Tag Archives: champong

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

It’s January 2019, and so it is time for the first of many Top Ten Lists. I always start the year with the latest South Korean Top ten. This list was compiled as of posting 3,058 unique reviews of instant noodles, 349 of which are South Korean. All varieties are manufactured in South Korea. If you are a company interested in having your products showcased, please drop me a line. Let’s begin!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

Video Presentation

Watch the full video presentation of this year’s Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time! Don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel for daily videos!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

#10: Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black

Best South Korean Ramen - Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black

When Shin Ramyun Black came onto the scene a few years back it was a huge hit and still is. An upgraded version of their popular shin Ramyun, it includes a sachet of Sul-Long-Tang soup base which gives an extra heartiness to the broth. Thick ramyun noodles and a spicy bite round out the scene. It took me some time to get a pack made in South Korea, a requirement of this this. Original review Get it here

#9: Paldo Cheese Noodle

Best Korean Ramen - Paldo Cheese Noodle

Paldo’s Cheese Noodle has been on the list for awhile now and with good reason. The way the cheese intermingles with the red spicy broth is amazingly good. The noodles are nice and thick ramyun and there’s a large quantity of them. Definitely one that everyone should try – and now there’s a spicier version on the market. Original review Get it here

#8: Nongshim Champong Noodle Soup Spicy Seafood Flavor

Best Korean Ramen - Nongshim Champong Noodle Soup Spicy Seafood Flavor

Nongshim Champong is a spicy seafood noodle soup. It combines what you are used to with the beefiness of a standard Korean ramyun but replaces the beef with seafood flavor. This more ‘of the sea’ variety works very well with the chewy ramyun noodle. It’s kind of like a seafood stew to be honest.  Excellent when paired with seafood. Original review Get it here

#7: Nongshim Neoguri Stir-fry Noodles Spicy Seafood

Best Korean Ramen - Nongshim Neoguri Stir-fry Noodles Spicy Seafood

Neoguri Spicy Seafood Soup is a long time favorite of many and now it’s been converted in this new version as a dry noodle, sans broth. To be honest, I like this much better – not only does it have the great flavor of Neoguri, it’s got a plethora of garnish included – featuring little pieces of fishcake with the raccoon mascot on them. Original review Get it here

#6: Paldo Rabokki Noodle

Best Korean Ramen - Paldo Rabokki Noodle

To understand Paldo’s Rabokki Noodle, you have to understand tteokbokki. It’s also spelled topokki – but however you spell it, tteokbokki are thick cylindrical rice tubes that have a nice chewiness to them. They’re often paired with a thick red sauce which is spicy as well as sweet and served with fishcake, egg and other garnish. These noodles are paired with the sauce in a very tasty representation and crossover of the dish. Original review Get it here

#5: Ottogi Jin Jjambbong Spicy Seafood Ramyun

Best Korean Ramen - Ottogi Jin Jjambbong Spicy Seafood Ramyun

Ottogi’s Jin series added a couple of new varieties recently, and this is my favorite of the two. During a recent trip to Taipei, I went to a restaurant called Love Instant Noodleswhere they doll up packs of instant noodles and serve them piping hot. This is the one I chose from their selection. Jjambbong is a kind of spicy stew and this one has a nice kind of grilled flavor to it, alongside the popular broader ramyun currently spreading around  – great stuff! Original review Get it here

#4: Paldo Budae Jjigae

Best Korean Ramen - Paldo Budae Jjigae

Here we have 2017’s #1 from this list and it was also on the annual The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 list. So, what’s Budae Jjigae? Well, take donated rations from US soldiers from the Korean War and mix them with the local South Korean cuisine. This interesting fusion works so well including tastes from both cultures. Original review Get it here

#3: Ottogi Budae Jjigae Ramen

Best Korean Ramen - Ottogi Budae Jjigae Ramen

Ottogi also has a Budae Jjigae – and it’s my favorite of the varieties to spring onto the market in the last couple years. With bits of processed meats and other niceties, it combines with South Korean flavors into a crescendo of tasty goodness. Budae Jjigae translates to ‘troop stew’ or army stew’ as it originated from donated rations from US forces during the Korean War. Original review Get it here

#2: Samyang Foods Samyang Ramen Spicy Flavor

Best Korean Ramen - Samyang Foods Samyang Ramen Spicy Flavor

This last year I’ve really fallen for Samyang Ramen – both the regular and spicy version. It’s a bit different from most South Korean varieties as they usually lean towards beef, these have a ham flavor. The thick, chewy noodles and the rich and very tasty broth bring these to this list this year, and while I type this, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Original review Get it here

