Tag Archives: 2017

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Rice Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Now for the third year, I’m coming out with the latest Top Ten Instant Rice Noodles list. Rice noodles have some benefits as opposed to their fried wheat counterparts. First, they’re virtually fat-free. Also, they’re not fried. Rice noodles are gluten-free by nature, although the ingredients in the sachets that come with these varieties might not be. People ask me for a gluten-free list often, but that would be rather difficult as I’d have to pore over every ingredient list on every review to do this. Well, let’s have a look at these great rice noodle varieties – the best instant rice noodles varieties of the almost 2,500 reviews to date!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Rice Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The list’s video presentation.

#10:Vifon Viet Cuisine Bun Rieu Cua Sour Crab Soup Instant Rice Vermicelli – Vietnam

#10:Vifon Viet Cuisine Bun Rieu Cua Sour Crab Soup Instant Rice Vermicelli - Vietnam - The Ramen Rater - instant rice noodles

The instant rice noodles came out of the microwave slightly underdone, but that was easy to look past as by the time I sat down to eat this, they were very good. Light chew, thin gauge. The broth was very, very good – a nice oiliness and crab taste with lots of crab in there and vegetable. Original review

#9: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine – Singapore

#9: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant rice noodles

The instant rice noodles – fettuccine – came out remarkably well. Indeed it is perfectly hydrated. I make a couple cross-cuts with a pair of kitchen scissors to make them easier to work with a fork. The broth is very tasty with a fresh taste of tomato and a bit of spiciness. Moreover, the broth definitely has a seafood feel to it – almost has a slight lemony hint to it. The vegetables hydrated very well and were complimentary. Also,m the shrimp that are included taste good and are of a decent quantity. Original review

#8: Nissin Seafood Flavour Rice Vermicelli – Hong Kong

#8: Nissin Seafood Flavour Rice Vermicelli - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - instant rice noodles

The noodles were slightly thick and chewier than many – and it worked well here; a little heartier. The broth was very good – a milky seafood and butter kind of taste which was absolutely delicious. The included bits included scrambled egg, spring onion, mushroom and seafood which all hydrated perfectly. Well done! – Original review

#7: Mamee Chef Gold Recipe Bihun Kari Seribu Rasa – Malaysia

#7: Mamee Chef Gold Recipe Bihun Kari Seribu Rasa – Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant rice noodles

The Mamee Chef Gold Recipe on the 2015 Edition of the Top Ten Instant Noodles list, but with bihun! The noodles have a slight dryness to them, but the best part is how the broth is so rich and flavorful; it’s like a bowl of Malaysian love. Original review

#6: Ah Lai Penang Favourite White Curry Rice Vermicelli – Malaysia

#6: Ah Lai Penang Favourite White Curry Rice Vermicelli – Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant rice noodles

I found I liked this vermicelli version of their white curry better than their wheat noodle variety! I don’t think that’s happened before; it’s kind of been a love/hate relationship I’ve had with rice based noodles for years. However, the rich flavor of the broth embraces the noodles and enrobes them in curry happiness. Original review

#5: MeeKuali Bihun Sup Rempah Perisa Daging – Malaysia

#5: MeeKuali Bihun Sup Rempah Perisa Daging - Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant rice noodles

The vermicelli came out really good. This and cooked nicely. I made a couple of cross cuts with a pair of kitchen scissors to make the vermicelli more manageable. The broth is great . It’s got a great beef flavor and definitely full of spices. Moreover, it has the thickness I like. The shallots pull it together well – crisp and tasty. Original review

#4: Tseng Rice Noodle Seafood Laksa Flavour – Taiwan

#4: Tseng Rice Noodle Seafood Laksa Flavour - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant rice noodles

The noodle was great – a little thicker than the other rice noodle varieties from Tseng. A little heartier which worked well here. The broth was a luxuriant sea of deep orange with a good coconut body. The flavor was not extremely strong in this one, but it was satisfying and quite good. Impressed at this being a Laksa coming from Taiwan. Original review

#3: MAMA Instant Rice Noodle Soup Spicy Shrimp Flavour – Thailand

#3: MAMA Instant Rice Noodle Soup Spicy Shrimp Flavour – Thailand - The Ramen Rater - instant rice noodles

