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The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

It’s January 2019, and so it is time for the first of many Top Ten Lists. I always start the year with the latest South Korean Top ten. This list was compiled as of posting 3,058 unique reviews of instant noodles, 349 of which are South Korean. All varieties are manufactured in South Korea. If you are a company interested in having your products showcased, please drop me a line. Let’s begin!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

Video Presentation

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The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

#10: Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black

Best South Korean Ramen - Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black

When Shin Ramyun Black came onto the scene a few years back it was a huge hit and still is. An upgraded version of their popular shin Ramyun, it includes a sachet of Sul-Long-Tang soup base which gives an extra heartiness to the broth. Thick ramyun noodles and a spicy bite round out the scene. It took me some time to get a pack made in South Korea, a requirement of this this. Original review Get it here

#9: Paldo Cheese Noodle

Best Korean Ramen - Paldo Cheese Noodle

Paldo’s Cheese Noodle has been on the list for awhile now and with good reason. The way the cheese intermingles with the red spicy broth is amazingly good. The noodles are nice and thick ramyun and there’s a large quantity of them. Definitely one that everyone should try – and now there’s a spicier version on the market. Original review Get it here

#8: Nongshim Champong Noodle Soup Spicy Seafood Flavor

Best Korean Ramen - Nongshim Champong Noodle Soup Spicy Seafood Flavor

Nongshim Champong is a spicy seafood noodle soup. It combines what you are used to with the beefiness of a standard Korean ramyun but replaces the beef with seafood flavor. This more ‘of the sea’ variety works very well with the chewy ramyun noodle. It’s kind of like a seafood stew to be honest.  Excellent when paired with seafood. Original review Get it here

#7: Nongshim Neoguri Stir-fry Noodles Spicy Seafood

Best Korean Ramen - Nongshim Neoguri Stir-fry Noodles Spicy Seafood

Neoguri Spicy Seafood Soup is a long time favorite of many and now it’s been converted in this new version as a dry noodle, sans broth. To be honest, I like this much better – not only does it have the great flavor of Neoguri, it’s got a plethora of garnish included – featuring little pieces of fishcake with the raccoon mascot on them. Original review Get it here

#6: Paldo Rabokki Noodle

Best Korean Ramen - Paldo Rabokki Noodle

To understand Paldo’s Rabokki Noodle, you have to understand tteokbokki. It’s also spelled topokki – but however you spell it, tteokbokki are thick cylindrical rice tubes that have a nice chewiness to them. They’re often paired with a thick red sauce which is spicy as well as sweet and served with fishcake, egg and other garnish. These noodles are paired with the sauce in a very tasty representation and crossover of the dish. Original review Get it here

#5: Ottogi Jin Jjambbong Spicy Seafood Ramyun

Best Korean Ramen - Ottogi Jin Jjambbong Spicy Seafood Ramyun

Ottogi’s Jin series added a couple of new varieties recently, and this is my favorite of the two. During a recent trip to Taipei, I went to a restaurant called Love Instant Noodleswhere they doll up packs of instant noodles and serve them piping hot. This is the one I chose from their selection. Jjambbong is a kind of spicy stew and this one has a nice kind of grilled flavor to it, alongside the popular broader ramyun currently spreading around  – great stuff! Original review Get it here

#4: Paldo Budae Jjigae

Best Korean Ramen - Paldo Budae Jjigae

Here we have 2017’s #1 from this list and it was also on the annual The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 list. So, what’s Budae Jjigae? Well, take donated rations from US soldiers from the Korean War and mix them with the local South Korean cuisine. This interesting fusion works so well including tastes from both cultures. Original review Get it here

#3: Ottogi Budae Jjigae Ramen

Best Korean Ramen - Ottogi Budae Jjigae Ramen

Ottogi also has a Budae Jjigae – and it’s my favorite of the varieties to spring onto the market in the last couple years. With bits of processed meats and other niceties, it combines with South Korean flavors into a crescendo of tasty goodness. Budae Jjigae translates to ‘troop stew’ or army stew’ as it originated from donated rations from US forces during the Korean War. Original review Get it here

