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The Ramen Rater’s Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2016 Edition

A while back, somebody asked me if since I have top ten lists, what about a ‘bottom ten’ list? Well, when I was asked that, I was a little leery at first and then figured hey – why not. That’s what we have here. In it’s fourth iteration since 2013, here are my very least favorite varieties I’ve samples out over over 2,000 reviews. I should note that I see these often and so I’m sure many of you will disagree with me. It’s kind of crazy – some people get really offended at my picks. But these are my PERSONAL least favorite instant noodles; don’t take it personally… Geez… Without further ado, let’s dig in to The Ramen Rater’s Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2016 Edition!

A video version of this review.

#10: Western Family Beef Flavour Instant Noodles – Canada

After 3 minutes of cooking, the noodles weren’t very good at all. It’s like they had a film on the outside that just didn’t ring right in my mouth. The flavor of the broth was as bland as can be. It’s rare that I feel like I need to either dump salt or soy sauce into an instant noodle broth. There is no merit here. – Original review

#9: Thai Smile Mushroom Rice Noodle Soup Bowl – Thailand

The rice noodles didn’t hydrate as well as they should have in the 3 minutes called for; they were quite tough. After a minute or so longer however they got softer. The flavor was this oddly sweet kind of thing; it didn’t scream mushroom taste to me. The supplied bits of vegetable hydrated well, except the mushroom which were like hard pieces of wood. – Original review

#8: Paldo Green Tea Chlorella Noodles – South Korea

While this company makes some noodles I really enjoy, they also make this one which I deplore. It’s just got such a funky flavor to it and a smell I can’t take. Original review

#7: Fu Chang Chinese Noodle Company Pork, Seafood & Noodles Combo – United States

The noodles in this one were really mushy, and while it had a retort pouch with meat and seafood, it was really nasty. Original review here

#6: Maruchan Spicy Tomato Salsa Ramen – Japan

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

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

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

#4: Koyo Reduced Sodium Garlic & Pepper Ramen – United States

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

#3: Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Black Bean – United Kingdom

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

#2: One Dish Asia Japanese Ramen Noodle – United States

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

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

Here is my least favorite variety of all. Retaining it’s #1 ranking again this year, its 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 here

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

So after sampling so many varieties of instant noodles over the years, of course there have been some that I didn’t like. There also were some that are so memorable for how awful they were. After people asked what my least favorites were a few times, I thought I should just make a list of them. I should point out that these are on the list because I couldn’t stand them. I’m pretty sure they are all still in production, and the only reason they would be is that people somewhere find them enjoyable. So who knows – you might have a completely different opinion on these than me, but I found them to be absolutely the worst of the worst. With that, here’s The Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time, 2013 Edition.

#10: Wei Lih Instant Noodles With Artificial Beef Flavored Soup Stock – Taiwan

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I’ve had issues with broth being too salty before, but the lack of flavor in this one wasn’t tolerable. The flavor had a very ‘fake beef’ taste to it which was not at all enjoyable. Original post here

#9: GreeNoodle Miso Made With Moroheiya – Thailand

The noodles had a flavor I found to be akin to dirt – very strange. In the original review, I comment that the broth was ‘nightmarish.’ Original review here

#8: Fashion Food Oriental Flavor Instant Noodles – Thailand

These noodles came in a nice little plastic bowl with lid, As cool as that is, it didn’t make up for some seriously funky noodles and vile broth and veggies. Original review here

#7: Baijia Hot & Sour Flavor Instant Rice Noodle – China

The broth was of a deep crimson color. While interesting to look at, the slimy noodles and overly greasy broth with odd bits floating around were a turn-off trifecta. I couldn’t finish this bowl. Original review here

#6: Noodle Time Spicy Thai Instant Ramen Noodles With Real Vegetables – Canada

A prime example of noodle I dislike: watery broth, exceedingly mushy and spongy noodles and veggies that were lackluster and of the most minimal quantity and quality. Original review here

#5: Nan Hsing Vegetarian Rice Noodles – Taiwan

The noodles were akin to cobwebs – not the ones spiders make, but the fake ones you get for Halloween. The veggies didn’t hydrate well at all, and the broth wasn’t much. Couldn’t eat it. Original review here

#4: Paldo Green Tea Chlorella Noodles – South Korea

While this company makes some noodles I really enjoy, they also make this one which I deplore. It’s just got such a funky flavor to it and a smell I can’t take. Original review here

#3: Fu Chang Chinese Noodle Company Pork, Seafood & Noodles Combo – United States

The noodles in this one were really mushy, and while it had a retort pouch with meat and seafood, it was really nasty. Original review here

#2: Baijia Instant Sweet Potato Noodle Spicy Fei-Chang Flavor – China

A strong ‘dirt and urine’ scent accompanied by slimy sweet potato noodles. As it turns out, Fei Chang relates to fried pork intestines. Original review here

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

Here is my least favorite variety of all. Slimy sweet potato noodles, thick, greasy broth and horrid veggies that didn’t hydrate well. Original review here

#634: Baijia Sichuan Hot Pot Flavor Instant Sweet Potato Thread

This one was sent by Michelle L. of New York! Unfortunately, for this one I have exceedingly low expectations. Every Baijia product I’ve tried has been just plain gross in my opinion.

