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The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2014 Edition (Part II)

Well folks, it’s that time again. Since the last list, I’ve reviewed another 335 varieties – almost one a day This list reflects the ones I’ve reviewed in the last year as well as those reviewed before that – 1,365 varieties in all. It seems to get tougher each time – so many good ones! Here’s this year’s list – the best of the best. With that, I present to you The Ramen Rater’s top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2014 Edition.

#5: Samyang Foods Maesaengyitangmyun Baked Noodle – Southh Korea
Last year was the 50th anniversary of ramyun in South Korea, pioneered by Samyang Foods. Samyang decided to try making something new – SBN, a baked noodle. What’s really neat here is that the noodles smell like bread! The broth is a lot like gomtang, a traditional beef soup. To shake it up, maesangyi is added – kind of like seaweed spun into a cotton-like consistency. The finished product is quite delectable; almost like a chowder! Original review here

#4: Sapporo Ichiban Otafuku Okonomi Sauce Yakisoba – Japan
I’ve always really loved yakisoba and this is the best I’ve found in an instant form yet. Otofuku is a brand of yakisoba sauce that can be found almost anywhere, and it’s inclusion in this one is just perfection. What’s more, the noodles are garnished with green laver (flaked seaweed) and a little mayonnaise packet! Original review here

#3: Prima Taste Singapore Curry La Mian – Singapore
Premium chewy noodles are given the opportunity to swim in some of the best curry broth I’ve ever had. The real difference here is that there are two sachets – curry paste and a ‘premix’ which is primarily coconut powder. Sheer delight! Original Review / Special 2014 Re-Review

#2: Prima Taste Singapore Laksa La Mian – Singapore
Prima Taste’s La Mian noodles are just pure wonderful, and their paste and coconut powder sachets are brimming with rich flavor. This one is a little spicy and has strong shrimp flavor. Little beads of chilli oil dance around the top of the broth like miniature rubies. Spectacular! Original review / Special 2014 Re-Review

#1: MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle – Malaysia
The ultimate! The noodles are just the right texture and gauge – not too wide or too narrow with a chewiness that is perfection. The broth is amazing – extremely spicy (hit #7 on the 2013 Spiciest Instant Noodles list), and features a strong curry flavor and a hearty finish. I am truly impressed with this one and would consider it to be the one I would love to eat every day. Bravo! Original review / Special 2014 Re-Review

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Bowls of noodles. They’re made all around the world and are a great option for those with access to boiling water and are ‘on the go.’ Some are basic and have very little imagination to them or perks, while others are really full meals that include meat and vegetables, seafood and other niceties. I’ve review 1,410 different noodle varieties and of those, many have been bowls. Here’s a list of the best, most memorable bowls I’ve come across is my adventure in tasting.

#10 – Nissin Demae Iccho Instant Noodle With Soup Base XO Sauce Seafood Flavour – Hong Kong (Not pictured)

The noodles in this one feature a familiar gauge and texture, however the broth is pretty stellar. It’s got a rich and hearty seafood flavor, and is augmented with a goodly amount of vegetable bits and lots of little dehydrated narutomaki. Original review here

#9 – Samyang Foods Ganjjampong – South Korea

This is what you call a ‘stir noodle.” The noodles steep in the bowl, are drained, and then a spicy seafood sauce is added. With some stirring, you have a really delicious and spicy melange of excellence. Original review here

#8 – Nissin King Spa王 (Spa Oh) Tarako Spaghetti – Japan

Here’s another one where the liquid is drained off. Tarako is a fish roe based sauce used in Japanese pasta dishes. The flavor is very good and the noodles came out just right. The seaweed bits go very nicely as well. Original review here

#7 – Nongshim Chapagetti Roasted Chajang Noodle – United States

Although originating in South Korea, Nongshim now makes these in Southern California. Chajang is a traditional Chinese black bean sauce that is wonderful with noodles and the nice part with this particular variety is that it’s the first I’ve seen in a bowl. What’s more, it’s easy to make and has excellent hearty flavor as well as great noodles. Original review here

#6 – Paldo Kokomen Spicy Chicken Flavor King Cup – South Korea

Kokomen is a South Korean ramyun with a light or white broth. It’s got a chicken and jalapeno kind of flavor that’s really quite excellent. The translation from pack to bowl is exemplary, losing none of the quality. Original review here

#5 – Acecook Comet Mori Yukino Tan-tan Men – Japan

This stuff is very red! The noodles are broad and flat. They have a very nice chew to them and are of a premium type. The broth is very rich and oily. It has a strong spiciness and is almost thick – but not in a bad way. A rich pork flavor abounds. The veggies and other bits hydrated quite nicely. Original review here

