Tag Archives: ramen bowls

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2019 Edition

Th Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2019 Edition

Every year I come out with new lists in many categories. The more reviews I do, the more I figure the lists will change less and less. It amazes me though how much they do change and how much the industry evolves and changes. Here’s the latest list of bowls, current as on review #3180. All products are prepared according to labeling on the package, and scores are given before any external garnish is added. Let’s check out the Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls for 2019!

Th Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2019 Edition

Video Presentation

Watch me personally deliver The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowl Of All Time 2019 Edition in this video.

Th Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2019 Edition

#10 – Master Kong – Golden Stock Shrimp Noodles Bowl – China

#10 - Master Kong - Golden Stock Shrimp Noodles Bowl - China

This one features a good quantity of decent noodles and a broth that has a rich and flavorful body to it. Oiliness is on pint, and the inclusion of little seafood balls in the mix is very good. Original review

#9 – Uni-President Man Han Feast Braised Pork Flavor Instant Noodles Bowl – Taiwan

#9 – Uni-President Man Han Feast Braised Pork Flavor Instant Noodles Bowl – Taiwan

First, the noodles have a little bit thicker a gauge than most instant varieties. Indeed they are premium although a slight bit softer than one might expect. The broth is a sea of rich pork flavor – different than many. As a matter of fact, this really REALLY has a nice pork flavor; most pork varieties don’t have a great pork taste as the pork taste they do have get overshadowed by saltiness. The vegetables hydrated well and the pork was very good. Original review

#8 – Uni-President Man Han Feast Super Hot Pot Beef Flavor Noodles – Taiwan

#8 – Uni-President Man Han Feast Super Hot Pot Beef Flavor Noodles – Taiwan

So the noodles are broad and flat with a light chew and an excellent quantity. The broth is a tour de force of beef taste. It has a good thickness/oiliness to it as well as a good flavor. Indeed as expected, there’s a decent punch of spiciness. Indeed, the chunks of beef are of good size and quality. Moreover, the liquid with the beef in the retort pouch add depth to the broth. Finally, little rings of chilli pepper are here and there, joining the party. Original review

#7 – TTL Sesame Oil Chicken With Rice Wine Noodle – Taiwan

#7 – TTL Sesame Oil Chicken With Rice Wine Noodle – Taiwan

TTL stands for Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor and indeed there’s a sachet of rice wine in here! Add to that a big retort pouch full of decent sized chunks of chicken, good noodles and garnish, This is definitely a bowl to seek out and try. Original review

#6 – Samyang Foods Samyang Ramen Hot – South Korea

#6 - Samyang Foods Samyang Ramen Hot - South Korea

A newcomer to the list, however a flavor I’ve known for a while. Samyang Ramen and Samyang Ramen Hot are just plain delicious; a thick and chewy noodle is coupled with a great spicy ham broth which is just sensational. It hit #2 this year on my Top Ten South Korean list. Original review

#5 – Little Cook Tomato Beef Noodles – Taiwan

#5 - Little Cook Tomato Beef Noodles - Taiwan

This one featured a strong tomato flavor broth and chewy, thick noodles. The beef in here is delicious and on great quality. Another example of Taiwanese companies stepping up products to make them more premium. Original review

#4 – Little Cook Braised Beef Noodles With Tendon & Meat – Taiwan

#4 – Little Cook Braised Beef Noodles With Tendon & Meat – Taiwan

Okay so first off, this is a heavy bowl. There’s a huge retort pouch in here full of beef and beef tendon. The noodles are wide and have a great chew and the broth has a nice flavor. But the start of the show is that braised beef and tendon – it’s perfect and there’s just so much of it. Very impressive! Original review

#3 – Nissin Raoh Kogashi Shoyu – Japan

#3 - Nissin Raoh Kogashi Shoyu - Japan

Premium noodles in this one. Very chewy and with an excellent mouthfeel. The broth just bristles with a rich meatiness. Flavor is just wonderful – an asset to this high end Nissin Japan range. Original review