#1: Gookmul Knight Of Ribs

Best Korean Ramen - Gookmul Knight Of Ribs

With imagery heralding to days of yore, a very unique and tasty one from South Korea tops this year’s list. A thick noodle is complimented with a retort pouch (a metallic sachet) which brings a sweet and savory sauce full of real pork – really like a pulled-pork noodle. What’s surprising is that this was the first variety I’ve found with one of these from South Korea – and it was excellent. Original review Get it here

#2391: Ottogi Jin Jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle

#2391: Ottogi Jin jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - ramyun

It’s definitely been a while since I reviewed anything by Ottogi that’s for theSouth Korean market. Actually, this one is an export version, but the more recent ones have been for Mexico and so this is more of a South Korean variety. So, what is jjambbong? Wikipedia has this to say about it:

Jjamppong is a Korean spicy noodle soup flavoured with seafood and gochugaru (red pepper powder).[1] A form of jjamppong is also the local Chinese speciality in the Japanese port city of Nagasaki (see Champon). The noodles are made from wheat flour.[2]

It kind of surprises me to see that this is all wikipedia has to say about it. Notice that in the quote it is spelled jjamppong. When Korean characters are translated to western languages, there’s a lot of different ways it seems that they end up spelled. Another one is Champong. So let’s open this pack up and check out Ottogi Jin Jjambbong!

Ottogi Jin jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle – South Korea

#2391: Ottogi Jin jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - ramyun

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains seafood. To prepare, add flake sachet to 550ml water and bring to a boil. Add in noodle block and large liquid sachet and cook 5 minutes. Add in oil. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2391: Ottogi Jin jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - ramyun

The noodle block. As has been the trend lately, you can see the noodles are extra wide.

#2391: Ottogi Jin jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - ramyun

The liquid soup base.

#2391: Ottogi Jin jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - ramyun

A thick, spicy scented sauce.

#2391: Ottogi Jin jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - ramyun

The vegetable flake sachet.

#2391: Ottogi Jin jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - ramyun

Looks like decent sized bits.

#2391: Ottogi Jin jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - ramyun

An oil sachet.

#2391: Ottogi Jin jjambbong Spicy Seafood Noodle - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - ramyun

A deep orange colored oil.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, narutomaki, carved squid, shrimp, spring onion and sweet onion. The noodles are wide and thick – the popular way these days in premium instant ramyun. The broth was just fantastic. It had a kind of grilled seafood flavor to it and a nice bump of spiciness from the oil. What’s more, it was tasty and savory. The included garnish was just a home run. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8801045522555.

Ottogi Jin Jjamppong Spicy Seafood Noodle, 4.59 Ounce Unit (Pack of 4)


Here’s an Ottogi Jin Ramen TV commercial. So I did an interview a few years back for local TV. There was a commercial by another South Korean noodle company where the guy slurps the soup loudly and says ‘aahhh’ pretty loud. During the interview, I did this a lot and think I looked pretty silly. This one totally jumps the shark with the post-slurp grunting!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles 2017 Edition

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

South Korean instant noodles are known around the world as being spicy and beefy for the most part. However, there are many different styles. In fact, seafood jjamppong, black bean jjajang, cold noodles, and creamy beef noodles exist in the scene. Today, I’ll do a rundown of my favorites – the best of the highest rated South Korean varieties from over 2,300 unique varieties I’ve reviewed from around the world. Finally, I would like to note that it’s tougher to find South Korean varieties. Therefore, any instant noodle companies from South Korea should contact me promptly to be considered for upcoming top ten lists. Let’s get started.

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

This year’s video presentation with some extras!

#10: Nongshim Soon Veggie Noodle Soup

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 is that the broth has 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 here

#9: Samyang Foods Cheese Curry Ramyun

Samyang Foods Cheese Curry

The noodles are of a decent ramyun gauge and hydrate nicely in the three minutes directed. In addition, the broth is thick with a very nice kind of creamy curry flavor. Finally, an inkling of spiciness. Beautiful stuff! Original review here

#8: Nongshim Zha Wang (Jjawang) Noodles With Chajang Sauce

Nongshim Zha Wang Chajang Jjajangmyun

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. Finally, its thick, rich black bean flavor is has peas, cabbage and other veggies. This is the best jjajang I’ve ever tried. Original review here

#7: Paldo Cheese Noodle

Paldo Cheese Noodle

These noodles – wow. Arguably 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 too! Original review here

#6: Nongshim Champong Noodle Soup Spicy Seafood Flavor

Nongshim Champong Noodle Soup Spicy Seafood Flavor

These noodles are big and plump and chewy – wider as well. They’re fantastic! Would love to see a Shin Ramyun using this noodle! The broth is equally wonderful insofar as the flavor has this taste and smell. It has a seafood barbecue kind of taste. The oil adds a nice extra to the broth. Spicy, tasty and awesome! Original review here

