Tag Archives: noodle cups

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Cups Of All Time 2017 Edition

Instant noodle cups – so portable, so ubiquitous. They’re everywhere! People seem to really like them for lunch. I’ve found that people also like to take them when backpacking or camping – all you need is hot water and once done, you can flatten them so it’s easy to pack out your trash. These convenient meals have come a long way since their inception – many flavors and countries of origin. This list is a compilation of my favorite instant noodle cups from the over 2,500 instant noodle reviews I’ve done to date.

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Cups Of All Time 2017 Edition

#10: Mamee Mie Goreng Indonesia Spicy Sambal Flavour – Malaysia

#10: Mamee Mie Goreng Indonesia Spicy Sambal Flavour – Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle cups

The noodles came out so nicely – they have a great character of chew and whilst not in a broth, they’re not dry after being drained. The flavor is wonderful – spicy and tasty with that sweet-hot kick I love about mie goreng. The crunchy bits rounds everything out soundly. Original review

#9: Nissin Nupasta Carbonara Flavour Instant Noodle – Hong Kong

#9: Nissin Nupasta Carbonara Flavour Instant Noodle – Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle cups

The noodles came out very, very well. They have a very fresh quality to them and a decent quantity. The vegetables and meats hydrated and cooked great – little bits of bacon, mushroom and other stuff throughout. The flavor was just great too – the white powder turned into a sauce with perfect thickness and quantity – and it tasted like an alfredo sauce. This was just plain awesome. Original review

#8 Nissin Soba Nudeln Mit Yakisoba Sauce Yakitori Chicken – Germany

#8 Nissin Soba Nudeln Mit Yakisoba Sauce Yakitori Chicken - Germany - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle cups

The noodles are thin and very good – just perfect for yakisoba. The flavor is just perfect – I mean wow! It’s like the taste of grilled chicken and very good. The included garnish is everywhere are very nice. Impressed! Original review

#7: Mamee Chef Lontong Flavour – Malaysia

#7: Mamee Chef Lontong Flavour – Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle cups

The broth is first off a lot of fun to look at; the red and cream colors are really good looking. The broth has a creamy and spicy taste with lots of nice pieces of red pepper, and as always the ‘mi tarik’ noodles were just right. Very new and unique. Original review

#6: Nissin Cup Noodle Light+ Bagna Cauda – Japan

#6: Nissin Cup Noodle Light+ Bagna Cauda - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle cups

The noodles have a really nice quality to them – not mushy or anything; they’re just really good. The broth is saucy and hearty with a cheese and light fish taste which is augmented with vegetables galore. Amazing! This doesn’t make me think of low-calorie noodles, yet they are. Original review

#5: MAMA Instant Cup Noodles Seafood Pad Kee Mao Flavour – Thailand

#5: MAMA Instant Cup Noodles Seafood Pad Kee Mao Flavour – Thailand - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle cups

The flavor is really quite good and can be summed as kind of a sweet seafood taste with a great bite of spiciness – and then this lingering flavor from the holy basil. It’s got a really different flavor I wish was present more often in instant noodle varieties. Original review

#4: MyKuali Penang Red Tom Yum Goong Noodle Authentic Taste – Malaysia

#4: MyKuali Penang Red Tom Yum Goong Noodle Authentic Taste – Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle cups

The noodles have a very light chew and a different mouthfeel. While I wasn’t entirely satisfied with this new style of noodle in the White Curry cup, this works very nicely with the tom yum. The broth is a tour de force of strong flavors – spicy, lemongrass pucker and a really nice balance of shrimp and vegetable taste. Original review

#3: Mamee Chef Curry Laksa Flavour – Malaysia

#3: Mamee Chef Curry Laksa Flavour – Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle cups

There are some flavors erupting from Malaysia that are just fantastic and this instant noodle cup exudes them like a rock star. The noodles came out excellent – pretty much identical to the packaged version. The broth and garnish as well were great – rich curry flavor and premium garnishes including little tofu puff bits and pepper. Original review

#2: MyKuali Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodle Authentic Taste – Malaysia

#2: MyKuali Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodle Authentic Taste – Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle cups

The noodles are soft and have a kind of dark tan color to them. The broth here is like you died and went to prawn mee heaven. It’s thick, oily, spicy and tasty. It’s just awesome stuff, and then they go and include those awesome fried onions. The only thing is the bustling of motorbikes and people talking at the hawker court. Original review

