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

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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

Thank you for reading and have safe, tasty and a happy 2019!