As many might know, I started The Ramen Rater (click to see the old site) in 2002 and did about 60 reviews. Then, I turned my attention to spicy hot sauces with The Sauce Rater. In 2010, I resumed my instant noodle reviewing. I’ve long been a fan of the spicy side of things – strong heat and good flavor are a couple of my favorite things. Let’s have a look at the absolutely hottest varieties I’ve found in my over 1,700 reviews of instant noodles from around the world in this year’s The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles Of All Time 2015 Edition.

#10: Wugudaochang Sichuan Pepper & Chicken Flavor – China

The Sichuan pepper was something relatively new to me until I really got a mouthful of them in this variety. It kind of reminds me of the way a hot pepper acts, but then when you inhale, it has a kind of cooling kind of sensation like mint; hard to explain but definitely something different. This one came with a peanut and pepper garnish and the noodles had a very nice gauge and texture. Original review here

#9: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja – South Korea

While still not available in the United States, Jinjja Jinjja is back in South Korea! This one packs a serious punch of heat along with pork, peanut and black sesame seeds. Original review here

#8: JML Emperor Instant Noodles Spicy Chicken – China

I wasn’t expecting this one to be extremely spicy at the outset and then was in for a ride. Very very hot – augmented with a large sachet of coarse chilli peppers. Original review here

#7: emart Dare You! Habanero Jjamppong – South Korea

Extreme heat is paired with nice bit of seafood broth and lots of bits of seafood. All the fire and flavor melded together with thick ramyun noodles make it hot as well as delicious. This one comes in at 1,960 SHU (Scoville Heat Units). Original review here

#6: MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle – Malaysia

MyKuali’s new recipe added a big punch of heat to their already amazing and groundbreaking Penang White Curry Noodle. Thick almost saucelike broth fires up the palate and includes a generous amount of garlic this time. Original review here

#5: Ching’s Secret Hot Garlic Instant Noodles – India

When I found this one at a local Indian market, I was very enthused. I thought to myself ‘hey, I like garlic!’ I kind of expected a salty, buttery and almost fettucini kind of thing. But no – this innocuous looking plate of noodles was violently spicy! Super hot garlic spiciness just builds and builds! Original review here

#4: Paldo Teumsae Ramyun – South Korea

On the list for four years now! Another South Korean ramyun with serious kick to it. This isn’t to be trifled with!  Teumsae has restaurants in South Korea which serve up some seriously spicy fare. I really like the text underneath the word Teumsae which reads, ‘Flavor. Culture. Human’ Original review here

#3: Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkeummyeon – South Korea

I would say that I’ve seen dozens of videos on YouTube showing people competitively eating this one. This stuff is extremely hot. Another brothless variety and it really packs a punch as well as has a nice taste to it. Thick ramyun noodles round everything out nicely and will transmit the spicy sauce to your tongue. Original review here

#2: Paldo Bulnak Bokkummyun Spicy Fried Octopus Ramyun – South Korea

See that little octopus on the package with the smile on his face? He’s laughing. Laughing as he watches you sweat as you eat this ultra spicy ramyun! I’m not kidding this one was over the top spicy! Bring a fire extinguisher. Original review here

#1: emart Dare You! Habanero Ramyun – South Korea

For the fourth year running, this stuff tops the list. Despite a packaging design change, you should still heed the warnings; habanero pepper top right corner, temperature gauge and screaming person, black packaging… Yeah – it’s not one to underestimate; this is violently hot. The broth just keeps delivering the heat and it’s just insane. Try licking a lit candle – I swear this stuff is hotter! Original review here


  1. I agree with Artie that #3 (SamYang “Buldak” = fire-chicken) is hotter than #2 (Paldo “Bulnak” = fire-octopus). I had both of them several times, both are good, but Buldak is WAY hotter, it’s not only a slight difference. Ok, heat perception for specific types of chilis may differ among individuals. You may be used to eating capsaicine extract but a real habanero brings you to tears or vice versa. But in this case I think there’s a reason that normally the BulDak is used for fire noodle contests, not the BulNak…

  2. #3 is the hottest I’ve found in Australia but I don’t really find it that hot. Shin Ramyun has been my go-to instant noodle for years so maybe I’ve just trained my taste-buds to enjoy hot instant noodles. I do prefer Shin Ramyun flavour-wise and noodle-wise and it retains its flavour when soupy, unlike #3.

  3. Just got #3 at our Asian stores over here. They’ve been hard to come by as they’ve been selling out everywhere like crazy 🙁 but it’s flipping delicious!!! I’ve been eating them for lunch the last few weeks. Can’t stop eating em!!! Hopefully we can get some shipments of #1 over here. From what I’ve seen online, that stuff is fire! Inspiring list, keep it up bro!

  4. Currently eating the packet version (not bowl) of number 3 with just a poached egg on top. Totally worthy of their 3rd place #phew

  5. For me, #3 was way spicier than #1. My mouth experienced some serious burn lol. Both were delicious though. ???

    1. I haven’t had #2 yet, but #3 was spicier than #1.

      #1 tastes very much like a spicier version of Shin Ramyun. The buildup is slow, but not very strong.
      Thanks for the list!

  6. #3 is spicier than #2. Please switch spots! By a long shot too. #2 should be higher up the list, the heat is minimal.

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