Tag Archives: ice

The 0.5x Spicy Mala Fire Noodle Challenge

Here we are again with the Fire Noodle Challenge. This is the Samyang Foods Mala Buldak Bokkeummyun. So, all over YouTube, people are wincing and screaming as they choke down packs of Mala – why? Well, for some reason, they are under the impression that it’s 4x spicy. Don’t get me wrong – it’s quite spicy – it’ll kick your butt. But it is a far cry from the 2x Spicy Nuclear Fire Noodle, that’s for sure.

Here’s my full dissertation of what’s going on here. It’s funny – all of this and even talking to the company and I got this comment on YouTube today – ‘t’s not a same thing man.. they have the mala flavor with 4x spiciness written on the packages. But not every mala flavor has 4x spiciness. I think you are trying the regular one’ – yeah… So all I could find as far as a pack saying 4x was a picture of a pack with a 2 changed to a 4 in Photoshop – and you could even see the 2 underneath still… Amateurs. Anyways, here’s an article touting my claim as well. In the video above you can see that there’s a snippet of a communication with Samyang Foods as well. So yeah sorry YouTube – there’s no 4x spicy fire noodle. Quite honestly, I hope there will be sometime – I hope it’s in a green package too! I mean, they’ve done almost every other color. Maybe a 4x spicy green onion flavor? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan – Hong Kong

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

Here’s one I found at PriceSmart Foods up in Richmond, BC in July 2017. They had a ton of these and they sounded interesting. These are from Hong Kong – not a place I would think of when it comes to laksa. Here’s a little about laksa from Wikipedia –

There are various theories about the origins of laksa. In Indonesia, the dish is believed to have been born from the Chinese coastal settlements and the mixing of cultures between Chinese merchants and the local cooking practices.[7] As Peranakan Chinese communities have blended their ancestors’ culture with local culture, Peranakan communities in different places now demonstrate diversity according to the local flavour.[8] In Malaysia, the dish is believed to have been introduced by Chinese immigrants in Malacca.[9] In Singapore, the dish (or its local “Katong” version) is believed to have been created after interaction between the Peranakans with the local Singaporeans.[10][11]

Various recipes of laksas have gained popularity in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia; and subsequently international recognition. Initially in July 2011, CNN Travel ranked Penang Asam Laksa 7th out of the 50 most delicious foods in the world.[12] Its rank however, fell to number 26th after CNN held an online poll by 35,000 people, published in September 2011.[13] Singaporean Curry Laksa on the other hand ranked in number 44th.[13]

In Indonesia, laksa is one of the traditional comfort foods; the spicy warm noodle soup is much appreciated during cold rainy days. However, its popularity is somewhat overshadowed by soto, a similar hearty warm soup dish, which is often consumed with rice instead of noodles. In modern households, it is common practice to mix and match the recipes of laksas; if traditional laksa noodle is not available, Japanese udon noodles might be used instead

Alright – let’s check out this variety from Hong Kong!

Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan – Hong Kong

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

A big and hard to remove distributor/import sticker (click to enlarge).

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains shrimp. To prepare, add in all sachets and boiling water to fill line. Cover and let steep for… Yeah – no instructions. Great. I’m going to go with 3 minutes and give it a look and if that’s not enough to hydrate the rice noodles, 5 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

An included fork!

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

The ho fan rice noodles.

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

A large dry base sachet.

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

A decent amount of powder.

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

The laksa sauce sachet.

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

Thick and smells like curry.

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

A solid ingredients sachet.

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

Kind of surprised to see corn in this.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added fishball, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, egg , spring onion, and fried onion. The noodles are thin and broad with a little more chew than I expected for a rice noodle, however, not an unwelcome one. The broth was good however I think that the amount of water required due to the fill line position was just way too much and what could have been a stronger curry broth was neutered by dilution which makes me sad. 3.0 out of 5.0 stars.  UPC bar code 087303866793.

#2632: Sau Tao Laksa Flavour Ho Fan - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - rice noodle - instant noodle

Sau Tao Brand Scallop Flavor Chinese Noodles, Non-Fried

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The Definitive Guide To Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun

Samyang Foods Carbe Buldak Bokkeummyun

THE RAMEN RATER SPICY PACK! CHECK IT OUT HERE!

I started doing top ten lists over 5 years ago. So one list that’s been increasingly popular over the years has been The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles Of All Time series. Debate over which is hotter than the other has been going on for a very long time. Finally, one thing’s for sure, South Korean varieties dominate this list.