#5: Paldo Rabokki Noodle

Paldo Rabokki Noodle

The noodles plump up 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 here

#4: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja

Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja

The noodles are very good – nice thick ramyun. In addition, I have read that they are augment them with chilli pepper in them as well. Next, the broth has a seriously spicy kick to it and a very peanut aroma with pork notes. Finally, the vegetables hydrate very well. Back with a vengeance! Original review here

#3: Nongshin Chal Bibim Myun

Nongshim Chal Bibim Myun

First, the noodles are nice and thick with a great chew – ramyun through and through. Second, the sauce works extremely well. It’s sweet and spicy and works perfectly with a cold noodle. Finally, the flavor is nice and crisp while smooth and effective. Original review here

#2: ChoripDong Hurricane Rice Cake

ChoripDong Hurricane Rice Cake Rabokki

Very red. It’s got a thick spicy and sweet sauce. Fresh ramyun. It’s got topokki. Indeed, this is a real find – Just looking at the picture makes me want some right this instant. Slipping from #1 to #2 this year. Original review here

#1: Paldo Budae Jigae

Paldo Budae Jigae / Chigae

As always, I’m shocked when something comes across my desk that’s unlike anything I’ve reviewed. In the first place, the noodles are great – thick ramyun. Indeed they are chewy and thick gauge. The broth is really good; thicker than most and has a kind of ‘boiling with hot dogs in it all day’ kind of thing going on. Moreover, the included garnish is a real treat as it contains not only beans, processed meat and slices of sausage, but pieces of macaroni as well. This one really goes above and beyond on this one – I’m impressed. Original review here

#1300: Samyang Foods Red Nagasaki Jjampong

Wow – number 1300! Would’ve ever thought I would’ve done this many reviews; seems like I did the 500th review not very long ago. Let’s check this one out – a spicy South Korean jjampong!

The back of the package (click image to enlarge). I can’t read it, but I’m 99% sure there’s seafood in the veggie sachet. To prepare, Add noodle block to 550ml boiling water. Add the contents of the opaque sachets. Cook for 5 minutes. Add contents of oil sachet. Enjoy!

The noodle block.

Powder base sachet.

Spicy and seafoody scent.

The solid ingredient sachet.

A colorful mix.

A clear oil sachet.

Got a drop on my finger and tasted it – pretty spicy stuff!

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added Busan fish cake, narutomaki, egg, kamaboko, shitaraba, sweet onion and green onion. 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! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 8801073112919.

Here’s a short video showing how to cook this one.

#1110: GS25 Gonghwachun Jjajangmyun

This was sent to me by Kristina W. of Arizona – thank you! Jjajangmyun is basically a noodle that is coated in a black bean sauce. Let’s check it out!

The back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure if it contains meat or not.

The noodle block.

The only packet included is a big one full of sauce. Decided (as I did yesterday as well) not to make a big mess by trying to fit this stuff in one of the little sake cups I usually use.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added some beef, carrot and Vidalia sweet onion. The noodles good – a little chewier than usual and nice and plump. The jjajang sauce is really great – has a rich black bean flavor with a little bit of extra heartiness, especially from the potatoes. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 8801128506571.

Here’s a recipe for jjajangmyeon!

#1038: Itomen Chanponmen

Here’s one that the folks from God Of Patena sent – thanks! Very little English on here – searched and translated via UPC code and kept coming up with ‘chanpon’ over and over so I’m calling it that. Also found it called ‘champon’ too, but more often than not it was ‘chanpon.’ Most things show it as a seafood broth, but as you can see on the package, it looks like ham or smoked pork. I also saw mention that this was a borrowed noodle soup from Chinese culture; like jjamppong perhaps? Let’s check it out!

The back of the package (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block. It reminds me of waves lapping a distant shore.

The seasoning packet.

A nice scent with seafood notes.

Solid ingredients.

Looks like cabbage and shrimp and maybe some other things going on.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added thin sliced chuck sauteed in garlic and Worcestershire sauce, carrot, mushroom, egg and sweet onion. The noodles are wonderful – thin and elastic with a perfect consistency. The broth is light and almost cheery – a nice savory taste. The extra bits hydrated well. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 4901104100015

A bunch of Japanese TV commercials from 1987 – there’s an Itomen one at 1m30s.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1022: HoMyeonDang Premium Noodle House Crab Jjampong

This sure looks fancy! This is a premium private label variety made by Samyang Foods. HoMyeonDang is a restaurant in South Korea – here’s their website. They’re a organic noodle bar! Crab jjampong! Let’s check it out…

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). I can’t read the ingredients, but looks like there’s some seafood in there.

The noodle block. These noodles are special – not the kind you can enjoy out of the bag, but hard like non-fried noodles.

The powdered seasoning packet.

Has a sweet seafood flavor.

The veggie packet.

Wow look at this – lots of fancy stuff in here… Definitely looks like some crab meat!

