Tag Archives: chapagetti

#3339: Samyang Foods Jjajang Buldak Ramen Topokki – South Korea

Samyang Foods Jjajang Buldak Ramen Topokki - South Korea

I thought today would be a fun day to include Miles in on an episode of Instant Noodle Recipe Time (see below). I figured hey – he’ll leave the stove alone… Well, he did which was good and it was nice having a co-host! Job well done, Miles!

Today’s review is a spicy one from the famous Fire Noodle range of Buldak products manufactured by Samyang Foods. Not only does it contain noodles, but topokki as well which is a nice touch. If you haven’t tried topokki, you’re really missing out! Let’s give it a try!

Samyang Foods Jjajang Buldak Ramen Topokki – South Korea

Samyang Foods Jjajang Buldak Ramen Topokki - South Korea

Detail of the back of the package (click to enlarge).

Here are the included instructions they made for me (click to enlarge).

Samyang Foods Jjajang Buldak Ramen Topokki - South Korea

Included is a package with a noodle block.

Here’s the topokki – make sure you remove the dessicant sachet.

Two wet sachets of jjajang sauce.

The vegetable sachet.

Samyang Foods Jjajang Buldak Ramen Topokki - South Korea

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, spring onion, fish cake, and baked chicken, Noodles come out with a nice chew to them and the topokki is with a nice chew as well. The instructions said 5~6 minutes and I did 5 1/2, so 6 would probably yield more tender topokki. The sauce is thick and luxuriant, with a strong Buldak kind of flavor as well as the black bean component. It’s definitely spicy as well. A good combo – tasty and great. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8801073310964.

Samyang Original Ra-bokki Buldak Chicken Flavored Rice Cake Ramem Noodles 2019 New

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

A Nice Gift From Nongshim America


Got a nice and hefty box in the mail!

Nongshim America sent three of my favorites (they all made the Top Ten USA list) as a thank you for recognizing their products worthy of being in the list! Thanks! Think I’ll attempt a Shin Black Ramyun Burger for Labor Day!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Made In The USA Of All Time 2013 Edition

The instant noodle originated in 1958 in Japan, but since that time, they’ve expanded in popularity all over the world, including of course, the United States. Seeing this, instant noodle companies thought it wise to start building plants here in the 1970s. Since then, many brands operate factories here in the US, mostly in southern California. This is a list of my favorite varieties produced here, encompassing my over 1,100 reviews to date. With that, here’s your top ten, America!

#10: Nongshim Shin Bowl Noodle Soup

Shin Ramyun is one of the most popular instant noodles in South Korea. It’s spicy and beefy. This one here has that same great flavor and is microwaveable! A while back, they changed how they make their noodles for their line of bowls, and although they were great before, they’re even better now. Original review here

#9: Nissin Top Ramen Short Cuts Roast Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup

Nissin came out with this new line of noodles fairly recently. What’s unique about then is that they are a large box with a bag of seasoned noodles. You can use as little or as much as you like! The noodles are short and broad with a ‘comfort food’ appeal and a nice roast chicken flavor. Original review here

#8: Maruchan Bowl Hot & Spicy Shrimp Flavor Ramen Noodles With Vegetables

Maruchan has been known for a long time for their Instant Lunch line of noodles cups, but here we have something new for them – bowls! This one stood out for me – it had a ‘south of the border’ heat to it and was full of noodles of great quality. Spicy, but not so spicy most couldn’t handle it. Original review here

#7: Nissin Top Ramen Cucharealo Home-Style Picante Chicken Flavor

This is a serious fusion: the noodles are short and thin. I remember noodles kind of like these in other products when I was a kid, but always felt like I was getting way more soup than noodles. This one quells that need for more noodles – there’s plenty of them. The picante chicken flavor is excellent with notes of chili powder and cumin. Original review here

#6: Nissin Chow Mein Spicy Teriyaki Beef Flavor Chow Mein Noodles

I would have never thought that mixing teriyaki and spicy heat together would work, but it does. The combination is excellent – especially since the sauce coats everything so well. The vegetables hydrate nicely and it’s an all around great meal. Original review here

#5: Nongshim Chapagetti Roasted Chajang Noodle

Thick, slightly chewy noodles in a rich black bean sauce – excellent stuff. What’s also excellent is that you can make it in the microwave. It uses just a little water and the finished product has sucked it all up, leaving you with nice, saucy noodles. Original review here