The Definitive Guide To Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun

One variety that has captivated the world is Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun. The ‘Fire Noodle Challenge’ is something of legend; people will try to eat a bowl of the spicy noodles as fast as they can and then (usually in a YouTube video), the reaction to the heat is seen, ranging from silence to screaming, calmness to dripping sweat. 

The viral mania of this challenge has finally prompted me to release a special series on the varieties and some info on them you might not know. I have included a boatload of information in this post – check out the video as well as all the information below it!

  • UPDATE: 12/21/2018 – Added new 10,000SHU Hek Buldak Bokkeummyun & Buldak Bokkeummyun Gyoza Dumplings
  • UPDATE: 4/1/2018 – Added Jjang Buldak Bokkeummyun and Squid Snack
  • UPDATE: 1/8/2018 – Added Carbo Buldak Bokkeummyun
  • UPDATE – 12.18.2017 – Mala is NOT 4x Spicy  !!
  • UPDATE – 09.07.2017 – Added Buldak Bokkeummyun Mala variety

Video Presentation

This is a presentation I’ve made including lots of informational as well as me taking down a bowl of the 2x Spicy noodles.

Varieties

HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen / 불닭볶음면 / Buldak Bokkueummyun / Launch 2012.4.16 / SHU 4,404

The original ‘Fire Noodle.’ This comes in packs, bowls and cups. The bowls are commonly used in the popular YouTube ‘Fire Noodle Challenge’ videos. Full review

HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen Cheese / 치즈불닭볶음면 / Cheese Buldak Bokkueummyun Launch 2016.3 / SHU 2,323

Significantly less fiery than the original Buldak Bokkeummyun, the cheese version includes a sachet of cheese powder. Available in pack, cup and bowl. Originally was sold in packs with a black background, however people mistook it for the original version. A more ‘cheese colored’ background was then chosen. Full review

HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen Stew Type / 불닭볶음탕면 / Buldak Bokkueumtangmyun Launch 2016.8 / SHU 4,705

The ‘Stew Type’ has (you guessed it) broth. These are available in packs and bowls. I have seen many people make the original variety incorrectly and enjoy it as a soup, but this one is meant to have a broth. Full review

HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen Cool/Ice Type / 쿨불닭볶음면 / Cool/Ice Buldak Bokkueummyun Launch 2016.8 / SHU 4,404

I believe this is only available in packs. Originally called ‘Cool,’ the folks at Samyang decided it might be a good idea to market it as ‘Ice’ outside of South Korea so nobody got confused. Full review

2X Spicy HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen / 핵불닭볶음면 / Hack Buldak Bokkueummyun / Launch 2016.1 / SHU 8,808

A double-spicy version of original Buldak Bokkeummyun. These are available in packs and bowls. They mention that they are a ‘limited edition,’ but I couldn’t find out when they would be discontinued. Full review

HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen Curry / 커리불닭볶음면 / Curry Buldak Bokkueummyun   Launch 2016.12 / SHU 3,810

The most recent (as of this guide’s release) is Curry. It is available in packs and bowls. Less spicy than the original Buldak Bokkeummyun, it has a nice curry flavor to it. Full review

MALA BULDAK BOKKEUMMYEON (HOT CHICKEN FLAVOR RAMEN MALA

Mala Buldak Bokkeummyun is NOT 4x Spicy !!

SPECIAL STATEMENT AS OF 12/19/2017: It has come to my attention that many places/people are under the impression that this variety is considered to be ‘Samyang Foods 4x Spicy Buldak Bokkeummyun.’ This is definitely NOT the case. Original Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun is 4,404SHU, 2x Spicy is 8,706SHU. I have been informed by Samyang Foods that Samyang Foods Mala Buldak Bokkeummyun is 2,700SHU – which is far less spicy than the original Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun. Sellers claiming this product as Samyang Foods 4x Spicy Buldak Bokkeummyun – this is misleading and untrue. I’ve mentioned in the past that I would love to try a Samyang Foods 4x Spicy Buldak Bokkeummyun, however NO SUCH PRODUCT EXISTS at the time of this update.
This is a differentiated ‘Mala(numbing and spicy)’ flavor of BULDAK BOKKEUMMYEON(HOT CHICKEN FLAVOR RAMEN).
It features a spicy numbing stir-fry noodle with Chinese ‘Mala’ sauce.
It’s a combination of numbing spicy taste and the original flavor of Hot Chicken. This one has some spiciness from Sichuan pepper to appeal to Chinese tastes. Full review

