NOTICE: THE NEW THE RAMEN RATER’S TOP TEN INSTANT NOODLES OF ALL TIME 2017 EDITION IS RELEASED – CLICK TO VIEW
It’s been quite a year for The Ramen Rater. I’ve reviewed 357 new instant noodle varieties. I got to visit an instant noodle company in Thailand. I just hit my 2000th review. Since the beginning of this ‘noodle journey,’ I’ve wanted to try flavors from around the world and have been able to do just that. This new list is a compilation of the best of the best; the most memorable and most wonderful of the 2,004 varieties I’ve sampled thus far. If you are an instant noodle company and I haven’t reviewed your products, please contact me – I would love to review them. I decided to include what I added to them this year – however note the products are scored before anything is added. With that, let’s have a look at The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of all Time 2016 Edition.
The full video presentation.
MAMA Instant Noodles Coconut Milk Flavour – Myanmar
I received a big box of samples from the company that produces MAMA instant noodles earlier this year, and was thrilled with the cup variety of this one – so much so that it made the 2015 Top Ten Cups list. The pack version was spectacular as well! Great noodles enjoy their time in a sweet (but not overly sweet) sea of coconut and chicken flavor. It is very unique and compelling; a fascinator for the palate. This is Myanmar’s first time on the top ten instant noodles list. Added hard boiled egg, baked chicken, coriander and seared sweet onion. Original review
#9: Zeng Noodles Scallion With Sichuan Pepper Flavor – Taiwan
I had the opportunity to try quite a few new Taiwanese varieties this year and this one really got me going. The noodles have a broad, flat character with a very nice chew to them. They don’t have broth, but a flavor which is out of this world. The sauce coats the noodles completely – not too much, not too little. The balance of the Sichuan pepper to other flavors is masterful; it balances perfectly. The Sichuan pepper has a kind of effect like mint – if you eat mint and then draw breath over your palate, you get a cooling feeling. Added Chinese sausage, fried garlic and scallions. Original review
#8: Prima Juzz’s Mee Creamy Chicken Flavour – Sri Lanka / Singapore
I’ve always loved creamy chicken flavor instant noodles. In fact, I believe the first instant noodle I reviewed when I started the site was a creamy chicken variety. These are a completely different ballgame. The noodles remind me of Taiwanese varieties – thick and a little wide, but much softer. The broth is very elegant; more like cream of chicken soup – but with a rich and thick flavor. Added TVP gives it more umami and satisfies. Made in Sri Lanka for the Singaporean market. Added hard boiled egg and chicken baked with Johnny’s Chicken Seasoning and BonCabe Level 10 rubbed into it at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Original review
#7: Wugudaochang Tomato Beef Brisket Flavor Purple Sweet Potato Noodles – China
This one’s just amazing to see. First, the purple noodles not only add a striking visual, they are of very high quality. They have a familiar gauge, but a chewiness that’s top notch. The broth is very good – excellent tomato flavor with beef notes and a very gourmet texture. The best part are the large pieces of fresh tomato and beef; truly something to savor. This is China’s first appearance in the top ten instant noodles list. Added coriander. Original review
#6: MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle Authentic Taste – Malaysia
This noodle was the first from Malaysia that really got me interested in Malaysian varieties. A noodle with a perfect gauge and chew rests in a broth which is now legendary. It’s new ‘Authentic Taste’ recipe is thick, spicy and just plain awesome. This is its third year in a row on the top ten instant noodles list. Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, mint, tau pok, Dodo fish ball and sweet onion. Original review
#5: Prima Taste Singapore Curry Wholegrain La Mian – Singapore
I’ve enjoyed Prima Taste’s Curry La Mian for a few years now – the noodles are thick and chewy, the broth thick and strong, especially with their wonderful paste and coconut powder. What’s different here is that they’ve upped their game with this new recipe noodle using wholegrain flour. It gives them a heartier chew and a rustic, almost artisan quality. Added coriander, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, Dodo fishballs and tau pok. Original review
#4: MyKuali Penang Red Tom Yum Goong Noodle Authentic Taste – Malaysia
Another one of MyKuali’s new ‘Authentic Taste’ recipes. Again, we have the excellent gauge and chew of the noodles. The broth is a thick tom yum goong – strong shrimp, lemongrass and tomato notes abound as well as a lot more mushroom taste in this new recipe. The heat is there as well. Reminds me of our visit to Langkawi in 2014. Its second year on the top ten instant noodles list. Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, coriander and prawns. Original review
#3: CarJEN Nyonya Curry Laksa Improved Taste – Malaysia
Another variety with a new recipe. This one is really fantastic. Firstly (although it doesn’t enter into the judging), the package is really striking. The noodles are a nice gauge and of good character and quality. The broth is a very nice and thick curry – thickened with coconut cream powder instead of non-dairy creamer. The inclusion of the sambal is really great. The new recipe boosted its flavor to be stronger and richer. This is its second year on the top ten instant noodles list. Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and tau pok. Original review
#2: MyKuali Penang Spicy Prawn Soup Noodle Authentic Taste – Malaysia
Up from seventh place last year, MyKuali really upped their game with this new Authentic Taste recipe. The noodles as always are very good – great gauge and chewiness. The broth is just amazing – good thickness and so rich and flavorful with a sweet prawn flavor. What’s more is they include a sachet of fried onion – not pulverized little bits but good sized pieces that are just wonderful. Beautiful. This is its second year on the top ten instant noodles list. Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, coriander, hard boiled egg, barbecue pork and prawns. Original review
#1: Prima Taste Singapore Laksa Wholegrain La Mian – Singapore
In the top spot this year we have an old favorite of mine with a new change. The wholegrain noodle just improves this variety by leaps and bounds; giving it such a nice heartiness and rustic flavor and texture. The broth seems unchanged; a beautiful appearance; the oil like shimmering rubies in a cream colored sea. The flavor is rich and spiciness very accessible to most folks. I should mention that both the original Laksa and Curry varieties would be on this list if the new wholegrain ones didn’t exist, however in different places. Added Dodo fish ball and carved squid. Original review
There’s the list for 2015. I will be publishing the results from the 2016 Reader’s Poll – look for it soon! If you are an instant noodle company and I haven’t reviewed your products, please contact me – I would love to review them.