Tag Archives: south korean ramyun

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten South Korean Instant Noodles Of All Time 2014 Edition

It’s no secret that I eat a lot of instant noodles. Last year alone, I did 320 new reviews! I’m often asked, “when you aren’t reviewing, what instant noodles do you like to eat?” South Korean ramyun is the answer. In 1963, instant noodles were first introduced to South Korea as ‘ramyun.’ People were a little confused at first; they thought it was a textile! They also weren’t super keen on it being chicken flavored; South Koreans prefer rich beef flavors as opposed to lighter poultry tastes. With a little tweaking, the spicy rich beef noodles synonymous with ramyun were born.  The thick noodles, rich broth and spiciness keep me coming back for more. This list contains my favorites from the 1272 reviews I’ve done thus far. They are all made in South Korea, and many will be hard to find in the United States, if not impossible. With that, here’s my list.

#10: Paldo Cucumber Bibim Men

Regular Bibim Men is quite good, but this has a little extra something. It is a cold variety, great for the summer months and delivers a spiciness and slight sweetness. The cucumber bits hydrate and end up crunchy and refreshing. Original review here

#9: Ottogi Bekse Curry Myon

I’m a big fan of curries from all over the world.  We start with thick ramyun noodles. The broth is rich and luxuriant with a nice deep curry flavor. The little potato pieces (a rarity in the instant noodle realm) are very welcome and give it a little extra comfort food appeal. Original review here

#8: Paldo Namja Ramyun

A spicy premium ramyun variety. The noodles are thick and chewy and the broth has beef, chicken and garlic components. Namja translates to “men’s” or “guy’s.” Strong stuff and quite good. Original review here

#7: Samyang Foods Buldalk Bokkeummyeon

This spicy fried chicken flavored broth-free variety means business! It’s on the Top Ten Spiciest list from 2013 and it really packs a punch! Great noodles and great flavor. Comes with sesame seeds and seaweed as a garnish. Original review here

#6: Paldo Rabokki

Rabokki is a cross between ramyun and ttebokki. Ttebokki is a populat dish which features tube shaped chewy pasta made from rice and usually a thick spicy sauce. Basically, this is ramyun with a ttebokki sauce – and it’s really good! Wish they’d bring this one to the United States! Original review here

#5: HoMyeonDang Premium Noodle House Crab Jjampong

This is a very premium and fancy variety. The noodles are very good with a premium feel to them. The broth has a rich crab flavor augmented with a little sesame oil which gives it a little extra heartiness. The vegetable and crab piece mix rounds it out masterfully. Original review here

#4: Paldo Kko Kko Myun

This one is like a bowl of candy to me. We start with nice quality noodles, and then the broth takes over. The broth has a kind of chicken and jalapeno flavor to it. The flavors play off of each other quite nicely and deliver both a strong bite as well as a mellow comfort food flavor in one bowl. The vegetable packet includes little chicken pieces. Original review here

#3: Paldo Cheese Noodle

I really like cheese added to ramyun. This one already has a cheese flavor packet with it – perfect! It’s got a spicy broth which is pretty common of South Korean instant ramyun, but once you add the cheese powder packet, the broth takes on a different tack. It softens the blow of the heat yet maintains a balance where the one doesn’t completely overwhelm the other. Original review here

#2: Samyang Foods Baked Noodle Maesaengyitangmyun

Samyang Foods celebrated it’s 50th anniversary in 2013 – they originally introduced ramyun to South Korea in 1963 (people originally thought it was a textile). They decided to make a new baked noodle line for 2013 as something new. The result is a rich creamy broth with a twist. Maesaengyi is almost like a woven seaweed thread. It is fine and wispy and breaks apart in the broth and gives the broth an added ‘from the sea’ kind of taste, slightly reminiscent of a chowder. The baked noodles smell and taste quite nice. Original review here

#1 Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja Ramyun

This is the fourth time in a different top ten list. Jinjja Jinjja is absolutely wonderful stuff. The noodles are quite nice to begin with – classic gauge and chew. The broth has a strong spiciness couples with a pork flavor. To finish things off, there’s a packet of peanut powder with black sesame seeds. Jinjja Jinjja translates to Really Really – and I really really think this is excellent stuff! Original review here

The Ramen Rater’s Ramyun Sliders

With the recent popularity of the ‘ramen burger,’ I felt it necessary to try them out, but with a twist.  South Korean ramyun is easily available by many brand and the noodles are thicker as well as more plentiful than other country’s varieties. Let’s give this a try!

The Ramen Rater’s Ramyun Sliders

Ingredients

  • 1 block South Korean style ramyun noodles – any brand (Nongshim, Ottogi, Paldo, Samyang all would be perfect for this. I used Ottogi Ramyonsari as it doesn’t have a seasoning packet included).
  • 1 egg
  • Kimchi
  • Busan fish cake OR hamburger (I thought the fish cake would be perfect, but since not everyone likes fish, hamburger would go fine – could even use vegetarian meat)
  • gochucjang
  • cheese (optional)
  • oil

Directions:

2013_8_11_rec_001

Make sure you’ve got a block of ramyun – it’s pretty simple to do: if the noodles are wider than most instant noodles you’ve seen before, they’re probably ramyun (especially if they’re a product of South Korea – or in Nongshim’s case, Rancho Cucamonga, California).

Drop the noodles in a pot of boiling water for about 4 minutes. You won’t need the seasoning packets.

Drain the noodles really well. Return the noodles to the pot you cooked them in and crack an egg over them. Stir until the egg is full combined with the noodles.

Put the noodle/egg mixture on a dinner plate and flatten a little – spreading them out a little.

Now take the other plate and press it down on the mixture firmly. Put this in the fridge for two hours.

After the two hours, pull the plates out. Take the top plate off carefully. Use a spatula to loosen the noodles from the lower plate and drop them on a cutting board.

Use a pizza wheel to cut the noodles into squares. You could also use a cookie cutter to cuts them into circles or other shapes should you desire.

Put some oil in a skillet, heat, and start frying up the squares. I did it over medium heat and it took a few minutes per side to get them nice and golden. After they’re done, let cool for a minute on some paper towels (this will sop up any extra oil).

Let’s make these bad boys! First layer I did was the Busan fish cake. I cooked mine in the microwave.

Then a couple pieces of kimchi.

I really like cheese in my ramyun, so I thought why not try it on these?

A nice bit of gochujang.

Put the other half of the ‘bun’ on and you’re finished!

Finished (click to enlarge image). The ramyun buns came out really nice. They have a great crispness and wonderful textures to them. It’s kind of like a handheld spicy ramyun noodle bowl! If you decide to try this, let me know – send pictures and I’ll post them here! Eager to see your creations!