#1: Nissin Cup Noodles Gourmet Sabor A Caldo De Camaron – Mexico

#1: Nissin Cup Noodles Gourmet Sabor A Caldo De Camaron - Mexico - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle cups

So the noodles came out great in the microwave – flat and thin with a nice light tooth. Indeed the broth was a show stopper – a great Mexican shrimp broth with a rich flavor and light heat. Moreover, it has a sweetness I’ve only seen in Southeast Asian variants previously. The shrimp that are included are among some of the largest I’ve seen in an instant noodle – not only did they hydrate perfectly but they’re of good quality as well. The other bits of garnish supplied such as cabbage, carrot and other things round everything out and give the cup an excellent premium feel. In conclusion, this was absolutely wonderful stuff and I am seriously impressed – best of the instant noodle cups to date. Original review

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Cups Of All Time 2016 Edition

This is the fourth Top Ten Instant Noodle Cups list I’ve done since 2013 and I just looked at the first one – none of them are still on this list! I will say one thing though – the ones on the 2013 list are all really good too. It’s hard picking a list to be honest; maybe a top fifty? Naw – ten is enough. Maybe when I’ve done 5000 reviews a top fifty might be in order. But for now, here’s the best of the best – my absolute favorite cup varieties from the 2,100+ reviews I’ve done.

Here’s this year’s The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Cups video.

#10: Nongshim Kimchi Flavor Noodle Soup – United States

As it says on the package, it come out the microwave very hot. By the time it was cool enough to sample, the noodles were perfect – good gauge and chew. The broth had a very tasty kimchi taste – bright and lively with that nice tanginess and heat I enjoy. The vegetables were abundant and well hydrated. Original review

#9: MAMA Cup Yentafo Tom Yum Mohfai – Thailand

The noodles have the standard wonderful gauge and chew of the noodles that are in MAMA cups. They have a nice texture and flavor to them. The broth is great – a nice color, spiciness and flavor that is a little sweet and very unique. Original review

#8: Nissin Cup Noodle Light+ Cheese Fondue – Japan

My first thought is wow. So the noodles come out very nicely – light chew and nice gauge. These noodles are different from the standard Cup Noodle. The broth is sensational; it’s very thick and has a very nice cheese taste as well as a layered and rich vegetable flavor which is not only savory but has very gourmet notes to it. I’m finding cabbage and red bell pepper as well as sweet carrot and potatoes. This is really great – and that it’s a light variety is mind boggling as it’s full of flavor and doesn’t skimp on anything. Original review

#7: Mamee Mie Goreng Indonesia Spicy Sambal Flavour – Malaysia

The noodles came out so nicely – they have a great character of chew and whilst not in a broth, they’re not dry after being drained. The flavor is wonderful – spicy and tasty with that sweet-hot kick I love about mie goreng. The crunchy bits rounds everything out soundly. Original review here

#6: Nissin Nupasta Carbonara Flavour Instant Noodle – Hong Kong

The noodles came out very, very well. They have a very fresh quality to them and a decent quantity. The vegetables and meats hydrated and cooked great – little bits of bacon, mushroom and other stuff throughout. The flavor was just great too – the white powder turned into a sauce with perfect thickness and quantity – and it tasted like an alfredo sauce. This was just plain awesome. Original review

#5: Mamee Chef Lontong Flavour – Malaysia

The broth is first off a lot of fun to look at; the red and cream colors are really good looking. The broth has a creamy and spicy taste with lots of nice pieces of red pepper, and as always the ‘mi tarik’ noodles were just right. Very new and unique. Original review

#4: MAMA Instant Cup Noodles Seafood Pad Kee Mao Flavour – Thailand

The flavor is really quite good and can be summed as kind of a sweet seafood taste with a great bite of spiciness – and then this lingering flavor from the holy basil. It’s got a really different flavor I wish was present more often in instant noodle varieties. Original review

#3: MyKuali Penang Red Tom Yum Goong Noodle Authentic Taste – Malaysia

The noodles have a very light chew and a different mouthfeel. While I wasn’t entirely satisfied with this new style of noodle in the White Curry cup, this works very nicely with the tom yum. The broth is a tour de force of strong flavors – spicy, lemongrass pucker and a really nice balance of shrimp and vegetable taste. Original review

#2: Mamee Chef Curry Laksa Flavour – Malaysia

There are some flavors erupting from Malaysia that are just fantastic and this instant noodle cup exudes them like a rock star. The noodles came out excellent – pretty much identical to the packaged version. The broth and garnish as well were great – rich curry flavor and premium garnishes including little tofu puff bits and pepper. Original review here

