Tag Archives: hot garlic

#2556: Ching’s Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles

#2556: Ching's Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles - India - The Ramen Rater - Desi Chinese

Okay for a couple years now, the old pack version of Ching’s Secret Hot Garlic has been on The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles Of All Time list. I heard through the grapevine though that Hot Garlic didn’t seem that hot to another review site, Ramen Regret Rater. So, I thought I’d hunt it down to give it another try.

I remember the first time I’d tried Hot Garlic I thought it was hot. Damn hot. Really garlicky and hot.

Now this is from India, but with a Chinese feel to it. In the United States, we have what is known as American Chinese food. Dishes are skewed a bit from their traditional preparation to appeal to the tastes of, well… White people. The same deal is true in India – Indian Chinese food is more skewed towards Indian tastes. I think that’s what they’re referring to on the packaging where it states ‘I (heart) Desi Chinese.’ Here’s a little about Desi Chinese from Wikipedia –

Indian Chinese cuisine is the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes through a larger offering of vegetarian dishes. The Indian Chinese cuisine is said to have been developed by the small Chinese community that has lived in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) for over a century. Today, Chinese food is an integral part of the Indian culinary scene.[1] It is also enjoyed by Indian and Chinese communities in Malaysia, Singapore and North America.

The cuisine is believed to have originated from the Chinese of Kolkata and Chinese food is still popular there. At present, the Chinese population in Kolkata stands at approximately 2,000.[2] Most of these people are of Hakka origin; however, many dishes of modern Indian Chinese cuisine bear little resemblance to traditional Chinese cuisine.[3]

People of Chinese origin mostly live in India’s only Chinatown located around Terreti Bazar and Bowbazar area, which has since been relocated to Tangra, Kolkata. Most of these immigrants were Hakka. Chinatown in Kolkata still boasts a number of Chinese restaurants specialising in Hakka cuisine and Indian Chinese variants.

Ubiquitous main course entrees include:

  • Chilli Chicken/Prawn/Fish/Mutton/Vegetables/Paneer
  • Garlic Chicken/Prawn/Fish/Mutton/Vegetables/Paneer
  • Schezwan (sic) Chicken/Prawn/Fish/Mutton/Vegetables/Paneer – dishes with this name in fact usually bear very little resemblance to ones from China’s Sichuan Province (although they sometimes contain Sichuan peppercorns). They instead center mainly around a sauce containing Indian red chillies and garlic. (The spelling of “Schezwan” is not a mis-print; this is indeed the how the term tends to be spelled in the Indo-Chinese kitchen rather than “Sichuan”, “Szechuan” or “Szechwan”).[5]
  • Ginger Chicken/Prawn/Fish/Mutton/Vegetables/Paneer
  • Manchurian Chicken/Prawn/Fish/Mutton/Vegetables/Paneer, generally consisting of a variety of meats or paneer with vegetables in a spicy brown sauce.[6] It is basically a creation of Chinese restaurants in India, and bears little resemblance to traditional Manchu cuisine or Chinese cuisine.[3] It is said to have been invented in 1975 by Nelson Wang; Wang described his invention process as starting from the basic ingredients of an Indian dish, namely chopped garlic, ginger, and green chilis, but next, instead of adding garam masala, he put in soy sauce instead, followed by cornstarch and the chicken itself.[7] A popular vegetarian variant replaces chicken with cauliflower,[6] and is commonly known as gobi manchurian. Other vegetarian variants include mushroom, baby corn, veggie ball Manchurian.

Indian Chinese food is readily available in major metropolitan areas of India such as Bhopal, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kochi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Bangalore. It is also available in a number of towns and at dhabas (roadside stalls), also popularly referred to as “Fast food”, adjacent to major Indian roads and highways. Many restaurants have a Chinese section in their menus, and some are even dedicated to serving Indian Chinese food. It can also be found in mobile kitchen carts (lari or rekdi) that ply the streets of cities, prepared in woks over a portable gas burner. Manchurian sauce, Schezwan sauce, soy sauce and Hakka noodles are available in many stores in cities across the country.

Many overseas Indian restaurants in the West and the Middle East also cater to the overseas Indians’ nostalgic taste for Indian Chinese food.[8] The cuisine is also branching out into the mainstream in major cities of North America such as New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Vancouver. Chinese food in Nairobi, Kenya, also tends to be of this style. It is also available in Australia, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. In many of these places, the restaurants are labelled as Hakka Chinese, when in fact the cuisine itself has very little resemblance to authentic Hakka cuisine. “Hakka” label in these restaurants are usually referring to the owner’s origins, and many Chinese restaurant owners in India were of Hakka origin.

Well, that was an education on the subject. So this Hot Garlic was a beast last time – let’s see if it still packs the same punch inside a new package design.

Ching’s Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles – India

#2556: Ching's Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles - India - The Ramen Rater - Desi Chinese

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add one seasoning sachet and one block of noodles to 250ml boiling water. Cook 2~3 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2556: Ching's Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles - India - The Ramen Rater - Desi Chinese

One of the four noodle blocks.

#2556: Ching's Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles - India - The Ramen Rater - Desi Chinese

The four seasoning sachets.

#2556: Ching's Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles - India - The Ramen Rater - Desi Chinese

Okay that smells very garlicky.