The noodles are very good – broad in nature and light in chewiness. The broth is really quite good – it has a spicy, lemongrass flavor with a nice shrimp hit, plus a sweetness as well that I wasn’t expecting. The little shrimp are in there as well, which hydrated quite nicely. Very pleased indeed! Original review

#2: MyKuali Penang Red Tom Yum Goong Rice Vermicelli Soup – Malaysia

#2: MyKuali Penang Red Tom Yum Goong Rice Vermicelli Soup - Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant rice noodles

The vermicelli came out nice – not too chewy and very plentiful. I used a pair of kitchen scissors to make 3 cross cuts in order to make them more manageable with a fork. The broth is a sea of flavor. So it has a strong lemongrass presence coupled with a serious spiciness. The shrimp taste is strong here and the broth is thick – really thick. The included garnish was excellent and hydrated perfectly. Original review

#1: MyKuali Penang Hokkien Prawn Soup Rice Vermicelli (Bihun) – Malaysia

#1: MyKuali Penang Hokkien Prawn Soup Rice Vermicelli (Bihun) – Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant rice noodles

The bihun as hydrated really well for something steeped. The broth is mind blowing. If you like a thick and serious onslaught of prawny sweetness and heat, this is absolutely for you. It’s so rich and strong and tasty! To top it all off, fried onion bits that are the best I’ve ever had in any instant product – other than the wheat noodle package version of this product. Amazing! Original review

The Ramen Rater’s Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The Ramen Rater's Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

So today it’s the fifth annual The Ramen Rater’s Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time. On my other lists, I exclude varieties that no longer are on the market. On this list, everything’s fair game for the bottom ten. As I say in the video presentation, if you like some of these, there’s nothing wrong with you – I just find these detestable personally. These are my least favorite varieties of the over 2400 varieties posted to date. Without gurther ado, the bottom ten.

The Ramen Rater’s Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The full list video!

#10: Roland Ramen Japanese Style Quick-Cooking Alimentary Paste With Chicken Artificially Flavored Soup Base – United States

The Ramen Rater's Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Honestly, I expected this to be a kind of ‘run-of-the-mill’ variety. I review based on the base product as well as the provided cooking directions. Well, they call for 3 cups of water and they’re violently bland. In the nutrition facts, they mention that this pack contains 3 servings! I’m guessing this is so they can say the sodium level is low? I’m unsure. What I’m sure of is that I really disliked these. Original review

#9 – Sichuan Guangyou Sweet Potato Instant Noodle Braised Spicy Chitterling Flavor – China

The Ramen Rater's Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The sweet potato thread was alright, but very gloppy. The flavor was kind of brutal; indeed, too strong for me. I think the soup direction might have been better. What’s more, the powder sachet contents didn’t work well as the peas didn’t hydrate whatsoever. Original review

#8 – Maruchan Spicy Tomato Salsa Ramen – Japan

The Ramen Rater's Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles hydrated very nicely and have a standard flatness and thin character. The flavor was unfortunately something of a departure. It was a kind of spicy and putrid tomato melange – like homemade salsa left out overnight from binge drinking with a crew of chainsmokers – which just tastes like pure trainwreck. The bits of potato were interesting and hydrated well enough though – kind of liked that they had potato skins on. But yeah – this was just a fusion that should come undone. Original review

#7: Vedan Wei Wei A Instant Noodles Chicken Flavor – Taiwan

The Ramen Rater's Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles were very ho-hum. While they hydrated well, they seemed like they just didn’t belong in the ‘food’ group; spongy and riddled with sadness. As for chicken flavor, that was definitely absent. I was really happy about the vegetables, but they were mushy. Original review

#6 – Master Kong Artificial Abalone Crab Flavor Instant Noodle – China

The Ramen Rater's Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles were alright – plentiful too. Nothing to write home about. What is to write home about is the flavor. Write a warning letter home! I mean this was just plain funky; seemed initially like a crab stick kind of scent and essence but it just turned into this not food kind of taste that I just couldn’t stomach whatsoever. Couldn’t pour this down the drain fast enough. Original review

#5 – Koyo Reduced Sodium Garlic & Pepper Ramen – United States

The Ramen Rater's Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles are thick – more like ramyun. They have an alright chew; although they seem almost doughy- and not Hakata style ramen noodle doughy. The broth does taste of garlic and pepper, but it’s so very bland. It really is like you could boil some pepper and a clove of garlic and achieve the same results. Not at all to my liking. Original review

#4 – Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Black Bean – United Kingdom