#4: Maruchan Creamy Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup

I absolutely adore this stuff. Take your standard instant noodle and add a nice creamy chicken flavor. The broth has a really nice ‘stick to your ribs’ way about it. Whenever I’m under the weather, this is my go-to comfort noodle. Original review here

#3: Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black Premium Noodle Soup

After twenty years of Shin Ramyun, Nongshim decided to upgrade it. Enter Shin Ramyun Black. It has a richer broth, great noodles, and an amazing packet with nice veggies and beef – yes, beef. This one has little pieces of freeze dried beef that spring to life – and have an enjoyable chew and flavor! Original review here

#2: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles Chow Mein

This one requires a different approach to cooking, but it really pays off in the end. The noodles are cooked in very little water, which they slurp up rather quickly. Then you stir in the flavor packet and you’ve got some exceedingly wonderful chow. The flavor is reminiscent of yakisoba sauce; kind of a Worcestershire sauce thing going on. Then the fun part – a little packet of ‘green laver’ (powdered seaweed) is supplied for you to sprinkle on top. With it or without it, this one’s worth your time to try. Original review here

#1: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja Flamin’ Hot & Nutty Noodle Soup

For regular followers of The Ramen Rater, this should be no surprise. I have been touting the greatness of this one back when it was only produced in South Korea. Happily, they make it in southern California now. Jinjja Jinjja (translates to Really Really) is a sumptuous sojourn to flavorland. Ramyun noodles are a little thicker and a little chewier than others. Combine that with a spicy and hearty pork broth, nice veggies and a packet with black sesame seeds and peanut powder. The result is absolutely perfect. Original review here

The Ramen Rater Top Ten Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2013 Edition

After more than a year of pondering and reviewing since the last list, here’s the new top ten instant noodle bowls. This encompasses all instant noodle bowls reviewed up to today, June 15th, 2013. With no further adieu, the top ten instant noodle bowls of all time, 2013 edition.

10 – JFC Japanese Style Noodle Soup Curry Flavour – South Korea

Fresh udon noodles and a curry sauce that’s thick and luxuriant. If you’re in need of a curry fix, look no further! Every time I see it on a store shelf, I get this kind of warm, fuzzy feeling. Original review here

9 – Ottogi Spaghetti Ramen – South Korea

A fun bowl of noodles with thick South Korean ramyun noodles, a sweet powder and a sweet and slightly spicy spaghetti sauce. A nice twist on a classic. Original review here

8 – Little Cook Spicy Beef Flavor – Thailand

This one features firm noodles, a spicy broth with beef and curry notes and fake meat that’s surprisingly good. Myriad of different components collide together in an irresistible way. Original review here

7 – Nongshim Chapagetti Roasted Chajang Noodle – United States

Although originating in South Korea, Nongshim now makes these in Southern California. Chajang is a traditional Chinese black bean sauce that is wonderful with noodles and the nice part with this particular variety is that it’s the first I’ve seen in a bowl. What’s more, it’s easy to make and has excellent hearty flavor as well as great noodles. Original review here

6 – Paldo Kokomen Spicy Chicken Flavor King Cup – South Korea

Kokomen is a South Korean ramyun with a light or white broth. It’s got a chicken and jalapeno kind of flavor that’s really quite excellent. The translation from pack to bowl is exemplary, losing none of the quality. Original review here

5 – Little Cook Mushroom Vegetarian Premium Noodle – Thailand

A combination of a great quality noodle and nice broth is one thing, but they add a retort pouch with really nice vegetables that make this seem more gourmet. I’ve never been a big fan of mushrooms, but these are really quite good. Original review here

4 – Yamamoto Ponpoko Tempura Udon Fried Noodles Bowl – Japan

Thick, slightly chewy noodles and a broth with strong soy flavor. The tempura gives a satisfying crunch. Check out the original review as well to see why this one’s got a great name. Original review here

3 – Maruchan Midori No Tanuki Instant Soba Bowl – Japan

The only one from last year’s list to remain. Although it slipped out of first place, this is a seriously excellent bowl of noodles. The buckwheat noodles have a delicate crumble that works so well here and the broth is nice and rich. The disk of tempura is a real treat. Original review here

2 – FoodMon DJ-DOC Instant Ramen Rice Toppokki – South Korea

Topokki are like really thick chewy short noodles. They’re usually served with a spicy red sauce; here they join instant noodles along with the spicy sauce to make a succulent kind of Soiuth Korean lasagna-esque feast. Original review here

1 – Nissin Raoh Rich Soy Sauce Flavor – Japan

All I can say is that this stuff is epic. The noodles are extremely good and of very high quality. The broth is as rich as the name purports as well. What’s more, it comes with a slice of roast pork which hydrates well and has a very good texture and flavor. This is where it’s at! Original review here

So as you can see, a lot of new contenders this year! I hope you enjoyed the list and look forward to bringing you more as time goes by.