The side panels (click image to enlarge).

Hey – a fork!

Thick liquid seasoning starting on left, powder seasoning in the middle and finally beans on the right.

Otis Pug and Daisy Pug are out cold…

So they cannot be held responsible for that vile looking thing.

Finished (click image to enlarge). While this was pretty horrible, it wasn’t as horrible as I expected. First, the noodles were not too bad themselves; they weren’t as clumpy as usual. The broth was all but gone and the bean things were as funky and odd as always. The problem as with all of the Baijia products I’ve tried thus far was the flavor. First, it’s spicy – nothing wrong with that, but it’s like a ridiculously strong black pepper kind of spicy. Also, it’s very salty  too. All in all, I felt a little funky after eating a couple of bites – I deem this non-palatable. 0.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC barcode 6926410321341 – get the pack version here.

That’s more like it!

Yeah that’s a lot of saice!

#631: Fashion Food XO Sauce Flavour Instant Noodles

Here’s another one that’s been needing a quick review. This was purchased in July of last year in California!

Some side panel stuff – was really hard to get pics of this one. Click image to enlarge.

Open it up and all this stuff inside! Included fork!!!

A couple of packets…

Ready for boiling water…

Finished (click image to enlarge). The noodles are lackluster and boring, sad to say. The broth was just funky; like they wanted it to go a certain way but it just wouldn’t cooperate so they ingredient guy said screw it, threw up his hands and said “XO flavor.” Hmm…  1.25 out of 5.0 stars. UPC barcode 8850412371876 .

Completely unrelated noodle advert.

Very weird – apparently ‘fashion food’ is popular…

#612: Maruchan Yakisoba Spicy Chicken Flavor Homestyle Japanese Noodles

Here’s one that we got at a northern Oregon Chevron of all places. Man, I’m still jonesin’ to try the Beef Taco and Jalapeno Cheddar flavors!!!

Here’s the back of the packaging (click image to enlarge)…

Packet one: the vegetables!

See, you put em in like this under the noods and then shake it from side to side a little.

After you add a cup of water and microwave for 4 minutes and letting it all sit for a minute, you get this packet out of your packet holster.

You dump it atop the noodles and stir like crazy. Kinda funky looking there.

Click image to enlarge. Okay so we have a two egger with a bunch of Tabasco Buffalo Style hot sauce and some fried shallots and Krazy Mixed Up Salt inside. The noodles are dry and sticky. Added just a hint over a cup of water too so I don’t know what the issue was. The flavor is salty and spicy and rather artificial. The real star here are the veggies – there’s a ton of them! The problem is that it started out somewhat good but as it cooled it got stickier and stickier to the point of being a blob of noodles. I didn’t like it at all. 1.75 out of 5.0 stars.. Find it here.

Rad groove…

…and they clamped like lidlocks on mine eyes!

#386: Fu Chang Chinese Noodle Company Pork, Seafood & Noodles Combo

Well, this looks like a lot of insanity! Here we go!!!

Wait – I thought this was pork and seafood flavor, not shrimp flavor…

Pretty impressive – four packets!

So there’s the contents of that retort pouch on top – looks kind of like cat food and has the same consistency. The dry powder was chunky… The oil looked okay though and a nice amount of vegetables.

Here’s where all hell breaks loose. First off, there are no instructions included on how to cook this. At the end of the seasoning packet ingredients, notice that it has Fe in it. WHAT THE HELL IS ‘Fe?’ Also, no Red Chili Powder Packet. It’s like this product isn’t this product.

I went with my instincts; hell, I’ve had over 380 different varieties of noodles and I should be able to figure out this one’s cooking directions. I added enough boiling water to cover the noodles and all the ingredients. Guess what? The biggest insult I have ever had to deal with – the bowl LEAKS. Boiling water with oil and seasoning all over my table.  And floor. I transferred this stuff to a bowl and added a little water and covered for 4 minutes.

Click image to enlarge. The noodles were absolutely horrible. No character whatsoever. The retort stuff just didn’t work at all. The broth tasted very odd. Add that to the lack of instructions, incorrect ingredients and a leaky bowl and you get a ZERO STAR bowl of noodles. 0.0 out of 5.0 stars. What a mistake these were. Get them here.

Yes, I’m voluntarily Rick Rolling this review. You know the rules…..

And I’ve sold out to the Keyboard Cat as well.

#174: Lucky Me! Instant Sotanghon Instant (Vermicelli Soup) Artificial Chicken Flavor

Again today I asked my lady Kit to pick a couple packs of noodles to eat. The first is this one.

A very small amount of noodles – in fact, only a cup of water is required to prepare them!