#2: Samyang Foods Samyang Ramen Spicy Flavor

Best Korean Ramen - Samyang Foods Samyang Ramen Spicy Flavor

This last year I’ve really fallen for Samyang Ramen – both the regular and spicy version. It’s a bit different from most South Korean varieties as they usually lean towards beef, these have a ham flavor. The thick, chewy noodles and the rich and very tasty broth bring these to this list this year, and while I type this, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Original review Get it here

#1: Gookmul Knight Of Ribs

Best Korean Ramen - Gookmul Knight Of Ribs

With imagery heralding to days of yore, a very unique and tasty one from South Korea tops this year’s list. A thick noodle is complimented with a retort pouch (a metallic sachet) which brings a sweet and savory sauce full of real pork – really like a pulled-pork noodle. What’s surprising is that this was the first variety I’ve found with one of these from South Korea – and it was excellent. Original review Get it here

#2959: Nongshim Shin Ramyun (Japanese Version)

#2959: Nongshim Shin Ramyun (Japanese Version)

Today we have a Zenpop.JP variety – so what’s Zenpop? They’re a subscription service for all things Japanese! Definitely, check them out. By the way, use coupon code RAMENRATER to get $2 off! Here’s what they had to say about this one –

“Ramen noodles in Korean-style hot chili soup. As you can imagine from the packaging, it’s pretty hot! But tasty! Topped with shiitake mushroom, green onion, and carrot. Have a glass of water ready before you eat!”

Curious if this will be any different from the other versions out there. Let’s find out!

Nongshim Shin Ramyun – Japan

#2959: Nongshim Shin Ramyun (Japanese Version)

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains chicken and pork. To prepare, add boiling water to fill line and cover for 3 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2959: Nongshim Shin Ramyun (Japanese Version)

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

#2959: Nongshim Shin Ramyun (Japanese Version)

The noodle block.

#2959: Nongshim Shin Ramyun (Japanese Version)

The soup base sachet.

#2959: Nongshim Shin Ramyun (Japanese Version)

A spicy scented powder.

#2959: Nongshim Shin Ramyun (Japanese Version)

Loose bits from inside the cup.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added chashu, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, hard oiled egg, spring onion and shichimi togarashi. The noodles came out slightly spongy. They’re thick and soak up a lot of the broth’s flavor, which is a plus. The broth has a spicy heat and a slightly bitter back to it. Expected something a little different but seems like standard Shin Ramyun cup form. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.  JAN bar code 8801043030694.

#2959: Nongshim Shin Ramyun (Japanese Version)

NongShim Shin Cup Noodle Soup, Gourmet Spicy, 2.64 Ounce (Pack of 12)

A Shin Ramyun TV spot

#2504: Nongshim Shin Ramyun (South Korean)

#2504: Nongshim Shin Ramyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

For awhile now, I’ve been trying to get my hands on some of this that actually is from South Korea. Thanks to Anders and his girlfriend Ji-Min, here we are! Here’s some info from Wikipedia –

Shin Ramyun/Ramyeon is a brand of instant noodle (including cup ramyeon) that is made by South Korean food company Nongshim since October, 1986. It now exports to over 100 countries, and is the highest selling instant noodle brand in South Korea.

Shin Ramyun is well popular for its spicy flavor. It is produced in two kinds: Shin Ramyun,[1] the original one, and Shin Ramyun Black,[2] which was introduced in 2011. A standard package consists of noodles, a sachet of flavoring powder (soup base), and a sachet of vegetable flakes. Shin Ramyun Black contains extra beef stock soup.

Shin Ramyun was introduced in October 1986 by Nongshim. The Nongshim R&D team came up with the idea of Sogogijanguk, a Cabbage and Beef Stew, which is one of the most popular traditional South Korean dishes.[3]

In 2015 it has risen to 28 billion units sold since its first introduction.[5] Shin Ramyun is listed on the National Brand Consumption Index (NBCI)[6] as the number 1 brand in South Korea (2012~2016) for its brand awareness and brand power.[7]

The name of Shin Ramyun is from a Chinese character Shin (), which means “spicy.” Shin Ramyun uses red and black packaging with the emphasized calligraphic word “辛”.[3] The meaning of the Chinese character is shown on the background of the package. Nongshim decided to emphasize the Chinese character Shin (辛) for their brand with a belief that a single Chinese character delivers the brand image better than written in Korean. Additionally, the character is the surname of both the founder of Nongshim and his elder brother, who started Lotte.

