What Are The Best Instant Noodles?

In recent years, the popular perception of ramen in America has undergone a radical transformation from a cheap product suitable for frugal eating and dorm living to a trendy restaurant concept deserving of expensive real estate and date night splurges. The subject of restaurant pop-ups and instant brand competitors today, who are vying to overtake Nissin and Maruchan (the Coke and Pepsi of Instant Ramen) by market share, they advertise their campaigns on TikTok and Instagram.

The common thread of course, is comfort food. At any price point, a satisfying bowl of slurpable noodles in a flavorful broth will satisfy. My mother and I used to run through the aisles of 99 Ranch when I was a child growing up in Southern California, gleefully tossing bottles of bubbly Japanese Ramune soda, boxes of chocolate-covered pandas, and of course, shiny packs of instant ramen into our rapidly filling shopping cart. I currently work as a food and travel journalist with what I call a “high-low” palate. I enjoy both a classic bowl of Cup Noodles and a steaming bowl of tonkatsu from a restaurant. It’s not about price point—it’s about real-deal flavor and texture.

But you don’t have to believe me; I also consulted a true expert.

Chef Tomo Kubo of well-known New York City ramen shop TabeTomo says, “The best instant ramen has richness to it—a very rich broth with a lot of flavor, and I like my noodles more firm.” “I’ll make myself a quick bowl of instant ramen when I get home from a long night at the restaurant and I’m really tired; the quality of what is available in stores has also been improving day by day,” ”.

All of the ramens listed below are widely accessible at mainstream supermarkets, Whole Foods, Asian grocery stores, and online retailers. I always chose a chicken or pork flavor when it was possible, and I never added any ingredients that weren’t called for in the recipe. I evaluated each ramen using the aforementioned criteria (added by Chef Kubo), as well as umami (savoriness), mouthfeel, and whether or not the ramen was a complete sodium bomb.

Samyang 2x Spicy Hot Chicken Buldak Ramen, 5-Pack

On a chilly winter night, few things are more satisfying than a bowl of Momofuku Noodle Bar’s Smoked Pork Ramen. But there’s always their packaged ramen if you can’t bring yourself to leave home. The noodles, which are a collaboration with the well-known Taiwanese brand A-Sha, are air-dried rather than fried in Momofuku’s version, and they use ingredients like Sichuan peppercorns for ramen that is bursting with flavor. The Tingly Chili Wavy Noodles are my favorite variety; they have just enough chili paste to make you sweat. The Soy & Scallion has a sweet-leaning mixture of soy and sesame oil if you don’t like spice. —Kate Kassin, editorial operations associate.

If you’ve ever consumed a bowl of tonkotsu ramen from the Japanese chain Ichiran, you are aware of how flavorful and complex the broth is. I’m happy to report that, although not exactly like the restaurant, the brand’s ramen kit’s broth is superior to any other instant noodles I’ve tried. Firm noodles and their original spicy seasoning are also provided in the kit along with their renowned tonkotsu broth packet. I enjoy adding a few nori pieces, green onions, a soft-boiled egg, chunks of pork, and mushrooms. I almost feel as though I’m in one of the lone Ichiran stalls, blissfully enjoying each spoonful. Although this Japanese ramen costs about $10 per serving, I find it to be a worthwhile indulgence. —J. D.

I mention Shin Ramyun, my ultimate crush, when people inquire about my college sweetheart. When my roommate slid me a bowl late one night in the dorms, we connected. I gobbled it up, and as I did, my forehead began to shine. I was completely sucked in by the mouth-clearing, peppery broth and the springy, flavorful noodles. I still am. On the many days when I can hardly bring myself to cook anything at all, they are quick and filling. They only need hot water, but I frequently add any leftover vegetables from my fridge. —Jesse Sparks, contributor.

Making tonkotsu broth from scratch is time consuming. If you’re not up for 12 hours of (rewarding) work, Sapporo Ichiban’s consistently reliable tonkotsu flavor has won over many guests over the years. This Japanese instant ramen’s rich, creamy broth is much thicker and creamier than most others on the market, and its salty pork flavor evokes the flavor of long, slow-cooking marrow bones. Its the next best thing to homemade. When I’m in a bind, I keep several packages in the pantry for quick meals. When I’m entertaining guests, I’ll dress it up with some greens and shiitake mushrooms. —Gigi Wong, senior analyst.

