Tag Archives: jinjja

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

South Korean Varieties From A Kind Reader

Lots of boxes lately! This one comes from South Korea from reader Anders E. Thanks! He’s a reddit guy who offered to send me some stuff from South Korea that I’ve been wating to get for a while now!

Very well packed!

I’ve not been able to contact eMart in a while. They’re the company that makes the #1 on my spicy list. Anders found me their new package design packs of the Dare You Habanero Ramen in packs and a cup, as well as a Jjajangmyeon version!

The reason I first started corresponding with Anders was because he kept posting pictures of Jinjja Jinjja, a product that Nongshim had discontinued but was one of my all time favorite South Korean varieties. Well, it looks as if they’re re-introduced it – awesome! Curious to see what the difference will be. We also have here Nongshim Gomtang. Thanks a lot!

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!

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

I got a couple of these family packs sent as samples from Nongshim America the other day…

I’ve had tons of the version that they sell in Korea, but now they’re making it in the United States – specifically in Rancho Cucamonga, California! Today I’ll give this stuff a try and see if it’s as good as what I’ve tried from Korea.

The back of the package (click to enlarge).

The noodle block.

The powder seasoning packet.

Spicy powder!

Nutty seasoning!

Tastes like peanuts and has black sesame seeds in there.

The veggie packet.

Here are all the seasonings hanging out together.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added some sweet onion. The noodles are great – plentiful and of a nice gauge. The slurp up just the right amount of broth and arrive at a very good consistency and chew. The broth is great – the peanut and spicy elements all combine to make a really fiery as well as hearty combination that is quite enjoyable. The veggies are plentiful and there’s a nice variety of them. This stuff is excellent, just like its Korean counterpart. Nice to see that everyone will get to try this stuff in the USA! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars – wonderful stuff! UPC bar code 031146019526.

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Here’s the Korean TV commercial for Jinjja Jinjja. These guys are known as Cultwo.

Here’s some of their Korea radio show.

Re-Review: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja (Really Really) Ramyun

You’re probably wonder ‘gee, he sure reviews that Jinjja Jinjja quite a lot – what gives?’ Well, they sent me a lot of it and since I really like it, I want to enjoy it before it expires. Well, actually it expired in September, but I’m just about out of it. Here’s the last full review of it.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added a slice of processed cheese, a little peanut butter, kimchi and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. Peanut butter – good stuff! Still calling it a 5.0 – great stuff! UPC bar code 8801043017916.

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This guy is brave – he’s pounding this stuff down!

Here’s both of the guys in the same commercial!

Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja For Lunch

Lunch (click to enlarge)!!!So I decided to have some of the Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja that they sent me a while back for lunch. I’ve reviewed it before – here’s the link. I added a slice of cheese, Crystal hot sauce, some Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake, an egg that I boiled with the noodles, some new odeng and onions. Oh – and of course kimchi! This is the first instant noodle that I devoured with the help of chopsticks! Yep – The Ramen Rater is going to be a chopstick eater! Funny; I wasn’t able to use them very well before but I tried them with kimbap, then some yakisoba I had at a restaurant and finally today and I’m stoked! Woot woot!

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Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja For Lunch

Click image to enlarge. Not a new review today – here’s the last full review of Nongshim’s Jinjja Jinjja. Today I thought I’d add some peanut butter, a could slices of processed cheese, some oven baked chicken, an egg and some veggies. Was really good. Hope everyone’s having a good Saturday! [AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B00DSXERRI”]

A Gift From The President Of Nongshim America

It’s been a couple months since our trip to Nongshim in Rancho Cucamonga, California. I was sent a very nice gift from the president of Nongshim America to thank us for visiting and for our reviews! Thank you! This is a golden pot, a very standard cooking item in Korea used to make ramyun!

A nice new bowl for noodles!

A nice ceramic bowl.

This one’s interesting – it’s a stainless bowl that has an empty air pocket in the middle so hot soup wont burn your fingers if you’re carrying the bowl! I think a bowl like this was used when I had Naengmyeon once.

This one’s fancy – has a nice pair of fish in the middle and a craquelure that’s glazed over – really neat!

This one has a nice earthenware material and the paint drips are really neat! Can’t wait to try these all out – going to of course break ’em in with Nongshim noodles too! Thanks again! As always, my reviews are based on the quality of the products and the products alone – and I’ve really enjoyed Nongshim’s products a lot!

Special: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja + Peanut Butter, Kimchi & BACON!!!

Good news and bad news. Bad news: no reviews for about a week (we’re going on vacation). The good news: I will leave you with the first ever bacon monstrosity!

Since Jinjja Jinjja has a pork base, I thought that it would be a great match for bacon!

If you would like to see my last review of Jinjja Jinjja, check it out here. With that, let’s get things going!