A Neat Donation From Nongshim America!

The FedEx guy knocked on my window the other day with a package!

Holy cow – a flat of Neoguri and a flat of Chapagetti! I did a review of Chapaguri a couple weeks ago and to say thanks, they made sure I can make it whenever I like! Thanks!

Here’s the video I made about Chapaguri.

Chapaguri: A Popular New Recipe In South Korea!

I’ve heard of recipes people make where they combine two different types of instant noodles to make something new. Well, here’s one from South Korea that is very popular right now! Chapaguri! 짜파구리 !

As I’m sure you can guess, it’s a combination of Nongshim’s Chapagetti Chajang Noodles and Nongshim’s Neoguri Spicy Seafood Udon. I got the recipe from Nongshim’s South Korean website here.

What I get is that you cook the noodles, add the veggies from the white packets, drain the water off except for about a ladle-full, then add the seasonings and stir. Finally, stir fry for a minute or so, adding the oil packet. Voila – Chapaguri! There is a difference between the Neoguri and Chapagetti made in the US, but it’s not big. In the recipe, you’ll see a little piece of seaweed – that’s not included in the Neoguri made here. With that, let’s check this out!

Here’s a video I made showing the process of making Chapaguri with instructions that I made.

Here are the two noodle blocks.

Packets aplenty!

Seasonings ready to go!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Excellent! Like a spicy seafood jjajang! They mention adding fried egg and cucumber, but I would also think that a little thin sliced beef and odeng would go well with it – also some onion would be nice. Of course, kimchi would go very nicely with it too.

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.

#872: Nongshim Chapagetti Roasted Chajang Bowl Noodle

Here it is! This is the Chapagetti Bowl Noodle from Nongshim America. Pretty cool – got to sample this during my trip to Nongshim
America in May – even got to see them made. Let’s have a look at this new product!

Here’s the info from the bottom of the package (click to enlarge).

Here’s the lid (click to enlarge).

The noodle block. The noodles are definitely wider than usual!

Only one seasoning packet.

A dark, grainy powder.

Under the noodle block there are some tasty bits and pieces – onion, carrot and TVP.

Finished (click image to enlarge). I decided to break in another one of the nice new bowls that I received from the President of Nongshim Holdings, Mr. Shin – thanks again! The noodles are wide and chewy, but not too chewy. I like how they were in the bowl very much; the texture was spot on. The Chajang sauce is perfect – its really amazing how identical in flavor and quality the microwave version is to the package version. I also thought it was really cool while it cooked – As you can see from the directions above, you take the lid completely off. Well, I looked through the window of my trusty microwave and it looked like it was boiling and just at the right spot – no chance of overflowing. Really fascinating. All in all, quite awesome. The flavors meld together and create a nice hearty meal that is quick to prepare and tasty. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars – best bowl noodle I’ve had in eons! UPC bar code 031146016747 .

Nongshim Chapagetti TV commercial.

This is a really wacky commercial for Nongshim Gomtang bowls.

New Product Samples From Nongshim America!

Today I got a big box in the mail from Nongshim America! Wonder what’s inside…

Bowl Noodles! But wait – Chapagetti in a bowl? Yep! This is one of the things I got to try while at Nongshim America in May. Not only did I get to try these new bowl products in their R&D department but was able to watch them being made – from raw ingredients to wrapped bowl all in an efficient straight line. Twas amazing! I’ll be reviewing these very soon! Keep your eyes peeled! Thanks go to Mr. Ray Adams and everyone else at Nongshim America for sending these along!

#841: Nongshim Chapagetti Chajang Noodle (Korean Version)

Thanks to Moon Hee Wi of the JoongAng Ilbo for sending me these! She wrote this article about me. So I’ve reviewed the Chapagetti that’s available here in the US, but this is the Korean version so it gets its own review. I’ve always done this and now I’ve got more reason to. I was talking to a manufacturer of instant noodles from Korea and they said that they use chicken in their instant noodles. The only problem is that the Food & Drug Administration doesn’t like Korean chicken for some reason. So they have to import chicken from a big poultry supplier in the USA into Korea, process it and package their product and then ship it back to the US for the blessing of the FDA. Not sure if that’s the case here, but regardless, it’s interesting to think that this kind of this has to happen to bring instant noodles to us from abroad.