 

Carbo HOT Chicken Flavor / Carbo Buldak Bokkeummyun ‘ SHU 2,600 * Launched December 2017

Carbo is a variety celebrating the billionth serving of Buldak Bokkeummyun sold. At first, the thought crossed my mind that Carbo was referring to lower carbs; a health conscious version perhaps. This is actually short for carbonara. I asked the company about whether is contained pork or was HALAL. As of January 8th, 2018, it is not HALAL certified but will be soon. Also, neither this nor any of the Buldak Bokkeummyun range contains pork or pork products as mentioned by the company. Full review here

Jjajang HOT Chicken Flavor / Jjajang Buldak Bokkeummyun – SHU 1,920 * Launched March 2018

Jjajang debuted March of 2018. It is on the lower end of the spectrum as far as spiciness goes in the Buldak Bokkeummyun series, however it has a very good flavor. Jjajang is a spicy black bean sauce and this one also includes vegetables such as peas. Here’s the full review and a mukbang video.

Korean Updated 2X Spicy HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen / 핵불닭볶음면 / Hack Buldak Bokkueummyun / Launch 2018.12 / SHU 10,000

Recently I saw something about a new Buldak Bokkeummyun in the Korean Samyang Foods instagram. I asked about it and was told it was just coming back. What? Well, the 2x was advertised as for a ‘limited time’ and apparently, it was in South Korea. They brough it back December 3rd, 2018 – however this time it’s 10,000 SHU. This link will take you to the review which contains unboxing, cooking, mukbang, and a special holiday recipe.

SNACKS

Hot Chicken Ramen Snack / 부셔먹는 라면스낵불닭 / Busyeomeongneun Ramyeonseunaek
Buldak / Launch 2016.6

Snack noodles in South Korea are very popular. These are crushed while still in the bag and then the sachet is taken out and sprinkled into the bag. The bag is closed and then you shake it to disperse the flavor. Alternately, there is a cooking instruction on the package as well. Full review

ZZALDDUCK SNACK / 짤떡 / Zzaldduck / Launch 2014.12

These are short tubes with a crunchy texture. They have a sweet and spicy character to them much like a very light Buldak Bokkeummyun seasoning. They resemble macaroni or penne pasta. Full review

Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun Hot Chicken Flavor Squid

Dried squid is a popular Asian snack and this variety packs the heat of original Buldak Bokkeummyun. Here’s the full review.

Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun Hot Chicken Flavor Gyoza Dumpling

U heard about this one and was very interested. I found out it was available north of the border in Canada. We go there pretty often, but it took searching on four trips to find it. These are frozen section spicy little dumplings full of Buldak Bokkeummyun spiciness and flavor. They pretty good and I did this review where I paired them with the Stew Type – check it out!

 

Correct Preparation Of Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun

1) Put the noodles and flakes into 600ml boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
2) Please remove the water from noodles (reserve 8 spoons of water (120ml = 15ml * 8 or 1/2 cup)) and put liquid soup Into noodles, stir-fry 30 seconds.
3) Add flakes, stir well, and serve.

Interview

I was fortunate to be able to interview Amelia Kwak / Overseas sales support team / Brand manager on the subject of Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun line of products.

THE RAMEN RATER> How did you originally come to decide to produce a super spicy instant noodle?

SAMYANG FOODS> Kim Jung-Su, the president of our company, noticed people crowded in a restaurant which served spicy chickens and had an idea to develop a new stir-type of instant noodle. Our marketing and R&D team tried more than 1,200 spicy chicken dishes and 2 tons of spicy sauce to find deliciously spicy tastes. We finally discovered the best portion of spicy sauce and launched ‘Buldak Bokkeummyun’.

TRR> What about the risks in producing a product that many will not be able to handle due to spicy level?

SAMYANG FOODS> Actually, Koreans like spicy tastes so we thought there’s customer needs of spicy ramen so we thought many people like it. However, overseas consumers can’t eat spicy food well, thus we were a little worried about it. Despite of that problem, overseas people also like Buldak. In my opinion, they seem to enjoy the challenge and relieve their stress when they try it.

TRR> What does Buldak Bokkeummyun mean; what is Korean spicy chicken like?