As you can see, its definitely what you can call a success story. It’s probably one of the most popular instants around. Let’s check out this South Korean version!

Nongshim Shin Ramyun – South Korea

#2504: Nongshim Shin Ramyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Unsure whether it contains meat or not. To prepare, add noodles block and sachet contents to 550ml boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2504: Nongshim Shin Ramyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The noodle block.

#2504: Nongshim Shin Ramyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The soup base sachet.

#2504: Nongshim Shin Ramyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The spicy soup base.

#2504: Nongshim Shin Ramyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The vegetables sachet.

#2504: Nongshim Shin Ramyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

A nice mix of vegetables.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added beef, spring onion and Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts. The noodles come out really nice – a very standard ramyun – thicker and with a good chew. The broth has a spicy and beefy kind of taste, however I’m getting a lot of mushroom and a burnt kind of bitterness as well. It’s been a long time since I’ve had Shin Ramyun and honestly, I’m not too enthused. Now everyone hates me. 3.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8801043014809.

#2504: Nongshim Shin Ramyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Korea Noodle Pot / Aluminum Pot 6.3″(16cm)/ Traditional HOT POT

A TV spot for the iconic product.

#2248: Nongshim Shin Noodle Soup

Every year in January I come out with a Top Ten list of South Korean varieties. Much to the disappointment and anger of many people, this will never be on that list. Why? Simple. It’s made in the United States. People have debated me into the dirt on it too ‘so, why does it matter?’ Well, if I put Nissin top Ramen on the Top Ten Japanese list that would be a little ridiculous, wouldn’t it? The differences between the Nongshim Shin Cup manufactured here and manufactured in South Korea might be only geographic and packaging, but those are the rules. This could be on the Top Ten Made In The USA list at some point (I haven’t come out with a new one of those lists in a while – maybe next year perhaps). I’m working on getting some South Korean varieties soon, so I guess we’ll see this January!

Anyways, this is a pretty ubiquitous cup around the United States. A lot of people are huge fans of Shin Noodle Soup (aka the soup formerly known as Shin Ramyun). I must admit I really like the name change; I’ve seen so many people call it Shin Ramen – this isn’t ramen – it’s ramyun. I guess instead of continuing to allow this incorrect nomenclature, changing it to noodle soup makes a lot more sense. Let’s see what’s in here!

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains beef and anchovy. To prepare, add in contents of sachet. Add room temp water to fill line and microwave at 1000W for 3 minutes. stir and enjoy!

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

The spicy reddish powder.

Some of the vegetables from inside the cup.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, spring onion, beef, tteokbokki (ricecake), processed cheese. The noodles came out really well microwaved. Everything was hydrated perfectly. The noodles have a light chew – definitely now as chewy as the ramyun in the packs but still very nice. The broth has the signature Shin taste to it – spicy with beef and mushroom notes. The included vegetables were of good size and quality and hydrated nicely. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 031146270606.

Nongshim Shin Cup Noodle Soup, Gourmet Spicy, 2.64 Ounce (Pack of 12)

I find this fascinating – a recipe from Nongshim to make Rice Krispies Treats using Shin Ramyun Black!

#1443: Nongshim Harmony Korean Spicy Noodle Dish With Chipotle

Here’s a new one from Nongshim, and it’s definitely unique. It’s a stir noodle, which means that there’s no broth, but a sauce that it stirred in to coat the noodles. Another unique thing is that it can be served hot OR cold! I was thinking of using a special divided bowl I have, but one side is bigger than the other and so I came up with an idea: since they sent a few packs, I’ll make one hot, sample it and then make one cold and sample it – easy enough. Something else I found interesting was on the right and left sides of the package. It says “NONGSHIM BLACK CLASS NOODLE DISH.” The final interesting this about this one is the inclusion of chipotle. Chipotle? Now that’s different – don’t think I’ve come across that being used in an instant before. Well, let’s open this one up and see what’s inside!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains fish. To prepare, add noodle block and vegetable sachet to 400ml boiling water and cook 3-4 minutes. Now to make it hot, simply drain and stir in contents of the liquid sachet. To make it cold, drain and run under cold water and stir in contents of liquid sachet. Enjoy!