#1: MyKuali Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodle Authentic Taste – Malaysia

The noodles are soft and have a kind of dark tan color to them. The broth here is like you died and went to prawn mee heaven. It’s thick, oily, spicy and tasty. It’s just awesome stuff, and then they go and include those awesome fried onions. The only thing is the bustling of motorbikes and people talking at the hawker court. Original review

The Ramen Rater’s Ten Facts About Instant Noodles 2014

I’ve recently seen a whole lot of misinformation being spewed lately about the instant noodle. Why do I care? Well, primarily because I’m really into instant noodles. I’ve been a fan of them since a child and been reviewing them since 2002. A kind of strange obsession, but there are definitely stranger ones out there. What gets me is information that is presented by news and social media sources often is really quite inept; lack of research and frankly poor quality journalism on their parts. So, I’ve decided to come out with an annual list of ten facts about instant noodles starting today! Ready? Well, here you go.

1. Instant Noodles Aren’t Full Of Wax, Nor Will They Kill You

There have been a lot of ridiculous claims made about instant noodles. The one I see most often is that they are coated with wax or plastic which keeps them separate when boiled in a pot. I’m sure most people with common sense know that boiling wax only results in one thing: melted wax. Another one is that MSG when boiled turns into a lethal cancer causing monstrosity. Nope. Although not a whole food or a health food, instant noodles aren’t really scary. They are primarily wheat flour and water, made into a dough, rolled thin, sliced into noodles, fed through a line where they’d cooked with boiling water, then fried in oil. The frying pulls out any water in them and leaves tiny holes which, when re-introduced to boiling water, cause them to spring back to life as an instant noodle. Another funny one is the video of instant noodles in someone’s stomach that is very popular. I hate to break it to everyone who’s bought into this, but I can’t think that any foodstuff that chewed up and swallowed is going to look pretty. The long and short of it is that instant noodles are just fine to eat and aren’t going to kill you.

2. Instant Noodles Are Eaten Raw And Marketed That Way Around The World

You may have as a kid crunched up a pack of instant noodles and sprinkled the seasoning on them. I remember doing that. Well, this is most definitely not an American invention by any means. In South Korea, Ottogi makes a couple of varieties – Ppushu Ppushu and Pow Crunch that are made for doing this exact thing. In India and Nepal, ‘brown’ noodles (noodles that are pre-seasoned) are often enjoyed this way – not only with a powder seasoning, but sometimes the oil mixed in as well, and added nuts, raisins or vegetables. In Taiwan, Ve Wong makes Little Prince, which are tiny bags of crushed noodles with seasonings –  seaweed and bacon flavors being two of them.

3. The World Of Instant Noodles Has Many, Many Flavors

In the United States, instant noodle flavors such as Beef, Chicken, Shrimp and Oriental are very common. Chicken seems to be quite universal, but there are so many different flavors around the world. For example in Poland, a company called Amino makes Żurek flavor, patterned after a local dish and has a smoky flavor. In the UK, Pot Noodle makes Southern Style Fried Chicken flavor. In Indonesia, Indomie makes Mi Goreng, a very popular dish which contains no broth. The regional flavors always end up in the locally sold instant noodles. What I have noticed is that this rarely happens in the United States. You might see a cheese variety, but I’ve never seen a pizza instant noodle – you have to find that by Knorr in Pakistan. I haven’t seen cheeseburger flavor here, although Nissin Japan made a noodle cup which actually had a hamburger patty in it that hydrated surprisingly well.

4. Instant Noodles Will Not Survive Until The Next Ice Age

While instant noodles do have a very long shelf life, they will go bad. Yes. It’s true. There’s usually a printed expiration date on instant noodle packs. Now as with many processed, packaged foods, they will probably be fine a bit after the expiration date. However, a lot of foreign varieties won’t be – especially ones with packaged meats. China’s Master Kong makes a beef and sauerkraut noodle bowl that comes with a little sausage in it – that’s not going to do well after a year or so. Oil can go rancid and cause the sachets to bloat – a definite warning sign to stay away after the expiration date. As with anything in life, it’s best to use common sense. If you have a worry about eating expired instant noodles, or any food for that matter, it’s probably better to pass on it and find something else to devour.