#4: Unif Man Han Feast Sichuan Chili Eel Flavor Instant Noodle – Taiwan

The noodles are flat and broad. They have a nice quality to them; not too chewy but very good for a bowl noodle. The broth is rich with a good spiciness. The added bonus with this is the eel – it’s really good! Everything is rich and hearty and it’s definitely a feast to behold and consume. Original review here

#3 – Maruchan Midori No Tanuki Instant Soba Bowl – Japan

The only one from last year’s list to remain. Although it slipped out of first place, this is a seriously excellent bowl of noodles. The buckwheat noodles have a delicate crumble that works so well here and the broth is nice and rich. The disk of tempura is a real treat. Original review here

#2 – Plats Du Chef Cuisine Adventures Chicken Phở Soup – Canada

I have to say this was a great surprise. I have had a throng of horrible Canadian instant noodles – in cups, bowls, packs – just horrible. This one is a diamond in the rough. It includes excellent rice noodles, a very tasty pho broth and to top it off, it’s got real chicken! This is a bowl to behold. Original review here

#1 – Nissin Raoh Rich Soy Sauce Flavor – Japan

Back again in the top spot is Raoh. The noodles and broth play so nicely together and the pork is quite good. A bowl of noodles to really enjoy by candlelight. Original review here

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THE RAMEN RATER’S TOP TEN INSTANT NOODLES OF ALL TIME MADE IN THE USA 2014 EDITION

The instant noodle originated in 1958 in Japan, but since that time, they’ve expanded in popularity all over the world, including of course, the United States. Seeing this, instant noodle companies thought it wise to start building plants here in the 1970s. Since then, many brands operate factories here in the US, mostly in southern California. This is a list of my favorite varieties produced here, encompassing my 1,461 reviews to date. With that, here’s your top ten, America!

#10: Nongshim Sir Long Tang Creamy Beef Noodle Soup
Sir Long Tang is a creamy beef noodle soup. Creamy beef soups are very common in South Korean cuisine – such varieties as Seollongtang and Gomtang feature broth that is made from boiling beef bones for hours and hours. Sir Long Tang has a very nice and rich beef flavor with a great creaminess and excellent noodles. Original review

#9: Maruchan Bowl Hot & Spicy Shrimp Flavor Ramen Noodles With Vegetables
Maruchan has been known for a long time for their Instant Lunch line of noodles cups, but here we have something new for them – bowls! This one stood out for me – it had a ‘south of the border’ heat to it and was full of noodles of great quality. Spicy, but not so spicy most couldn’t handle it. Original review

#8: Nissin Top Ramen Cucharealo Home-Style Picante Chicken Flavor
This is a serious fusion: the noodles are short and thin. I remember noodles kind of like these in other products when I was a kid, but always felt like I was getting way more soup than noodles. This one quells that need for more noodles – there’s plenty of them. The picante chicken flavor is excellent with notes of chili powder and cumin. Original review

#7: Nissin Chow Mein Spicy Teriyaki Beef Flavor Chow Mein Noodles
I would have never thought that mixing teriyaki and spicy heat together would work, but it does. The combination is excellent – especially since the sauce coats everything so well. The vegetables hydrate nicely and it’s an all around great meal. Original review

#6: Nongshim Chapagetti Roasted Chajang Noodle
Thick, slightly chewy noodles in a rich black bean sauce – excellent stuff. What’s also excellent is that you can make it in the microwave. It uses just a little water and the finished product has sucked it all up, leaving you with nice, saucy noodles. Original review

#5: Maruchan Creamy Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup
I absolutely adore this stuff. Take your standard instant noodle and add a nice creamy chicken flavor. The broth has a really nice ‘stick to your ribs’ way about it. Whenever I’m under the weather, this is my go-to comfort noodle. Original review

#4: Nongshim Shin Black Spicy Pot-au-feu Flavor Premium Noodle Soup
First, Nongshim made Shin Ramyun which is still incredibly popular. Then they upgraded and came out with Shin Ramyun Black. Finally, Shin Black has made it into a cup – and it’s really good! Rich beef flavor and real beef along with thick ramyun noodles. Premium stuff! Original review

#3: Annie Chun’s Ramen House Thai Coconut Ramen
The noodles have a nice fresh feel. What’s nice about these like many new varieties is that they do not require refrigeration. The broth is extremely good. I would say this is the best that I’ve tried from Annie Chun’s – it has a nice Thai coconut flavor; I get curry and lemongrass and coconut in there. It’s really great stuff. Original review