SAMYANG FOODS> It means a Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen. ‘Bulkdak’ means spicy chicken and ‘Bokkeummyun’ means stirred type of noodles. Korean spicy chicken is literally spicy chicken. In Korea, many restaurants usually cook it with very hot flavor adding red pepper, which is more spicy than general Korean food. So, it is hard to eat even for Korean. We added noodle on hot chicken flavor, so we could make characteristic noodle.

TRR> How did the Fire Noodle Challenge originate?

SAMYANG FOODS> Due to extremely spicy taste, Buldak Bokkeummyun mania were formed at first. Then, diverse recipe has been introduced by them, and spread through some Social Network Service channel especially on YOUTUBE. Also, extremely spicy taste has been issued by the public. Based on this issue, people are still challenging to eat it worldwide.

TRR> Did you expect the level of popularity of this super spicy product?

SAMYANG FOODS> We strongly believed the success of “Buldak Bokkuemmyun” because there had been no this kind of stirred type of instant noodles until 2012. We thought many people who like spicy tastes would be addicted to that tastes as our product is characterized in deliciously spicy.

TRR> How do you measure the SHU – is there a special test and how is the number calculated?

SAMYANG FOODS> SHU is a measurement of the spicy heat of chili peppers. Our R&D center analyzes the component of capsaicin and dehydrocapsaicin which cause spicy tastes in liquid soup. Then, we calculate SHU by standard equation.

TRR> Can you detail exactly how you figure out the SHU a little more? Is spectrometry used? What is the standard formula you mentioned?

SAMYANG FOODS> As I told you, SHU (Scoville Heat Unit) is a measurement of the spicy heat of chili peppers. First, we measure the concentration of capsaicin and dehydrocapsacin by using the HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography). Then, we measure scoville heat units by using the equation below. (Although there is no official rule of calculating SHU, we have used the equation which is generally used.)

SHU = ( Dehydrocapsacin conc. X 0.82 + Capsacin conc. ) X 16
※ Concentration unit = μg/g

TRR> The chicken character has changed from it’s original look. Does the chicken have a name and can you tell a little more about the mascot?
SAMYANG FOODS> Name: HOCHI
Birthday : April 13
Character

  • Addicted to spicy taste.
  • Full of confidence and motivation, but whimsical
    Features:
  • Having the worst fashion sense and dreaming of being a food stylist.
  • A poorly proportioned body
  • Poor at housekeeping
  • Can eat five packs of HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen at a time.

TRR> There have been a lot of people cooking the original Buldak Bokkeummyun with soup instead of as a dry stir noodle. What are the official cooking instructions for cooking the original Buldak Bokkeummyun on the package (for those who can’t read Korea)?

SAMYANG FOODS> Dry stir noodle type is our official cooking instruction
Below is our instruction appeared in our packing material.

1) Put the noodles and flakes into 600ml boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
2) Please remove the water from noodles(remain 8 spoon of water) and put liquid soup Into noodles, stir-fry 30 seconds.
3) Add flakes, stir well, and serve.

TRR> Exactly how many mL 8 spoons of water are?

SAMYANG FOODS> 8 table spoon of water would be approximately 120ml. (15ml per spoon)

TRR> Other than the container, is there a difference between the pack version and the bowl versions?

SAMYANG FOODS> There is little differences in ingredients because we tried best to minimize those differences. However, you can notice small differences because of cooking method. In a case of bowl type, Stir time is skipped so it’s more spicy than pack version. Actually, noodles release starch during stir time so, spicy taste is relatively relived

TRR> Are there new Buldak Bokkeummyun varieties coming soon? Can you share what they might be?

SAMYANG FOODS> We have launched new Buldak Bokkeummyun series. One is Curry Buldak Bokkeummyun (HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen Curry) and other is Hack Buldak Bokkeummyun (2X spicy Hot Chicken flavor Ramen).

Curry Buldak : In curry Bulkdak, taste of curry and original Buldak have been well balanced. However, it is only for foreign consumers, not be sold in Korea yet.

Hack Buldak : Hack Buldak’s SHU is twice as spicy in comparison to buldak. It is a limited edition so we recommend you to try it. I guess it is the most spicy instant noodle in the world.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for giving my readers the opportunity to find out more about the Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun range!

Nomenclature/Translation/Timeline

Ther Definitive Guide To Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun

This list (click to enlarge) was supplied by Samyang Foods.