Some odd seasonings… Hmm…

Holy crap this stuff is gross (click image to enlarge)! First off, 60mg shy of 2000mg of sodium is just insane for such a small amount of noodles. The taste is way too strong for me and kind of piquantly pungent and very not my style. I don’t like it. I don’t like it. I don’t like it. I give it .25 out of 5.0 stars. Here’s the cup version.

#133: Baijia Hot & Sour Flavor Instant Rice Noodle

Okay so last time I have something by this brand I really didn’t like it at all. But maybe this stuff will be better. Hear the decree of the Ramen Rater! I fear no noodle! I use full flavor sachet! I am invincible!

So rice noodles. Kind of neat looking – like a little bird’s nest.

Three packets – full of flavor no doubt…

Wow. I mean could this stuff look any weirder? Thin black liquid from one, thick, oozing weird goop from another and some clumpy powder from the silver one…

Click image to enlarge. First off, the color is deep deep crimson. It’s rather striking actually, but that’s as far as positive strikes go from me. Noodles were slimy. Broth was greasy, tasted weird, had weird bits of seasoning that weren’t enjoyable at all, greasy, unenjoyable. Yeah – I’m not finishing the bowl – I’m giving it 0.0 out of 5.0 stars. Even with three packets, neat packaging and all, it’s absolutely nasty.

Ramen Rater News

So here’s what I currently have to review – 20 different packages. I am pretty sure there should be lots more out there to pick up no problem. I still go out on my daily trips to the local asian groceries. I try to only get a single pack of noodles but it can be hard as they’re so cheap. With the advent of the city of Edmonds’ no single use plastic bag law, I had to dig out my backpack to carry things in. Irritating…

Been getting some interesting emails from people lately – a couple of which have told me ‘I’m doing it wrong’ – like on the Wei Lih and the Unif Chah Chiang varieties. So I’ll eventually have to re-review those. Should be interesting…

Gotten a few emails asking where to find noodles in specific areas of the United States. I’ll be happy to help with that no problem for sure. Some have been really annoyed and refused to believe that there could be any noodles near them, but I think that there are some pretty local to everyone in the United States – just gotta be a little resourceful. By the way – I’ve only bought one thing on the Internet but haven’t eaten it – nor will I ever as it is quite old…

Yeah here’s my Arnold Schwarzenegger Cup Noodle. Got it off of eBay a few years ago and it was a few years old back then. I was asked yesterday if I think some noodle companies have a competitiveness amongst each other. When you’re paying for the pre-Governator to adorn your noodle cups, yeah there’s competition. But not here in the states where noodles seem to be an afterthought and more of a last resort for college students.

So something you can do on your way to the Asian supermarket – actually leaving – is look around the entrance/exit area. There are usually a ton of newspapers and other printed materials as well as free CDs, DVDs, cassettes, VHS tapes – you name it. At 99 Ranch yesterday I would say there were about 60 cassettes sitting in a box. What’s on this stuff? Wel,l some is Vietnamese, I think some is Korean but its all for the most part religious. I picked up a little baggie there the other da that had 4 DVDs in it. It was a funeral, and the months leading up to the funeral of an old woman – who I imagine was important. Was a lot of chanting repetitively. I don’t know what it was about but it was interesting.

So there’s the current news… I’ll post something else soon.

– The Ramen Rater

#538: Lucky Me! Instant Lomi (Seafood Vegetable) Instant Noodles Artificial Seafood Flavor

So I’m going to make a special dinner tonight for my lady and I – we’re gonig to have Nissin Chicken Top Ramen and Nissin Demae Ramen concurrently and review and compare both. Well, I thought hey why not have a small pack of this filipino ramen noodle stuff, I mean, I’m a little hungry so why not.

The noodles were humongous! I was very surprised!

The single gleaming silver packet was monolithic in stature and held a lot of powder.

A whole lot… I couldn’t help but wet my finger and dip it into it and have a taste…

So this is a hallway. I often walk out into this hallway or come home from somewhere with my lady and we both look at each other with this sort of disgusted ‘what the hell’ expression. This is due to a smell. A smell that I think comes from…

THIS (click image to enlarge)! As soon as I put the soup and noodle in and gave a stir, I felt a sort of retching feeling come over me. Then guess what? I went into the hallway and couldn’t smell the funky smell. Why? Because I think my nose was already full of it! Of course, I’m eating it. It’s like a lemon filet of sole with cream corn and Pine Sol melange that kicks you right in the sensory perceptors. Oh god.. . Okay so the noodles were interesting… Aside from that, too salty. Very Funyuns tasting. Ecch… Seafood taste but the wrong taste – the seafood that you don’t want thats left at ythe end of the day at the seafood counter at the bottom of the melted ice… To top it off the last little sips of broth were slightly gelatinous. 0.5 out of 5.0 stars and those 0.5 stars are for bizarreness and the fact that at least the noodles were interesting, what little of them there was. Wow. I mean really.  Someone around here really like it though.