#2: Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black Premium Noodle Soup
After twenty years of Shin Ramyun, Nongshim decided to upgrade it. Enter Shin Ramyun Black. It has a richer broth, great noodles, and an amazing packet with nice veggies and beef – yes, beef. This one has little pieces of freeze dried beef that spring to life – and have an enjoyable chew and flavor! Original review

#1: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles Chow Mein
This one requires a different approach to cooking, but it really pays off in the end. The noodles are cooked in very little water, which they slurp up rather quickly. Then you stir in the flavor packet and you’ve got some exceedingly wonderful chow. The flavor is reminiscent of yakisoba sauce; kind of a Worcestershire sauce thing going on. Then the fun part – a little packet of ‘green laver’ (powdered seaweed) is supplied for you to sprinkle on top. With it or without it, this one’s worth your time to try. Original review

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#1462: Wei Lih Steam Instant Noodle Korean Salt & Rib Soup Flavor - Taiwan

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added mung bean sprouts, sliced green onions and sauteed sweet onion and thinly sliced pork seasoned with Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Seasoning. The noodles came out on the spongy side; not much backbone here. The broth had a very different flavor. It’s like a mild pork broth and had a scent I didn’t enjoy, but it’s not bad. The vegetables hydrated well. 2.25 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4710199077634.

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Review #1369: A-Sha Hello Kitty Za Jiang (Soy Bean Sauce) - Taiwan (click for full review

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added carrot, sweet onion and green onion. The noodles have an excellent chewiness. They’re wide and thick; definitely not your usual instant noodle. Then again, these are commonly called  ‘cooking noodles.’ You have to boil them - not going to work well if steeped. The flavor is light and with a rich soy taste. 3.25 out of 5.0 stars.  UPC bar code 4715635851076.

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So I saw this recipe here and I thought hmmm… What a great idea! But I thought it might go better a little done differently…

Grilled Kimchi’n’Cheese Shinwich

  • 2 Slices sourdough – the big stuff
  • Kimchi – I used store brand
  • 1 pack Nongshim Shin Ramyun instant noodles
  • 4 slices processed cheese – I used two American and two Pepper Jack
  • Spray olive oil

Let’s first get the noodles cooking. Boil 300cc water and add seasoning packet. This is significantly less water than on the package directions. The reason we do this is so that when we drop the noodles in and they cook, they suck up a lot of the flavoring. Drop the veggies in as well. Add the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes or so. Drain and set aside.

Slap two slices of cheese on each slice of bread. Also make ‘em mirrored so once the noodles hop on board, it’s a bit easier. Add kimchi to both sides of the bread.

Add noodles on top of the kimchi, close sandwich and drop in a hot skillet with a very decent amount of spray olive oil.

I’m going to tell you right now that flipping this thing over can be a real pain, but just go all in and you’ll be fine. Helps if the bottom is nice and done – one flip here folks.

Here’s the finished product (click image to enlarge)! It’s really good – the noodles that end up sticking out end up a little crunchy, the cheese is really nice and drippy too. Be careful – if it is being eaten right out of the skillet, the kimchi can be really hot – kind of like an onion on a patty melt that comes out and slaps ya on the chin and you learn about medieval torture the hard way. Anyways, enjoy.

For more recipes and over 1,350 instant noodle reviews, hit up www.theramenrater.com!

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#1397: Wu-Mu Steam Seafood Flavor Ramen - Taiwan

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, green onion and narutomaki. The noodles are broad and flat. The seem of higher quality and have a fresh sense to them. The broth has a buttery seafood flavor which was nice. The seaweed and narutomaki that was included were of reasonable quality. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 4710175565551.

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Meet The Manufacturer: #1386: Takamori Sukiyaki Style Noodle Stew - Japan

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, sukiyaki beef and green onion. The noodles are excellent - soft but chewy and thick. The broth is really something - has a nice thickness to it and a sweet, salty and strong beef flavor. I can see why this is for the Winter - very stick to your ribs stuff! 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4901959100291.

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Meet The Manufacturer: #1474: Mama Instant Noodle Shrimp (Tom Yum) Flavour Jumbo Pack - Thailand

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added lime, bean sprout, tau pok, bell pepper, fishball, shrimp and coriander. The noodles came out just as expected - thin with a nice tension and good texture. The broth is on point with a strong citrus, fiery heat and great shrimp taste. Great tom yum! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.EAN bar code 8850987131776.