Back of the packaging (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block. Wide noodles and lots of ’em.

The soup base – more precisely the sauce base.

This is different; more of a granulated kind of thing.

The vegetable packet.

A neat looking little smorgasbord.

A packet of olive oil.

Your standard olive oil here.

Hey look – a new plate! The President of Nongshim America kindly sent some bowls and this interesting plate recently. Thanks!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added broccoli, re bell pepper, onion and some roast beef. The noodles are thick and hearty. I would go so far as to say that once everything is combined, the noodles and sauce are kind of meaty. It’s a really hearty and heavy meal – very tasty! The veggies are pretty good too – this is a fusion dish; spaghetti and Chajang, a black bean dish from China. Here’s a Wikipedia entry on it. I like it! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 8801043015226 – get the version available in the United States here.

A Chapagetti commercial from the late 90’s – looks like they’re huddled around a monitor checking out the then-new Internet, but the Internet isn’t as awesome as Chapagetti!

Psy doing “Gangnam Style” on SBS today!

Re-Review: Meet The Manufacturer: Nongshim Chapagetti Chajang Noodle

Here’s another well-known Nongshim pack – Chapagetti.  Basically, you take spaghetti and combine it with Chajang, which is a black bean sauce – now you have Chapagetti!

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

These noodles are of a wide gauge and mention on Nongshim America’s website says there’s 12% more of them than in other varieties of theirs.

Here’s the stuff that makes the sauce.

Different than most of the seasonings I’ve seen – this is very granular.

Vegetable oil? Usually I’ve seen seasoned oil, but this is straight.

Yeah that looks like vegetable oil!

Finally, the vegetable packet.

An interesting looks little mixture! I looked in the ingredients and as it turns out, there’s potato and pork in here!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added some veggies. I distictly remember this being very dry the last time I had this and dry isn’t something that comes to mind here. The noodles are nice and thick and the sauce coats them nicely. The sauce is rich; nice black bean flavor. The veggies and TVP are great – the pork bits especially were enjoyable with a nice bit of chewy freshness. This was good – something I’d eat again. 4.0 our of 5.0 stars! UPC bar code 031146155736 – get it here.

Nongshim Chapagetti commercial

Ancient Korean Traditional Music – Hwang Byeonggi – Kayagum Sanjo Variation (Filmed in 1966)

Meet The Manufacturer: Nongshim America Visit

Here we go with another Meet The Manufacturer week! This one’s a little different of course since my wife and I actually took a trip and met the people who are Nongshim America! It was an amazing and fun visit – so without further adieu, here’s what happened. By the way, if you click on the images they get much bigger.

We got up very early in the morning and rode down to Seatac Airport. Was hard to get much sleep the nights before – really excited about this! I mean, going to an instant noodle plant? Come on! First we got our boarding passes, then of course an easy go through the security checkpoint and then onto the plane. I should mention that I have a horrible time with flights usually – my ears pop and it’s quite painful and usually I can’t hear much for the rest of the day. Well, my wife found these great things called ‘EarPlanes‘ that are like earplugs that keep your ears from popping in-flight. Awesome! Made the trip much more enjoyable!

Wow – two and a half hours later and we’re in Ontario, California! The climate is completely different – very flat, very dry, very warm and lots of palm trees! We were picked up at the airport by Ray Adams, the General Affairs Manager of Nongshim America. I spoke with him on numerous occasions before the trip about what we’d be doing and how everything would happen. Was really good to meet him in person!

Then we arrived at the plant. This place was really big! We went upstairs and were greeted by this sign! Certainly made us feel very welcome.

Right away, we met the President of Nongshim America, Mr. Chin. We met Mr. Shim, President of Nongshim Holdings next.

We spent a little time in the VIP Lounge to have something to drink and a quick bite. Ray told us all about how things get done at Nongshim Anerica. The way they do things is by having everyone on the same page – so for example, to approve my trip down to meet everyone and do a plant tour, a proposal was written and it went to everyone in every single department and them approved by the Presidents. Basically it’s a good way to keep from the ‘one hand doesn’t know what the other’s doing’ kind of thing. I also noticed that all the departments were very close to eachother marketing is footsteps away from sales, etcetera. It seems like a really good way of doing things to me. The sign above with the company’s motto is in english, Korean and Chinese – the languages spoken where Nongshim has factories.

