Bowl Super Spicy Pan Stirfried Noodle
The noodles are of a good ramyun gauge – lots of them as well. The flavor is a kind of seafood and spicy thing and there’s a sweetness going on as well. The supplied vegetables did great – this was an amazingly good stir noodle! Original review
#6: Nongshim Soon Veggie Noodle Soup
This is the first instant noodle on the top ten to be marketed towards vegetarians. What surprised me about it was the broth had such a full flavor to it; deep and satisfying. The noodles are slightly larger in gauge than your run of the mill instant, which is common of South Korean ‘ramyun.’ Magnificent stuff! Original review
#5: Nongshim Zha Wang (Jjawang) Noodles With Chajang Sauce
The noodles are out of this world – soft and chewy, with a nice width and thickness – very hearty. The sauce coats everything and there’s more than enough of it. It has a rich black bean flavor augmented with peas, cabbage and other veggies. This is the best jjajang I’ve ever tried. Original review
#4: Paldo Cheese Noodle
These noodles – wow. I think the best addition to South Korean ramyun has to be cheese. Well, not only is cheese included here but it’s got just the perfect notes of spiciness and strong, rich flavor. The little guy with the sign that says cheese noodle rocks as well. Original review
#3: Paldo Rabokki Noodle
The noodles plumped up just perfectly – thick and a good chew. The broth is more of a sauce and it’s very rich – spicy and sweet – like an adult version of Spaghetti-O’s which I find delectable. Original review
#2: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja
The noodles are very good – nice thick ramyun. The broth has a seriously spicy kick to it and a very peanut aroma with pork notes. The vegetables hydrated very well. Back with a vengeance! Original review
#1: ChoripDong Hurricane Rice Cake
It’s red. It’s got a thick spicy and sweet sauce. It’s got ramyun. It’s got topokki. This was a real find – Just looking at the picture makes me want some right this instant. The most wonderful big bowl of noodles I’ve ever had. Original review here
Here’s what I had for lunch (click to enlarge). Some Daddy Kari 365 Curry Flavour Instant Noodles (here’s the original review) that were sent by Jerry W. of Malaysia (thanks again!), sweet onion, thin sliced ribeye, a 2 egg omelet with a slice of processed cheese and some Tabasco Jalapeno sauce and a little bit of Dua Belibis chili sauce on top. Really tasty stuff! By the way – I started a new facebook page here. It’s in protest of the ridiculously large amount of election signs everywhere that look so nasty. Like the page if you agree!