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now and last week, got some butcher block bacon at a local grocery store. Well, you know how bacon is cured and pretty much will stay fine in the fridge forever? Yeah – a single week and it was green. Crapulent. Our vacation begins with a 14+ hour drive and so we’re trying to get to bed early. Well, some bum decided to do all of their laundry, pushing our scheduled crashout time up at least an hour. As a result, we went to a different grocery store and got some new bacon. Kimchi’s a no-brainer here as It’s perfect with South Korean ramyun. The cheese is great too. But the peanut butter will be a new one for me – people have mentioned it many times before. Again, Jinjja Jinjja seemed a good fit with the peanut powder packet.

Whoa (click image to enlarge). Okay so I added a huge spoonful of peanut butter and used less water than is called for (to keep it spicy). Two slices of cheese, a good amount of kimchi and of course, the bacon. The peanut butter coats everything really well and I liked that a lot. I think if you’ve not tried bacon and peanut butter in your noodles, go out on a limb and give it a try – hey it’s good! Bacon for the win! See you in a week!

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Re-Review: Meet The Manufacturer: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja (Really Really) Ramyun

Since my last review of this product, I found out that I made it wrong! Yup… I suppose if I could read Korean I would’ve made it right. It turns out that the red packet goes in first with the noodles and cooks, and the peanut and veggies go in last after everything’s cooked! I’m hungry – gonna do it exactly as I’m supposed to this time! Here’s the old review.

Yeah I should learn to read Korean! Ah well… It was really good made incorrectly so we’ll see how it is made the right way. Click image to enlarge.

The noodle block! Roar! Again, I read that the flour used to make these particular noodle blocks have a little chili pepper added to make the noodles spicier!

The fiery red powder that brings the heat!

Plenty of fire! Hooray!

Peanut powder!

This is a truly unique component – I really like it.

The vegetables.

Add them last!

Finished (click image to enlarge).  Added some onions. Again, the noodles are wonderful and just right. The broth was absolutely great – hot,and spicy and a great flavor that not only was enchanting to the tongue but to the nose as well, most notably by the peanut fragrance. This time, I tried it by putting the vegetables on top at the very end and they definitely were better – in retrospect, I remember I thought it was interesting that the R&D people at Nongshim did it this was when I tried it the very first time there in California. Since I tried Jinjja Jinjja on the 17th of May, I’ve had it a total of four times. This is pretty uncommon for me; I don’t usually crave the same noodles so soon after having them. I would have to say this is quite a good product and one deserving of a perfect score of 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. By my own words in the How I Review section, a 5.0 is one that I will call up my friends and tell them to try. Well, this one and the new Shin Black Onion cup are both ones that would fall into that category. The flavor, the uniqueness and the sheer pleasure of a bowl of noodles that makes me sweat are all at hand, and I couldn’t be happier. UPC bar code 8801043017916.

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This guy is brave – he’s pounding this stuff down!

Here’s both of the guys in the same commercial!

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.

#745: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja (Really Really) Ramyun

Here’s something really new and very different from a lot of the instant noodles I’ve reviewed before. Jinjja Jinjja translates to “Really Really” (Spicy Spicy) – and I suppose in this review we’re going to find out how really really spicy Jinjja is! I should say that I sampled this one at Nongshim America while I was down there, so I have tried it before – but not a while bowl of it. I found out that the flavor comes from boiling pork bones for a long time, black beans and peanuts! It also turns out that the wheat flour used to make these has some red pepper powder added to them – heat in the noodle as well as from the dry seasonings! Let’s give this a try!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). As you can see, it’s in Korean – it will be available in the United States soon. On Nongshim USA’s facebook page, they’re asking for suggestions as to what to call this in the states!

The big round noodle block – ready to rumble!

Here’s the heat – big red packet full of powder!

Took a pinch to taste before cooking – yeah this is spicy that’s for sure! Has a nice flavor to it too.

Here’s a packet that I imagine will have the peanut component to it.

Indeed it does – a nice peanut flavor and very fine powder.

Finally, the vegetable packet.

A myriad of thin, light and colorful veggie flakes.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Soon as it was done, my nose was happily greeted by the peanut smell. Then I dug in! First, the noodles: nice. They’re a little chewy and a perfect gauge to them. Not crumbly, not stiff – just right. The broth: first off, it’s spicy. Really really spicy! Underneath the heat lies a complex flavor of saltiness and spices that balance very nicely. Usually I’ve found that with instant noodle varieties that are about heat are not so much about flavor – this one is spicy as well as tasty. The veggies are there and in a decent amount. I would think this would be great with a little shredded pork, an egg  and some extra veggies as well – and I think next time I may try it with a slice of processed cheese. This is good stuff – my lips are happily burning! Bottom line: If you like it spicy, you’ll be pleased! 4.75 out of 5.0 stars! UPC bar code 8801043017916 .

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Here’s a TV commercial for Jinjja Jinjja – the two men are ‘cultwo’ – famous comedians Kim tae-kwyun and Jung Chan-woo.

Another Jinjja Jinjja commercial.