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#1445: MyKuali Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodle - Malaysia

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added mung bean sprouts, sauteed shrimp and sweet onion with soy sauce and hard boiled egg. Wow. The noodles are nice and chewy and there’s a good quantity of them. They have a nice color to them too. The broth - wow. Where do I begin? The broth has a nice heartiness and thickness. Strong prawn flavor leaps out of the bowl along with a kind of sweetness that is pounced on by a nice spicy heat. The crunch of fried onion is such a nice addition - especially with their quantity and quality; they’re not pulverized tiny bits but nice big pieces. This is truly an exemplary bowl of noodles - I can’t wait to try their next product! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 9555655005258.

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#1485: Nongshim Spicy Tonkotsu Noodle Soup - United States

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added hard boiled egg, pork butt sauteed with soy sauce, mung bean sprout, sliced green onion and kizami shoga. The noodles are very premium - strong on the chewiness which really surprised me - like they were designed for this variety distinctly which was really a nice surprise. The broth has a nice rich flavor and a good heat to it. The vegetables were alright, too. The amazing thing is the large sliced of garlic that hydrate so nicely - they’re excellent! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 031146025831.

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#1483: Four Seas Seaweed Hot & Spicy Instant Noodle (Mushroom & Beef Flavour) - Hong Kong

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, sliced green onion, thin sliced beef, mung bean sprouts and Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Pepper seasoning. The noodles were pretty good - nice gauge and a good mouthfeel. The slight crumble gave them a kind of nice texture with the broth. The broth has a definite spicy beef flavor and then the mushroom flavor which is kind of in the background and very good. As for the seaweed, it really complimented things quite a bit and made for a fitting garnish. I’m impressed with this one - 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.EAN bar code 4892616008473.

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Meet The Manufacturer: #1477: Mama Instant Noodles Moo Nam Tok Flavour - Thailand

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added mint leaf, green nira, coriander, lettuce, and sauteed pork, red bell pepper, sweet onion and garlic with a dash of soy sauce. The noodles came out just perfectly as they usually do - they don’t get too full of water and have a very nice gauge and feel. The broth has a spicy and heavily spiced flavor with some heat to it - very rich and strong flavors. I liked it a lot. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8850987128004.

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Meet The Manufacturer: #1449: Nissin Cup Noodles Seafood Curry Flavour - Singapore

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added fish ball, sliced squid, shrimp, sweet onion, crab claw fishcake and green onion. The noodles are of the standard gauged Cup Noodles style. The broth is excellent stuff - a very good seafood and curry taste to it. I especially liked the cuttlefish - it was chewy but not rubbery. The vegetables hydrated perfectly as did the egg as well. A delicious seafood curry. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8888279102050.

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#1482: Maruchan ‘I Want To Eat Ramen’ Shoyu Flavor - Japan

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added hard boiled egg, menma (marinated bamboo shoots), sliced green onion, mung bean sprouts, and kamaboko. The noodles have a good gauge and chew to them like a premium standard instant. The broth has a nice soy sauce taste with a nice consistency. Not too strong, not too weak. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4901990510295.

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Meet The Manufacturer: #1476: Thai Chef Shrimp Instant Nudelsuppe - Made in Thailand for German market

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, green nira, mung bean sprouts, shrimp, coriamnder and BonCabe Level 15 chilli seasoning. The noodles hydrated pretty decently and had a decent texture and chew. The broth was rather nice with a little bit of spiciness and a good shrimp flavor. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.EAN bar code 8852523206061.

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Meet The Manufacturer: #1381: Takamori Curry Udon - Japan

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sukiyaki beef and sweet onion. The udon comes out very nicely - great gauge and chewiness. The broth really turns into a rich curry sauce. It’s downright luxuriant with a nice deep curry flavor. This is the kind of Japanese curry I love! Perfect! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 4901959070631.

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Meet The Manufacturer: #1379: Takamori Shio Yakisoba - Japan

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added shrimp, cabbage, green onion, sweet onion and pineapple. The noodles have a great gauge and chewiness - spot on. The flavor is light; has a seafood taste with a hint of pepper. Worked really well. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4901959100024.

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#1481: Master Kong Mushroom Stew Chicken Ramen - China

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added grilled chicken, sweet onion and bell pepper. The noodles aren’t very chewy - they’re soft like comfort food geared noodles. Not to say that’s bad - they really work well in this context. They suck up the broth, which is decently thick and has a warm, cozy chicken flavor. There is a kind of off taste that’s meandering in the background though. The vegetables and chicken are very nice and have a good taste. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6900873711598.

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