Mascot

Name: HOCHI (click image to enlarge)
Birthday : April 13
Character

  • Addicted to spicy taste.
  • Full of confidence and motivation, but whimsical
    Features:
  • Having the worst fashion sense and dreaming of being a food stylist.
  • A poorly proportioned body
  • Poor at housekeeping
  • Can eat five packs of HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen at a time.

I want to thank all the great people at Samyang Foods to make this special feature possible, especially Amelia, Taehoon and Joey who helped with making this special series possible. They sent samples and answered so many questions I’ve posed to them kindly.

I also want to thank Colin, a reader from Massachusetts who originally sent me the Ice Type for review, 1theKorea, an eBay seller who was very helpful in sourcing varieties and helping greatly. Moreover, you can find many South Korean instant varieties in his store. Anders and Ji-Min, readers from South Korea for sending some great varieties. Finally, I would like to thank my son Andreas for being so adventurous at the age of 11 to try the 2x spicy. Indeed, spicy food has never been his thing and he ate a big bite and survived! You can see part of the video with us trying the Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun 2x Spicy in the end credits of the above video and our full video in the Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun 2x Spicy review.

#2368: Samyang Foods Cool/Ice Type Buldak Bokkeummyun

#2426: Samyang Foods Ice Type Buldak Bokkeummyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater

Part Of The Ramen Rater’s Definitive Guide To Samyang Foods’ Buldak Bokkeummyun

HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen Cool/Ice Type / 쿨불닭볶음면 / Cool/Ice Buldak Bokkueummyun Launch 2016.8 / SHU 4,404

Today it’s the cold variety. Indeed, cold noodles with spicy sauce have long been around in South Korean ramyun varieties. However I’m guessing while cold in temperature, these will probably surpass most other in their hot flavor. This particular one is the export version, sent by a reader named Colin from Massachusetts. I noticed that the liquid sachet didn’t say ‘ice’ but ‘cool.’ Was this to be the original name? Well, I asked!

THE RAMEN RATER> Was the Ice variety originally going to be called Cool?

SAMYANG FOODS> Actually, our export product packages have some differences from those of domestic product. It’s for overseas customer to understand the products better. For example, export products have English subtitles whereas Korean products don’t have.
In Ice version case, Korean one is called “Cool Buldak Bokkeummyun” and overseas one is “HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen Ice”. The difference was made based on the cultural differences.
People accept COOL and ICE in different ways. Koreans naturally understand the meaning of COOL as cold, but they consider ICE as too cold so that they usually use COOL on foods,.
On the other hand, in Southeast Asia, people are not used to using COOL on foods. Therefore, we thought they would understand better when we use ICE type on our package.

I went to the store the other day searching for another one of these for a special presentation I’m doing – need 2 packs for that… But to no avail – perhaps because of the Summer popularity and it’s just ending Winter here? Luckily, my friends at Samyang Foods are sending another along by next week so I’ll be able to do the presentation. So let’s give this spicy chicken cold noodle a dry!

Samyang Foods Ice Type Buldak Bokkeummyun – South Korea

#2426: Samyang Foods Ice Type Buldak Bokkeummyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, boil noodles in 600ml water for 4 minutes. Then, drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2426: Samyang Foods Ice Type Buldak Bokkeummyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater

The noodle block.

#2426: Samyang Foods Ice Type Buldak Bokkeummyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater

The liquid sachet. Note it says ‘Cool’ – perhaps it was originally going to be ‘Cool’ type but they went for Ice instead?

#2426: Samyang Foods Ice Type Buldak Bokkeummyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater

The spicy sauce.

#2426: Samyang Foods Ice Type Buldak Bokkeummyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater

The garnish sachet.

#2426: Samyang Foods Ice Type Buldak Bokkeummyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater

Seaweed and sesame seeds.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, chicken massaged with gochujang, chilli oil, salt and pepper then baked, cucumber and fried shallot. The noodles have a nice and thick gauge and really are very nice chilled. The sauce is strong and spicy with a very nice sweetness to it. Definitely can see how it would be nice in the warmer months. The sesame seeds and seaweed add a nice little touch. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8801073113336.

#2426: Samyang Foods Ice Type Buldak Bokkeummyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater

Buldak All-in-One Spicy Challenge Package for the Brave One/ 4 different levels/2PCs of each levels inclusive

A recipe to make the original Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyun with milk, cheese and sausage. So many people make different recipes for instant noodles – pretty cool!