The noodle block.

The vegetable sachet.

Loys of mushrooms and peas!

The sauce sachet.

Can smell the chipotle!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added mung bean sprouts and sliced green onion. The noodles have a thick ramyun gauge. They have a nice texture and chewiness – very good! The flavor is nice – has a light start and then wham – spicy! What’s interesting is the chipotle component too – not something I’ve tasted in an instant before and it works pretty well. The heat lingers and builds the more you eat! The vegetables were very good – I liked the mushrooms and I’m not a big fan of mushrooms! 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. By the way, the above is it served cold. On hot versus cold, I liked them about equally – although since it’s a warmer day here and in the Summer, cold seemed a skosh nicer.

Here’s a video about where these noodles are made! Yup – in California! I got to visit with my wife in 2012 and it was really awesome there – if you are in the area and can do a plant tour, you won’t regret it – it’s a lot of fun and fascinating!

#1187: Nongshim Shin Ramyun Cup (South Korean version)

Here we have a Shin Ramyun cup – this one was bought in South Korea and brought back to me by Kristen W. or Arizona – thanks! Let’s check it out!

Here are the side panels (click image to enlarge). The version sold in the US contains beef, so I am assuming this one does as well.

The noodle block.

Soup base sachet.

Spicy and smells good.

Some bits of veg from the bottom of the cup.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added green onions and processed cheese. The noodles were pretty good – a little spongy. The broth was excellent though – nice spicy and rich flavor. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 8801043015714.

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B000LQNK6E”]Here is the US version – looks to be about the same. [/AMAZONPRODUCTS]

My son really likes Minecraft – I’ll have to show him this!

Happy National Cheeseburger Day

Since today is National Cheeseburger Day (yeah – it’s a real thing), I thought I’d report my ramyun burger recipe. Thought people might like to see it again.

Also, please vote for my blog in the Best of Western Washington competition for food blogs? It doesn’t matter where you’re from and it only takes a second – would really mean a lot to me! Thanks and here’s the burger recipe!

Recently, I came up with the ramyun slider. I thought since I’ve got some Shin Black on hand, why not a full-fledged ramyun burger? This recipe came out great and really wasn’t that hard to do.

The Ramen Rater’s Shin Ramyun Black Burger

  • 1 Package Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black
  • ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices processed cheese
  • frozen french fries
  • cooking spray
  • ketchup and mayonnaise

The noodle block. This is where our buns come from.

In this recipe, everything in the package is used. I’ve seen so many recipes for ramen burgers where the flavorings are discarded. Why waste?

Step 1: Boil a pot of water. Add the noodle block and cook for 4 minutes. Drain well. Return to pot and crack egg into it – combine with noodles. Split noodle/egg mixture into two bowls. I used one with a rounded bottom for the bun and one with a flat bottom for the lower bun (actually, the top part of a bun is called the ‘crown’ and the bottom the ‘heel!) Press the noodles down a little and then put in the fridge for a couple hours to set.

Here are the crown and heel all done and out of their bowls.

Step 2: Spray pan and cook both sides of your buns until done as you like. A nice crispness is really enjoyable, but burnt isn’t so great so just keep and eye on them and don’t flip too much – they are a little delicate.

Step 3: For the fries – use a little cooking spray on them and sprinkle liberally with the gold Sul-Long-Tang powder packet and cook.

Step 4: Empty the contents of the green package into a little bowl and add some hot water. Let sit for a minute or so which lets the veggies and other bits hydrate. Drain.

Step 5: Add ketchup and mayonnaise – I used a little more mayo than ketchup – and combin3. This will be the fry sauce as well as the sauce for the burger.