When I was in middle school, I went through a phase where I cooked ramen almost every day after school. In particular, I made Nissin Demae Ramen with Sesame Oil, which comes in a red package with the recognizable little delivery boy hard at work. My brother and I would alternate “ramen duty” and we always had a cabinet full of instant noodles. Sometimes we’d add spinach, an egg, or little meatballs made of ground pork, but it’s also very filling on its own, thanks to the nuttiness of the sesame oil and the perfect amount of chewiness of the noodles. —K. K.

The bouncy noodles are evenly covered with a smooth, viscous, earthy sauce after being prepared using Maangchi’s technique. The tangy seafood-flavored Neoguri broth balances the Chapagetti sauce’s sweetness from the black bean paste (chunjang). The carrots, which tasted shockingly overcooked and bitter, and the brown, spongy dehydrated bits in the Chapagetti mix (presumably “meat flakes”) weren’t to my taste. However, the Neoguri noodles’ large kombu (kelp) flakes provided an additional layer of brininess and some texture. Both of these noodles were thicker and more resembling udon than other varieties, but they were also chewier. After trying the noodles on their own, I added some steak to the dish, and the fatty meat went well with the jjapaguri. The process for making Maangchi was the trickiest I tried (it involves setting aside some broth and adding noodles back to the pot after draining), but it only took a few minutes to make the meal.

Mike Satinover, known on Reddit as /u/Ramen_Lord and moderator of the subreddit /r/ramen, said he grew up with the Maruchan chicken flavor, and “the creamy one was, like, extra boosted. I don’t actually think this one is objectively good, I just enjoy it for nostalgia from time to time.” The creamy chicken flavor tastes better than the regular chicken flavor by the same brand. The broth seems fatty, but it’s a little thinner than the Nissin tonkotsu broth; oil droplets shimmer invitingly on the surface. The “creaminess” comes from a “powdered cream substitute.” Some green herbs fleck the soup, but they’re purely an aesthetic gesture; they have no taste. These noodles are salty but less so than the regular chicken flavor, and it’s hard to stop eating them. They left me wanting a Coke to go with them.

These noodles are air-dried, making them slightly healthier than other fried NongShim varieties, according to Tomonori Takahashi, the creator of Jinya Ramen Bar restaurants, who also notes that they “retain a nice flavor.” These noodles came in a bright, acidic broth that tasted like tomatoes. It was the spiciest dish I tried, but it wasn’t as overly salty as chicken ramen. (After two bites, my eyes started to tear up and my nose started to run. ).

1. NongShim Shin Black Noodle Soup (current price: $63 for 16 packages; approximately $4 per package)

These traditional noodles are also advised by Takahashi, who stated, “What more needs to be said? Momofuku Ando introduced instant noodles to the general public. Today, Nissin is still a leading brand, and the Cup Noodles name is well-known in both the US and Japan. Top Ramen comes in a variety of flavors, but the “Original” is the most well-known. These are common supermarket staples that bring back memories of my childhood and college years, when there would be a case lying around the house and I would quickly whip up a tasty bowl of noodle soup for lunch, according to Andrea Nguyen, who also mentioned the Maruchan chicken ramen. ”.

Instant happiness is a slurp away.

What Are The Best Instant Noodles?

There is never a wrong time to eat instant noodles. Unafraid of the time of day, my age, or the amount of money in my bank account, the shiny and crinkly packets have called to me throughout my life. Sure, it’s the ideal meal when you’re a broke college student or hungry and lazy at two in the morning. The simplicity of making instant ramen and the unexpectedly flavorful results from just one or two packets of seasoning are the dish’s main draws.

Let me suggest some of my favorite instant ramens that capture the spirit of various noodle dishes from around the world if you’re as obsessed with instant noodles as I am (I’ve discussed instant ramen in-depth on Thrillist’s podcast, written a helpful guide on how to spruce them up at home, and eaten more iterations of instant noodles than one probably should).