The Ramen Rater's Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles in this one were flat instead of round. They came out very nicely. The flavoring however was just strange. I expected maybe something of a Korean-Chinese fusion dish, but those are hearty and rich and not savory and sweet. In fact, this one was a little too sweet for me. The thinly sliced bamboo shoots don’t work for me either; leaving them whole would be nicer I think. What’s more, it has a kind of chemically aftertaste; like chlorine or soap. Original review

#3 – One Dish Asia Japanese Ramen Noodle – United States

The Ramen Rater's Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

This one comes with a fresh noodle pouch. They didn’t have a very fresh texture; more mushy. The bamboo shoots (which more resembled overcooked carrot and I had to consult the ingredients to figure what they were) were mushy as well. The broth had an acidic and a flavor reminiscent of the teriyaki flavor I’ve encountered in bad teriyaki instant flavors. A hot mess. Original review here

#2 – Baijia Single Noble Black Bone Chicken Flavor Instant Sweet Potato Noodles – China

The Ramen Rater's Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

I was told by a guy from the company that this indeed was believed to be medicinal and helpful to women having their ‘time of the month.’ I’m also been told by a reader that people generally don’t like black bone chicken soup even in China. Very slimy sweet potato noodles, thick, greasy broth and horrid veggies that didn’t hydrate well was just a flavor, texture, and complete food hole nightmare for me. This was just horrible stuff that I couldn’t stand. Original review

#1 – Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Pad Thai Noodle Soup – United States

Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Wow – where do it begin. Well, first off when one in the United States thinks of Pad Thai, they think of what they might find at a domestic Thai restaurant. Okay so the rice noodles came out nicely – short, flat and broad and well hydrated. Now for the broth. Thin. Nothing like pad thai. Has a little lime taste and a kind of herbed taste. The floating bits of tofu are a lot like the marshmallows you get in the hot chocolate that comes with marshmallows. This is as far from pad thai as I can even express in words. It’s like someone gave a broken description of pad thai to someone who has short term memory problems and no taste buds a week prior and told them to make it. I kind of feel personally violated and offended. A new #1 on the Bottom Ten. Original review

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2017 Edition

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2017 Edition

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2017 Edition is a list of the best bowls I’ve tried of the over 2400 reviews posted to date. Bowls are interesting insofar as they often contain extra things, since there is more room for sachets, spoons, fork, etcetera. As always, I implore instant noodle manufacturers to contact me – I would love to review your products and all it costs is sending some samples and your time! So sit back, grab a bowl, some hot water, peel back the lid, stir – and enjoy!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2017 Edition

A video presentation of the list.

#10 – JML Spicy King Bowl Noodle Spicy Chicken Noodle – China

#10 – JML Spicy King Bowl Noodle Spicy Chicken Noodle – China The Ramen Rater instant noodle bowls 2017 top ten

The noodles as usual plumped up nicely as they engorged themselves on the broth. good gauge, good chew. The broth is definitely strong and worthy of the top ten spicy list – it means business! Sichuan chilli heat is abundant. The oiliness is great and the hydrated vegetable bits are good as well – a tasty spicy bowl. Original review

#9 – Seven & I (Nissin) Gold Sumire Ramen – Japan

#9 – Seven & I (Nissin) Gold Sumire Ramen – Japan The Ramen Rater instant noodle bowls 2017 top ten

The noodles are thick and chewy – very premium. The broth has a very rich miso flavor that had a little thickness and a nice oiliness. The vegetables and bits hydrated perfectly – nice bits of ground meat and menma float happily about and are of good quality. Original review

#8 – Tokushima Seifun Yakibuta Ramen – Japan

#8 – Tokushima Seifun Yakibuta Ramen – Japan The Ramen Rater instant noodle bowls 2017 top ten

The broth has a nice saltiness and soy flavor with just a little touch of sweetness. The pork flavor finds it’s way into the broth as well which is spectacular. The pork has a nice sweetness and ‘fall off the bone’ texture to it which is pure delicacy. The army of decent sized slices of narutomaki were amazing, and the spring onion and bamboo shoots were perfect. A bowl of amazing taste and quality. Original review

#7 – Nissin Raoh Rich Soy Sauce Flavor – Japan

#7 – Nissin Raoh Rich Soy Sauce Flavor – Japan The Ramen Rater instant noodle bowls 2017 top ten
Raoh’s noodles are great – premium and chewy. The broth is thick and rich with a strong shoyu taste which satisfies. The garnish includes a nice slice of chashu pork. Original review