5. Why Are They Called ‘Instant?’

We’re all familiar with noodle cups – you add boiling water and wait three minutes and presto – you’ve got a meal. Well, did you know that this works the same way with a packaged instant noodle? Take a bowl, drop in the block of noodles and seasonings, add the directed amount of boiling water and cover it for three minutes. Boom – instant noodles are ready to enjoy. They are of course also cooked on a stove in a pot or in a microwave, but this method is not considered the instant way. If you cook them on the stove or in a microwave, the correct term is ‘cooking noodle.’

6. All Instant Noodles Aren’t Cooked The Same Way

Two cups of water, boil. Add noodles and seasoning sachet. Cook for three minutes. Eat. This might be one of the most common methods, but beware – there are many varieties of instant noodles and many different ways to cook them. The popular Indomie Mi Goreng is a great example. The noodles are cooked and drained, and then the seasonings are stirred in to complete the dish. Imagine if you made spaghetti and marinara sauce and didn’t drain the spaghetti. Taiwan’s Wei Lih makes one called Jah Jan Mien. You cook the noodles, then drain them, but save the liquid the noodles were boiled in. You add a seasoning sachet to the liquid to make a broth, then add a paste sachet to the noodles and stir them. You end up with a soup and brothless noodle dish in two seperate bowls. Done the wrong way, it’s really quite terrible. Done the right way however it’s extremely good. If you go exploring your Asian market shelves for instant noodles, make sure to follow the directions on those packages!

7. Instant Noodles: The Criminal Element

I try to keep up on all instant noodle related news every day through newsfeeds I get on my phone. One thing I’ve found is that people in the heat of the moment have time and time again used a boiling hot bowl of instant noodles as an object to hurl at their foes. Last month, a woman inmate in Bradenton,Florida threw a hot bowl of instant noodles at another inmate during an argument. Also in Florida, a riot broke out when a basketball game ended with the winning team not receiving three cups of instant noodles from the losing side. In Galveston, Texas, a woman held a burglar at bay with a paintball gun until police arrived – she caught him trying to steal Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup. These kinds of crimes aren’t just isolated to the United States though. In Nigeria, an 8 year old girl got mad that the family’s housemaid hadn’t prepared her Indomie noodles quickly enough and so she poured boiling water on her. Stories of people stealing boxes of Indomie over there aren’t uncommon either.

8. Ending World Hunger And The Environment

A lot of people like the idea of eating fresh vegetables and grain fed beef amongst other things. Non processed foods are very popular as they’re quite healthy for us. But there’s one issue with this: how long can this last? With the world population surpassing 7 billion this year, we’re going to hit an impasse soon. A herd of cattle might make for some tasty beef, but you have to take in account of the fact that there are many resources required for turning them into that tasty steak. Not only that, but the cattle’s waste has an effect on the atmosphere via gasses it produces. Heirloom vegetables are very nice, but they have a much shorter shelf life than their distant hybridized cousins. The instant noodle, although less healthy than these can be a real answer to these issues. Many countries have initiatives involving fortifying them with vitamins that the population that subsists on them might not receive, making them a more nutrient rich food. Dehydrating vegetables that have shorter shelf lives allows them to reach many more with less waste as well. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. With such amazing things as the cellphones in our pockets that have computers built into them that surpass the power of the ones that took our astronauts to the moon such a long time ago, it seems that this problem is something we can figure out if we want to.

9. Instant Noodles For Different Seasons

In the Summertime, it’s hot and a refreshing cold drink is usually a nice thing to enjoy. Well, did you know that there are such things as cold noodles? In South Korea, Nongshim makes a variety called Doong Ji, which are cooked, and then added to a broth made with cold water. Paldo makes one called Bibim Men which are cooked drained and rinsed with cold water and a sauce is added and stirred in for a spicy and chilled meal. In Japan, cold buckwheat noodles as well as cold udon are served with soy sauce based sauces and lemony flavors for a refreshing meal.

10. Instant Noodle Cups Don’t Tip Themselves Over – No, Really

There have been a lot of stories about emergency room doctors calling for instant noodle cups to be banned or to be redesigned. A lot of people, primarily children, have been ending up in the emergency room after being given a boiling hot cup of instant noodles. The problem however isn’t the cup itself. Images of the angle required for the cups to tip over have been shown to illustrate that they are top heavy. Sure, you put pretty much anything on an unsteady surface and it will fall off. Also, if you’re crazy enough to give a small child a cup of boiling hot noodles, you’ve got a screw loose. Kids have accidents, so do adults. The simplest way to handle this one is to make sure the cup’s broth has cooled down and to pour the noodles into a bowl. You wouldn’t go to Starbuck’s and give a kid a super hot cup of coffee, would you? Common sense and taking responsibility for your actions are a clear path to victory here. If you give a kid boiling water in a cup, it’s not the cup’s fault if they get burned or scalded – it’s yours.