#2 – Nissin Gyoretsu-no-Dekiru-Mise-no-Ramen (Shrimp Tantanmen) – Japan

Th Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2019 Edition #2 – Nissin Gyoretsu-no-Dekiru-Mise-no-Ramen (Shrimp Tantanmen) – Japan

Talk about amazing. Now, on most of these bowls, you’ll notice I’ve added my own garnishes. I don’t count them in my reviewing – everything is reviewed prior to any additions I make. This is one where I’ve added nothing and just look at it! This one had very good noodles to start off. The broth was a very thick prawn infused decadent flavor spectacle. Then there’s the little crunchy topping and the other garnish they provide and this is just amazing stuff. Wow. Floored. Original review

#1 – Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Instant Noodle – Taiwan

Th Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodle Bowls Of All Time 2019 Edition #1 – Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Instant Noodle – Taiwan

Wow – I’m so freaking impressed with this one. First, there are two bowls. Peel back the lid of the first bowl and add boiling water. After a short time, you poke holes in the lid and drain the liquid into the second. A sachet of soup base is added and you have a soup with lots of corn and herbs. Next, a huge sachet with chicken and vegetables boasts a great spicy green curry flavor which mixes with the noodle. A really amazing product which is unique and delicious. This is Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Instant Noodle’s third year in the number one spot in a row – congratulations! Original review


Japanese Ramen Bowls From Nishiyama Co. Ltd.

A few months back, a fellow named Tomonori contacted me asking for some help with a television program in Japan. He wanted to know if he could use some of my images and get some info. I said sure – if you could send me a real Japanese ramen bowl! He was more than happy to do so and so we exchanged some info. A little later, the television program came out.

Here’s the part of the show where I’m included. What it looks like is a hunt for the number one on my 2014 Top Ten List. Pretty neat!

A very nice letter was included in the box. Very sorry to hear Tomonori had an accident – hope you are feeling better!

A very fancy box!

Inside the box, there were not one but two bowls (click image to enlarge)! Thank you very much! Very nice! I will be trying this one out very soon!

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview with Nissin Foods USA – Makers of Top Ramen, Cup Noodles & More

Welcome to the second installment in the ‘Meet The Manufacturer’ series! This one’s with Nissin, makers of the ever-popular Top Ramen, Cup Noodles and the like. They sent a nice package of different instant varieties to sample – most of them new to me. The following interview is with Senior Marketing Manager, Linda Chung, facilitated by Senior Marketing Coordinator Scott Akazaki.

TRR: Nissin was the first instant noodles I had ever tried in my life – I am thrilled and thoroughly appreciate the chance to do this interview with you – thank you!

To start, can you give a little background on how the company was founded and a little about its history in Japan?

NISSIN: Mr. Ando began the company as part of a humble family operation back in 1948. Faced with sparse food sources after World War II, Mr. Ando realized that a quality, convenient ramen product would help to feed the masses. His goal was to create a satisfying ramen that could be eaten anywhere, anytime. In 1958, Nissin introduced “Chicken Ramen”, the first instant ramen. Ironically, it was considered a luxury item, since Japanese grocery stores sold fresh Japanese noodles (udon) at one-sixth the cost of Mr. Ando’s new food concept.
Still, Mr. Ando was convinced that his revolutionary new method of preparation would sell. The concept seemed simple enough. All users would have to do is simply remove the ramen from its package, place it in a bowl, add boiling water, cover the bowl, and wait three minutes. The conservative Japanese food industry, however, rejected the product as a novelty with no future. They had never been so wrong.
Soon, Chicken Ramen was selling beyond even Mr. Ando’s wildest expectations. Before you could say “instant”, more than ten companies were rushing to put their own versions out on the market. By the end of 1958, grocery shelves were crowded with this new staple for the Japanese kitchen. From this point on, Nissin Foods began introduction of a long list of successful and innovative ramen products.

TRR: For those who might not be familiar with all of them, what lines of instant noodle products to you offer in the United States?