Finished (click to enlarge). Okay so I did some investigating and found something. In a cooking video by Ching’s Secret, the chef mentions using 225ml water. This package clearly is stating the use of 250ml water. Water dilutes. Starting with the noodles, they’re good – standard instant with nice gauge and a good chew. As for the flavor – if you love garlic, this is definitely for you! Lots of bits of garlic in there and a very strong garlic taste. As for the spicy heat, honestly I’m sad to say it won’t be on this year’s top ten spicy list. I don’t think the 25ml water addition made much of a difference though – maybe a new recipe? But I can certainly say this is one to try if you like spicy things – especially the heat you get from garlic. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8901595963362.

#2556: Ching's Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles - India - The Ramen Rater - Desi Chinese

Chings Secret H o t   G a r l i c 10.5 Oz

Never saw this before – looks like they reference The Ramen Rater in the fine print – can anyone translate?

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles Of All Time 2015 Edition

As many might know, I started The Ramen Rater (click to see the old site) in 2002 and did about 60 reviews. Then, I turned my attention to spicy hot sauces with The Sauce Rater. In 2010, I resumed my instant noodle reviewing. I’ve long been a fan of the spicy side of things – strong heat and good flavor are a couple of my favorite things. Let’s have a look at the absolutely hottest varieties I’ve found in my over 1,700 reviews of instant noodles from around the world in this year’s The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles Of All Time 2015 Edition.

#10: Wugudaochang Sichuan Pepper & Chicken Flavor – China

The Sichuan pepper was something relatively new to me until I really got a mouthful of them in this variety. It kind of reminds me of the way a hot pepper acts, but then when you inhale, it has a kind of cooling kind of sensation like mint; hard to explain but definitely something different. This one came with a peanut and pepper garnish and the noodles had a very nice gauge and texture. Original review here

#9: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja – South Korea

While still not available in the United States, Jinjja Jinjja is back in South Korea! This one packs a serious punch of heat along with pork, peanut and black sesame seeds. Original review here

#8: JML Emperor Instant Noodles Spicy Chicken – China

I wasn’t expecting this one to be extremely spicy at the outset and then was in for a ride. Very very hot – augmented with a large sachet of coarse chilli peppers. Original review here

#7: emart Dare You! Habanero Jjamppong – South Korea

Extreme heat is paired with nice bit of seafood broth and lots of bits of seafood. All the fire and flavor melded together with thick ramyun noodles make it hot as well as delicious. This one comes in at 1,960 SHU (Scoville Heat Units). Original review here

#6: MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle – Malaysia

MyKuali’s new recipe added a big punch of heat to their already amazing and groundbreaking Penang White Curry Noodle. Thick almost saucelike broth fires up the palate and includes a generous amount of garlic this time. Original review here

#5: Ching’s Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles – India

When I found this one at a local Indian market, I was very enthused. I thought to myself ‘hey, I like garlic!’ I kind of expected a salty, buttery and almost fettucini kind of thing. But no – this innocuous looking plate of noodles was violently spicy! Super hot garlic spiciness just builds and builds! Original review here

#4: Paldo Teumsae Ramyun – South Korea

On the list for four years now! Another South Korean ramyun with serious kick to it. This isn’t to be trifled with!  Teumsae has restaurants in South Korea which serve up some seriously spicy fare. I really like the text underneath the word Teumsae which reads, ‘Flavor. Culture. Human’ Original review here

#3: Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyeon – South Korea

I would say that I’ve seen dozens of videos on YouTube showing people competitively eating this one. This stuff is extremely hot. Another brothless variety and it really packs a punch as well as has a nice taste to it. Thick ramyun noodles round everything out nicely and will transmit the spicy sauce to your tongue. Original review here

#2: Paldo Bulnak Bokkummyun Spicy Fried Octopus Ramyun – South Korea

See that little octopus on the package with the smile on his face? He’s laughing. Laughing as he watches you sweat as you eat this ultra spicy ramyun! I’m not kidding this one was over the top spicy! Bring a fire extinguisher. Original review here

#1: emart Dare You! Habanero Ramyun – South Korea

For the fourth year running, this stuff tops the list. Despite a packaging design change, you should still heed the warnings; habanero pepper top right corner, temperature gauge and screaming person, black packaging… Yeah – it’s not one to underestimate; this is violently hot. The broth just keeps delivering the heat and it’s just insane. Try licking a lit candle – I swear this stuff is hotter! Original review here

#1556: Ching’s Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles

Have you ever taken a clove of garlic and eaten it straight? I would have to say that I’ve done it with a few different varieties. Some types of garlic are extremely hot and spicy, rivaling chilli peppers. They’re no joke and they burn like fire! I had a bite of this tiny little one once – I think it was a Himalayan variant – and it was so freaking hot! Well, I like spicy things and I like garlic, so this one really piques my interest. Let’s check out this Ching’s Secret Hot Garlic and see if we can find out if the secret is hot or not.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, break noodle block into 4 parts and add pieces and seasoning sachet contents to 225ml boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!

The noodle block.

The seasoning sachet.

I am very happy to report that this stuff has a very strong garlic scent!


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added coriander. The noodles soaked up all the liquid and ended up kind of like an instant noodle with an alfredo sauce consistency coating to them. I wasn’t sure if they’d truly be hot garlic, but that sense of wonder was quickly replaced by mouth burning heat! Little bits of garlic throughout and just a mean burn – lasted for minutes after I finished – these are not for the faint of heart and weak of heat. Definitely a contender! 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.EAN bar code 8901595963331.

Here you can get Ching’s Secret Hot Garlic!

A Ching’s Secret TV advertisement.