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Cups Of All Time 2013 Edition

Cups were the second instant noodle innovation that really took the world by storm. Nissin founder Momofuku Ando of Japan decided that a cup would be a really handy way to have instant noodles on the go. His creation came to the market in 1971. Forty-two years later, the instant noodle landscape is filled with many different cup designs and contents – some all inclusive only needing hot water,m and some requiring a little more with packets – and some even with forks! Of all the varieties I’ve tried to date, here are my favorite ten.

#10: Pot Noodle Bombay Bad Boy Flavour – United Kingdom

Pot Noodle is a UK company whose plastic cups are things of legend. Their myriad of interesting flavors are always fascinating, with such greats as Sticky Rib, Jamaican Jerk and now Piri Piri. Bombay Bad boy has a nice spiciness to it from a little supplied packet. These don’t have so much of a broth, but more of a sauce or gravy. Original review here

#9: Nissin Cup Noodle Seafood Curry – Hong Kong

Since 1971, Nissin Cup Noodle has been synonymous with… Well, noodles in a cup! The noodles come out just perfectly in these. Not only that, there are copious amounts of veggies and seafood. Then there’s the flavor – a really nice Japanese curry with seafood notes – great stuff! Original review here

#8: Paldo Gomtang – South Korea

Gomtang (pronouced gohm-tahng) is a traditional South Korean soup made with brisket or oxtail. It has a rich, hearty taste that will warm your bones on a wintry day. This one has such a warm and creamy flavor and the noodles are nice and full in the ramyun style. Original review here

#7: Eat & Go    Spicy Chicken Mi Instan Cup – Indonesia

I only just had this one recently and was immediately enthralled. Contains five different seasoning packets which provide chili powder, veggies, seasoned oil and even a packet of tofu chips! Plus, you get a fork. Pure deliciousness! Original review here

#6: Ottogi Bekse Curry Myon Cup – South Korea

This little cup has some wonderful attributes. The seasoning and noodles end up nicely – the broth is thick and has a strong curry flavor and a nice spiciness. What was also very memorable was that there were potatoes in there – the only time I’ve seen potatoes in an instant noodle. A true friend for the curry fanatic! Original review here

#5: Paldo Kokomen Spicy Chicken Cup – South Korea

This is the third list this year that Paldo Kokomen has appeared on. The broth has such a great melding of the heat of jalapeno pepper and the flavor of chicken. The noodles are very good and the bits of chicken and vegetables are top notch. Original review here

#4: Seven & I Shoyu Noodle – Japan

Yes – they have 7-11 convenience store in Japan! With a great flavor and lots of vegetables and seafood, this is really a memorable cup. Strong soy sauce flavor and perfectly hydrated bits and noodles make this an all time favorite of mine. Original review here

#3: Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black Spicy Beef Cup – South Korea

First, Nongshim made Shin Ramyun which is still incredibly popular. Then they upgraded and came out with Shin Ramyun Black. Finally, Shin Black has made it into a cup – and it’s really good! Rich beef flavor and real beef along with thick ramyun noodles. Premium stuff! NOTE: Previously, this was marked as being from the United States. This one shown here was in fact manufactured in South Korea. I will be reviewing the one made in the United States at Nongshim America soon.  Original review here

#2: Nissin GooTa Demi Hamburg-Men – Japan

Another fairly recent discovery. GooTa is a high end offering from Nissin with premium ingredients. Excellent noodles, a beef and tomato inspired broth, veggies like corn and then the topper – a dehydrated hamburger patty. No joke! What’s better than the novelty of the hamburger is that it works so well with the noodles and broth. Wow. Original review here

#1: Indomie Mi Goreng Instant Cup Noodles – Indonesia

Indomie’s Mi Goreng was a variety I was enjoying long before becoming The Ramen Rater. Quality noodles coated in a spicy and sweet combination of flavors that never get old. The way you do it is you add the boiling water, steep for a few minutes, then use the supplied plastic lid which has holes to drain it. Just like the pack version, it comes with all of the standard flavor packets you’re used to and comes out just right. Original review here