Step 6: I’m not very good at telling when meat is done, so my wife Kit cooked the patty for me! For the patty, add the entire red packet to the ground beef and combine well. Form into a patty and cook. Put the buns and burger together – add processed cheese and sauce.

Voila! Click image to enlarge). This came out really nice – the burger has a really great flavor from the red packet. I think you could switch it as well – use the red packet on the fried and the gold packet with the beef. Either way, this was really good – I hope you try it and let me know how it goes!

Re-Review: FMF Chow Tomato Flavour Instant Noodle

Thanks again to Joseph H. of Sacramento, California for sending these! Reviewed these as #895. Sounded good today so here we go!

Finished (click to enlarge). I added green beans, turkey ham, a couple scrambled egg with Tabasco Jalapeno sauce and a slice of cheese. Awesome stuff! Great tomato flavor. Still 4.25 out of 5.0 stars! UPC bar code 9416470239603 .

Looked up Fiji and 1977 (figuring I’d find some music) but found this full length cartoon film made in part by the Hello Kitty people…

New TV Spot For Nongshim’s Shin Ramyun Black Cup With PSY

Unless you’ve been hiding under a proverbial rock for the last couple of months, you have heard the song ‘Gangnam Style‘ by South Korean pop star PSY at one time or another, seen the horse dance, etc. Well, After he sent Nongshim a video asking if he could do a commercial for them, they said yes.

Well today, the commercials have come out – they’re pretty funny. I still want to let it be known that I formally challenge PSY to a ramyun eating contest -maybe Shin Ramyun Black Cup? That’d be awesome! Anyways, here’s some videos to check out of the commercial.

The ‘A’ version of the Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black Cup commercial with PSY

The ‘B’ version of the Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black Cup commercial with PSY

Here’s the ‘making of’ video.

The Ramen Rater Challenges PSY To A Ramyun Eating Contest!


     I saw a video recently about PSY being a huge fan of Korean instant ramyun – Nongshim’s Shin Ramyun in particular. He sent a video showing him eating their noodles with a definite excitement and pride. He wants to be the next representative of their products! I got to say, this was really was cool to see. I feel a definite kinship with PSY on this matter – instant ramyun is amazing stuff!

With that, I would like to formally challenge PSY to a friendly Nongshim Shin Cup eating contest! I don’t know exactly how to do a ramyun cup  eating contest as I’ve never been in one or heard of anyone doing one, but I’m sure we could figure it out! Oppan Gangnam Style and Spicy Ramyun Style!

What do you say?

– The Ramen Rater


Hey – what do YOU think?

Here’s the video PSY sent to Nongshim.

#899: FMF Chow Tomato Flavour Instant Noodle

Here’s the other one that Joseph H. of Sacramento, Ca sent – thanks again! I really like what it says there on the front – I think it should have a question mark after hungry. It sounds like Talk Like A Pirate Day with YAAR!!!

Here’s the front of the individual pack. By the way – it’s not Talk Like A Pirate Day, HOWEVER it is International Day of Rural Women, I Love Lucy Day, National Cake Decorating Day, National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day, National Grouch Day, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and White Cane Safety Day.

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge).

The noodle block.

I like how it’s folded in half. It unfolds during the cooking!

The lone seasoning packet.

The seasoning. A little taste resulted in a lot of tomato flavor and a little heat.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added some tomatoes and a hard boiled egg with some Krazy Mixed Up Salt. The noodles were good – a little plump and crumbly – worked very well. The broth was awesome – a strong tomato taste and color. The smell of the broth as it boiled was one of tomatoes. It also had a very nice light spiciness to it. All said and done this was absolutely delicious. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars! UPC bar code 9416470239603 .

Here’s a TV commercial for FMF Chow Tomato

“Island Suite” by Mantis (Fiji,1973)

Video Re-Review: Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black & The Golden Pot

Decided to do up a video of the nice Golden Pot that was sent to me by Mr. Shin, President of Nongshim Holdings – very kind thank you! Thought it fitting to try it out with some Shin Ramyun Black. Check out the video!

Here’s the finished product – click the image to enlarge.