These non-perishable instant noodles are all available to buy online and will keep any noodle connoisseur camped out at home satisfied. Your pantry and tastebuds will thank you.

My preferred instant noodle brand is Mama because it’s what I ate growing up. It is common to eat meals made with Mama noodles in Thailand; occasionally, the noodles are removed from the package and transformed into an entirely new dish (for example, yum mama, a Thai noodle salad made with Mama noodles). Despite the fact that all of the flavors are delicious and nostalgic, the Creamy Tom Yum flavor is my favorite. Due to the addition of makrut lime, lemongrass, and dried chiles, it is herbaceous, slightly thicker than typical Mama broth, and spicy. This results in a well-balanced and vibrant instant noodle that is almost as good as your take-out tom yum. Although it is spicy, the coconut feels cooling. Price: $0. 75 each at Bokksu Market.

The wonders and versatility of Shin ramen are not lost on me. For those who have never experienced the delight that is Shin Ramen, it’s spicy—enough to make my nose run a bit—and deeply savory in each bite. There are dehydrated slices of carrots, mushrooms, green onions, and chili flakes in each pack that blossom in hot water while the noodles are bouncy and chewy. To enhance this already wonderful instant ramen, throw a sheet of American cheese on a freshly made batch, watch it melt like a snuggly blanket over the noodles, and enjoy. The addition of boiled egg, scallions, kimchi, and sesame seeds help, too.Price: $4.23 for a four-pack at Walmart

Sometimes, when I don’t want to drink the sodium-rich broth at the bottom of a bowl of instant noodles, I’ll just make my noodles dry. Sure, that doesn’t make them any less salty, but it definitely changes the experience of eating noodles. Hailing from Indonesia and prevalent throughout Malaysia and Singapore, mi goreng is actually intended to be a dry fried noodle. Each pack comes with a soy sauce dressing, garlicky oil, and chili sauce. Sometimes, I fry an egg and gently lay it across the nest of noodles for a genuinely filling and delicious breakfast.Price: $10.96 for a 10-pack on Amazon

Japanese curry is one of my favorite styles of curry. If you feel the same way, then get ready to buy a pack of these and instantaneously enjoy the wonders of instant curry ramen. The curry flavor of these Nissin Cup Noodles is so inviting and warm; it’s not spicy, but extremely aromatic and will definitely satisfy the Japanese curry craving you may have. I recommend throwing some shredded cheese on top for a curry cheese ramen and serving it with a side of chicken karaage or pork katsu. Preparation is as easy as any typical cup noodle—just add hot water and go.Price: $11.38 for a six-pack on Amazon

Some black bean instant noodles come with a powder pack, but Paldo’s version of jajangmyeon—Korean-style black bean noodles—contains a saucy, liquid black bean sauce to glaze over all the noodles. Packs are large and hearty, with a sauce that is subtly sweet, sticky, and rich. It’s not a restaurant-level black dish, but it is a non-perishable item that will satisfy any craving for black bean noodles; just julienne some cucumbers to sprinkle on top.Price: $11.94 for a four-pack on Amazon


Which is the best instant noodles in the world?

The Best Instant Noodles to Satisfy Your Ramen Cravings
  • Mama – Creamy Tom Yum. …
  • Nongshim – Shin Ramen. …
  • Indomie – Mi Goreng. …
  • Nissin Cup Noodle – Curry. …
  • Paldo – Jjajangmen. …
  • A-Sha Momofuku Collab – Soy & Scallion Noodles. …
  • Maggi – Masala. …
  • Maruchan Gold – Soy Sauce.

What is the best instant cup noodles?

One of the most recognizable brand names out there is Maruchan, but Nissin Top Ramen is a close rival.

What is the most popular instant noodle brand?

List of Top Best Noodles brands in India
  • Maggi Noodles. …
  • Sunfeast Yippee Noodles. …
  • Knorr Soupy Noodles. …
  • Top Ramen. …
  • Wai Wai.

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