NISSIN: We are constantly pushing the boundaries of instant ramen as it should be with our new products – the latest is Big Cup Noodles (It features shorter, wider noodles in a paper cup). Other products include:

Cup Noodles
Top Ramen
Souper Meal
Chow Mein
Chow Noodles
Bowl Noodles Rich & Savory
Bowl Noodles Hot & Spicy
Ramen Bowl (just launched)
Spoon it (just launched)

TRR: When and why was there a need for Nissin Foods in the United States?

NISSIN: Nissin Foods introduced Top Ramen into the U.S. in 1970. Mr. Ando saw an opportunity to introduce a new type of noodle soup product to the states. As he showed his products to grocery store buyers, he realized that no one in the US had ramen sized bowls. This insight, combined with getting served coffee in a Styrofoam cup on a business trip flight, was the genesis of Cup Noodles.

TRR: I know that the varieties available in Japan and the product line in the United States differ quite a bit. Why is that?

NISSIN: This is based on developing tastes that are suitable for a specific region of the globe. This was especially true in the 1970’s when the concept of instant ramen was foreign, we didn’t want to compound this with Asian flavors.

TRR: How do you determine when it is time to retire a flavor of Top Ramen and how do you go about determining a new one to offer?

NISSIN: This decision is based primarily on what the customer wants. We tend to let them “vote” with their wallets.

TRR: I commonly am asked if I am worried about sodium levels in all the different instant noodles from around the world I review. How would you recommend people balance their enjoyment of instant noodles and keeping them as part of a healthy meal?

NISSIN: You’ve already answered the question. It’s all about balance. Our products are ideal when you are looking for something fast, convenient and portable (and tastes good).

TRR: Often, I hear about people microwaving Cup Noodles. Is this the correct method of their preparation? Is it recommended to do so?

NISSIN: Cup Noodles was designed for optimum eating experience with boiling water.

TRR: When I was very young, my mother introduced me to Nissin Roasted Ramen, which was a close resemblance to Nissin Chikin Ramen, the first product produced in Japan in 1958 by Nissin. After Roasted Ramen was discontinued, I found an Asian grocery in Seattle and found Chikin Ramen – but it’s been decades since I’ve seen Chikin Ramen available anywhere. Any chance you’ll bring Roasted Ramen or something like it back?

NISSIN: That is up to our parent company in Japan. There are some government regulations about importing items that contain a certain amount of meat/chicken. This is especially true after the Mad Cow scare a few years back.

TRR: I recently discovered you new line of Ramen Bowls. With flavors like Kimchi and Hot & Spicy, are these meant to compete with similar Korean products?

NISSIN: We are trying to offer our consumers an authentic Asian experience.

TRR: I’ve noticed many instant noodle manufacturers are located in Southern California. Aside from the fact that it never rains there, why was this the spot you picked for your factory?

NISSIN: I’ll have to get back to you on that one. It may be because of the established Asian population that was here in the 1970’s. This was the natural first consumer base for our products – first/second generation Japanese who missed this type of ramen noodles.

TRR: How many packs and cups of Top Ramen and Cup Noodles are made every year?

NISSIN: 3.9 billion instant ramen products (including Nissin) have been consumed in the US in 2010. See the link below for more information.


TRR: Can you tell my readers about any new and exciting products to look for in the near future?

NISSIN: We are launching new flavors for our Big Cup Noodles line: Roast Chicken and Spicy Chicken.

TRR: Finally, when you enjoy instant noodles, what kind do you like and what do you add (if anything) to them to make them your own?

NISSIN: What’s my favorite Nissin product? It’s like asking someone to pick their favorite child! Chow Mein is my favorite Nissin product. Stir fried noodles without the hassle of cooking or getting takeout. If I am eating instant ramen, it’s primarily due to time constraint so, I enjoy it as-is.

TRR: Again, thank you very much for this opportunity to do this interview! Thank you for making such a great product so many enjoy and have a great day!

Well, there you have it! Thanks again to the folks at Nissin USA for the samples and the interview! This was a lot of fun and I’m sure folks will be interested in seeing the new products I’ll be reviewing in the next week or so!