Finally, an oil packet.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion and green onion. The noodles are very nice – chewier than most and have a very premium feel. The broth is exemplary with a rich crab taste and a little thickness. The sesame oil adds to it nicely. The bits of crab and veggies are perfect. Wow – this is good stuff! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars – loved it! UPC bar code 8801073110588.

Tomorrow’s my wife’s birthday and it’s also the debut of the new PSY single! You can hear the new song here!

#989: GS25 Gonghwachun Jjamppong

This was sent to me by Kristina W. of Arizona – thank you! This one was a toughie to decipher so here’s what I found. GS25 is a chain of convenience stores in South Korea. From what I read on the packaging, this is a product made for them by Paldo. There’s a restaurant in Incheon called Gonghwachun – I think that’s what is being referred to here. Gonghwachun is a famous Chinese restaurant and well known for its Jjajangmyeon. Finally, Jjamppong (also jjambong, champong) is a spicy seafood soup. If I’m wrong, please comment! Anyways, on with the review!

Here’s the back of the packaging (click image to enlarge). From what I see, I’m going with 550mL of water and then cooking the noodles and seasoning powder for 4 minutes. After that, adding the seasoning block and giving a stir.

A nice big brick of noodles.

Powder seasoning.

Spicy flavored seasoning.

A seasoning block!

Seasoning blocks are really cool – they re-hydrate really quickly and have lots of interesting ingredients. This one has a strong fish scent.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added odeng, shrimp, narutomaki, kamaboko and sweet onion. The noodles nice and wide and plentiful. The broth is nice and spicy and has great seafood flavor. This is a real treat – 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 8801128506656

About Jjajangmyeon in South Korea.

New TV Spot For Nongshim’s Shin Ramyun Black Cup With PSY

Unless you’ve been hiding under a proverbial rock for the last couple of months, you have heard the song ‘Gangnam Style‘ by South Korean pop star PSY at one time or another, seen the horse dance, etc. Well, After he sent Nongshim a video asking if he could do a commercial for them, they said yes.

Well today, the commercials have come out – they’re pretty funny. I still want to let it be known that I formally challenge PSY to a ramyun eating contest -maybe Shin Ramyun Black Cup? That’d be awesome! Anyways, here’s some videos to check out of the commercial.

The ‘A’ version of the Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black Cup commercial with PSY

The ‘B’ version of the Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black Cup commercial with PSY

Here’s the ‘making of’ video.

Re-Review: Meet The Manufacturer: Nongshim Champong Ramyun Instant Noodle Soup

This is a re-review – the last time I had this was probably in 2003 – when it was review #21. For some reason, I thought that it (Neoguri as well) had octopus in it. Clearly, that’s a squid holding chopstick and wearing clothing. I should note that these days, I know that’s a squid – and that squids don’t wear clothing. Moving on…

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block.

Powder seasoning packet.

Spicy, red and hot!

The veggie and seafood packet.

Says the seafood component involved mussel flakes and fish cake.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added some onion, odeng, an egg, some processed cheese, some splashes of Tabasco Buffalo Style hot sauce and a little bit of Ajishima Kimchi Furikake. The noodles are nice and wide – they sucked up the broth very nicely and are slightly chewier than the last few Nongshim varieties I’ve had. The broth is great – very very spicy and has a kind of seafood tomato soup kind of sense to it. Very good! The veggies / fish components aren’t bad – all in all a great pack of noodles! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars! UPC bar code 8801043157759 .

Champong TV commercial.

Another Champong commercial

#516: Wang Champong Spicy Seafood Noodles

Here’s a new one – Wang brand. It’s a fresh noodle big bowl from Korea.

As you can see, big and from Korea.

Clockwise from top: chili powder (I sniffed it – very strong stuff!), liquid soup base, dried seasoning (veggies and dehydrated fishy bits)

Fresh noodles. Nothing to see here really.

Everything sitting in the bowl. The instructions say to fill with hot water to the line and microwave for 3 minutes. Which I did.

Click image to enlarge. I added a couple of scrambled eggs for good measure as I’m hungry. Deep red broth – crimson like blood! It’s really quite striking.

Hot and spicy – check. Broth was kind of thick and very flavorful – a deep fish taste but not really fishy.  The noodles weren’t bad – chewy enough but not too chewy. The veggies and fish bits were great. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Gordon Ramsay attempting to make handmade noodles.

Candido Camero (bongos)

#332: Nongshim Champong Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup (Cup)

So it’s time for some spiciness! Champong! Bring it!

Was a little surprised to see this one has over 2200mg sodium! It’s just a cup for cryin’ out loud!

Good amount of powder in this sucker explains it.

Look at all that garnish! Wow – super awesome. I’m excited and amped for it now.

Well here we are (click image to enlarge). Broth is seafoody and spicy, noodles were good and there was a lot of veggies and seafoodyness! I really was impressed – 3.75 out of 5.0 stars!