#6 – Uni-President Man Han Feast Braised Pork Flavor Instant Noodles Bowl – Taiwan

#6 - Uni-President Man Han Feast Braised Pork Flavor Instant Noodles Bowl - Taiwan The Ramen Rater instant noodle bowls 2017 top ten

First, the noodles have a little bit thicker a gauge than most instant varieties. Indeed they are premium although a slight bit softer than one might expect. The broth is a sea of rich pork flavor – different than many. As a matter of fact, this really REALLY has a nice pork flavor; most pork varieties don’t have a great pork taste as the pork taste they do have get overshadowed by saltiness. The vegetables hydrated well and the pork was very good. Original review

#5 – Uni-President Man Han Feast Super Hot Pot Beef Flavor Instant Noodles – Taiwan

#5 - Uni-President Man Han Feast Super Hot Pot Beef Flavor Instant Noodles - Taiwan The Ramen Rater instant noodle bowls 2017 top ten

So the noodles are broad and flat with a light chew and an excellent quantity. The broth is a tour de force of beef taste. It has a good thickness/oiliness to it as well as a good flavor. Indeed as expected, there’s a decent punch of spiciness. Indeed, the chunks of beef are of good size and quality. Moreover, the liquid with the beef in the retort pouch add depth to the broth. Finally, little rings of chilli pepper are here and there, joining the party. Original review

#4 – TTL Sesame Oil Chicken With Rice Wine Noodle – Taiwan

#4 - TTL Sesame Oil Chicken With Rice Wine Noodle - Taiwan The Ramen Rater instant noodle bowls 2017 top ten

TTL stands for Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor and indeed there’s a sachet of rice wine in here! Add to that a big retort pouch full of decent sized chunks of chicken, good noodles and garnish, This is definitely a bowl to seek out and try. Original review

#3 – Choripdong Hurricane Rice Cake Topokki – South Korea

#3 – Choripdong Hurricane Rice Cake Topokki – South Korea The Ramen Rater instant noodle bowls 2017 top ten
It’s red. It’s got a thick spicy and sweet sauce. Chewy ramyun noodles. It’s got topokki. This was a real find – Just looking at the picture makes me want some right this instant. One of the most wonderful bowls of noodles I’ve ever had. Slipping from first place last year. Original review

#2 – Nissin Gyoretsu-no-Dekiru-Mise-no-Ramen (Shrimp Tantanmen) – Japan

#2 – Nissin Gyoretsu-no-Dekiru-Mise-no-Ramen (Shrimp Tantanmen) – Japan The Ramen Rater instant noodle bowls 2017 top ten

Talk about amazing. Now, on most of these bowls, you’ll notice I’ve added my own garnishes. I don’t count them in my reviewing – everything is reviewed prior to any additions I make. This is one where I’ve added nothing and just look at it! This one had very good noodles to start off. The broth was a very thick prawn infused decadent flavor spectacle. Then there’s the little crunchy topping and the other garnish they provide and this is just amazing stuff. Wow. Floored. Original review

#1 – Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Instant Noodle – Taiwan

#1 - Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Instant Noodle - Taiwan The Ramen Rater instant noodle bowls 2017 top ten

Wow – I’m so freaking impressed with this one. First, there are two bowls. Peel back the lid of the first bowl and add boiling water. After a short time, you poke holes in the lid and drain the liquid into the second. A sachet of soup base is added and you have a soup with lots of corn and herbs. Next, a huge sachet with chicken and vegetables boasts a great spicy green curry flavor which mixes with the noodle. A really amazing product. Original review

The Ramen Rater’s 6th Annual Momofuku Ando Day

The Ramen Rater's Sixth Annual Momofuku Ando Day

Every year, I celebrate the life and innovative achievements of Momofuku Ando, the inventor of the instant noodle. This year, I thought it’d be neat to show different varieties of Cup Noodles, a global brand that celebrated its 45th anniversary last year.

Cup Noodle (or Cup Noodles) were realized while Mr. Ando was travelling. He noticed businessmen adding chunks of instant noodles to their coffee cups, filled with boiling water. This concept reaches a new level by creating noodle blocks that go into the cup and are elevated slightly. Boiling water is introduced and the space above and below the block allow the boiling water to reach all surfaces of the noodle, making them prepare evenly.