Next, we headed down the stairs again to tour the plant. First thing we did was put on dust jackets, hairnets and beard-nets.  Then we went through an ‘air shower;’ a little room that blows air at you to remove any dust. Then a hand washing station, and into the corridor where the tour took place. Ray told us that the facility was built in such a way that tours could take place easily, so people could see how noodles are made! The corridor has all these windows to look in on the process. First, the ingredients are combined and a thick sheet of noodle dough comes out. Then, the dough is cut into noodles. From there, they get cooked, cooled, dropped into bowls with the seasoning packet and veggies, the covers put on, shrink-wrapped and finally put into boxes. From raw ingredients to finished product, it takes thirty minutes to make a bowl of noodles. One thing that was interesting is that Nongshim has its own division in Korea that makes equipment that does this – I found out that they also sell it to other noodle manufacturers. So they don’t only make their noodles, but their equipment makes noodles for other companies.

We found out that people who have different duties in the plant have different colored hats – For example, QC folks have yellow hats. This makes it a lot easier for people to find each other. The center picture is one I though people reading the blog would find exceptionally interesting. Guess what’s in the big yellow totes? Seasoning packets! Ray said they hold 15,000 of them! You could season a lot of noodles with that! At the end, we got to see the warehouse. Each one of those boxes look to be holding Bowl Noodles of different varieties. The Bowl Noodles boxes hold 12 bowls. Needless to saw, I think there’s one zillion Bowl Noodles in there! If your would like to go on a plant tour, you can! Check out the Plant Tour section of Nongshim America’s website.

Next stop was the Research & Development department. This was really great! Got to try Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja Ramyun for the first time – awesome! Also got to try three new things that are in development. I can’t really talk about them as they’re not available yet, but they were good! They asked me all sorts of questions about what I thought of the new products and I was happy to give my opinions. Never thought that being The Ramen Rater might actually have an impact on how a company makes it noodles! Quite an honor.

After the plant tour, we went out to lunch and then returned to do a planned interview. What wasn’t planned was that a TV crew from KBS (the biggest Korean TV station) wanted to come and do an interview – with me. When it comes out, I’ll definitely post a link. After that, we had out interview. I had a list of questions that I asked and got very good, long answers that you’ll get to hear and see when the video of that interview comes out as well! Very excited about both of the interviews. The photo in the center is of (from left to right) my wife Kit, myself, Ray Kim, General Manager of Nongshim America, and Ray Adams. It was the end of the day for us at Nongshim America and time to head to San Diego.

We thought that flying us down and back for a plant tour was very kind, but Nongshim also wanted to have us enjoy a nice little vacation. They put us up in a very nice hotel that was connected to Petco Park, where we got to see a Padres vs Dodgers game! Conversation always came back to instant noodles – a subject I could talk about for hours on end – and I did! Unfortunately, the Dodgers creamed the Padres – if you didn’t know, my wife and I are Giants fans and Giants are behind the dodgers right now in our division, so a Padres win would’ve been nice. Was a great time in the park!

The next day, we went to SeaWorld with Ray Adams and his family – was a great time!

After SeaWorld, we all went out to colossal Korean BBQ at a place called Buga. If you haven’t tried Korean BBQ, you really should – the little dishes are called banchan – the smells and different flavors are really quite amazing. After dinner, we went back to the hotel. Said our goodbyes to Ray Adams and took a short walk around the Gaslamp Quarter. Then to bed for an early flight home.

I want to thank everyone at Nongshim America who made this happen; we aren’t wealthy and this was a trip we couldn’t have normally done. It was really amazing to see how all aspects of a company can come together to form not so much a list of employees and bosses, but a real feeling of family. I think a lot of companies could learn a lot from your example.

Mr. Chin – NSA President, Mr. Shin – NSH President, Ray Kim – CFO, the Admin Team: Ray Adams, Nikki Adams, Hannah Choi, Hannah Bae, Jeff Schlotzhauer, the Marketing Team: Kevin Chang – Marketing Sr. Manager, Philip Han,  the R&D Team: Michael Kim – R&D Sr. Manager, Sean Kim – R&D Manager, Young Hee Park, Juan Carlos Aguirre, Tommy Pham, Rachel Kim and Min Choi. Thank you one and all for an experience that we shall never forget.