In this video, I take a look at six different Cup Noodles varieties from around the world as well as a recipe for yakisoba using Nissin Yakisoba from Japan.

Nissin Yakisoba – Japan

Nissin Yakisoba with Chashu Pork + Mayonnaise

Finished (click to enlarge). So I made the yakisoba using the standard instruction. Second, I also added some chashu pork and karashi mayonnaise.

To get the mayo to look like this here’s what I do. I take a sandwich baggie and add mayonnaise to one end. On the other, poke three holes in the corner. Squeeze the mayo at one end over to the other. I usually give it a squeeze over the sink to make sure which side it will squirt out of. This saves an epic mess. Finally, I just go back and forth over the noodles and chashu and end up with this effect. Actually, its kind of like a piping gun – this way you can just chuck the baggie in the trash. Specifically its very convenient. Also, if you have any yakisoba that comes with a sachet of mayo, you could poke a push pin in the end.

Happy Momofuku Ando Day to everyone! A great day to thank the man who brought one of our favorite foods into the world!

Announcing ‘The Ramen Rater Select:’ The Ultimate Instant Noodles

January 1st, 2017

Happy New Year! I have something very special to announce: The Ramen Rater Select. What is it? The Ramen Rater Select is a line of premium instant noodles – ones that I consider to be the best in the world. The first variety will be available soon, and soon I’ll let everyone in on the flavor and where it can be purchased.

As you know, I’ve reviewed thousands of instant noodles over the years; ones I’ve liked immensely, ones I haven’t. All of the best aspects I’ve found went into the recipe for these products. This isn’t something I’ve taken lightly; it’s really been a process of trial and error. This effort has resulted in a line that is just amazing. 

When available, I’ll be having samples sent to other reviewers and posting their reviews here. Ultimately, it’s all about you – the hungry guy or gal who wants to taste something authentic, innovative and delicious. I believe I have created this and can’t wait to hear what the world thinks!

Finally, I want to mention: THE RAMEN RATER SELECT WILL NOT BE ON ANY OF MY TOP TEN LISTS. It just wouldn’t be fair, and a definite conflict of interest. I will continue to review instant noodles as I always have – based solely on my taste buds.

Again, Happy New Year to all – this hobby went from a whim to a way of life and I have all my readers and fans of instant noodles to thank, so thank you to all of you, all over the world. I appreciate you and I hope you will consider The Ramen Rater Select a kind of thank you.

The Ramen Rater’s Reader’s Choice Top Ten Instant Noodles 2017 Edition Poll

Here’s the poll for the 2017 Reader’s Choice Top Ten Instant Noodles list! 2016 was the first go at this with over 250 votes counted (results here). Let’s make 2017 even better! Remember – if you don’t put the brand AND the variety, your vote will NOT be counted, so make sure to do so. Don’t forget to invite your friends to vote! The results will come out next year (probably May 1st 2017). 

UPDATE – the previous voting system only allowed 100 votes so back to this one. Just click OTHER and enter the BRAND and VARIETY in the text field and click VOTE!

#2017: Samyang Foods Honey & Cheese Big Bowl

Here’s one sent by Colin from back east – thanks again! I’ve seen this a couple times online and though it sounded fascinating. Honey and cheese? What an interesting combination… Let’s tear open the lid and see what we have here!

The import/distributor sticker (click to enlarge). One should note that this is not meant to be served as soup.

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Unsure whether it contains meats. To prepare, add boiling water to fill line and cover for 4 minutes. Using holes in lid, drain off excess water. Add in sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

The noodle block.

The seasoning sachet.

A LOT of powder.

A liquid sachet.

I thought at first this might be honey, but it looks to be vegetable oil. I think the sweetness/honey flavor component will be in the dry sachet.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added coriander and ham lunchmeat. The noodles came out decently hydrated and they are thick and chewy ramyun. The flavor is interesting; indeed the oil wasn’t honey but a strangely spicy concoction; like a hot spicy dandelion oil thing. The dish’s flavor is like a spicy sweet cheese thing with a dandelion hit to it which I found compelling, but in the end something I really didn’t like at all. It sounded good, but just not for me. 0.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8801073210868.

The opposite end of the spectrum – Samyang Buldak Bokkeum Ramyun Gourmet Very Spicy Cup Noodle Soup (Pack of 4)

A very old Samyang Foods TV commercial!