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In the West, ramen noodles have often been considered a cheap lunch that can be fed to the kids or a meal that’s suitable for a struggling college student. However, that has long since changed. An evergrowing number of people are realizing that these noodles aren’t just affordable but are actually very delicious as well. And these same people are discovering that these noodles are also extremely versatile and can be used to craft a ton of gourmet dishes. All it takes is a little bit of know-how and the willingness to buy the best noodles possible.
In the past, if someone wanted to try these noodles, then all they had to do was to buy a case of them at their local grocery store. These days, consumers may want to put a little bit more thought into the buying process since there are now dozens of different brands currently available. That’s why we’ve decided to research the top ten best ramen noodles for our readers. One or more of these brands is just waiting for a home in someone’s cupboard.
10. Myojo Ippeichan Yakisoba
Unlike some of the other store-bought noodles available at the local grocery store, these delicious ramen noodles have a rich flavor that can’t be found anywhere else. They’re made with quality ingredients which start off with wheat flour and use an interesting blend of spices and proteins to create a unique taste profile. This product contains a sauce that has tomato, onions, mushrooms, a variety of oils and garlic in it. It also has hydrolyzed proteins which include real sardine, tune, and bonito. This creates a more authentic taste than some other ramens which try to replicate genuine Japanese style noodles.
9. Maruchan Oriental Flavor
These noodles are not only loved all over the world, but they’re also a staple in some American homes, and there’s a good reason for that fact. That’s because Maruchan has been creating great noodles since 1953 and their products are not only tasty but are also extremely delicious as well. With a flavor profile that brings the exciting flavors of the East into just about anyone’s kitchen, these noodles are great for making a quick lunch or for using them in complex recipes. And since they only take a few minutes to prepare, just about anyone is within reach of having a hot and delish bowl of ramen.
8. Nongshim Shin Spicy Gourmet
This convenient 6-pack contains easy-to-prepare gourmet cups that allow the home cook to make themselves a steaming bowl of ramen in no-time flat. It’s also created with a unique flavor profile that really brings some heat to the noodles. Although many noodle manufacturers seem to believe that ramen should only be salty, the manufacturer of these cups has taken a different path. They’ve created noodles which are hot, spicy and very delicious. They are good for cold winter mornings or for eating as a mid-day snack. No matter how they’re enjoyed, however, they’re sure to bring their particular blend of beefy spice to the table quite easily.
7. Samyang Spicy Chicken Ramen
These delicious noodles only take a few minutes to make, but once they’re cooked they do deliver a nice spicy kick that anyone who loves a moderate level of heat is going to enjoy. They may not be as hot as some of the other hotter Asian noodle products on the market today, but they are hotter than most of the other grocery store brand spicy ramen products. They can be cooked by themselves for a nice spicy noodle dish or can be used with a number of different ramen recipes. No matter how they’re enjoyed, however, they’re sure to deliver a complex blend of flavors, and a welcome blast of heat to just about anyone’s taste buds.
6. Indomie Goreng Noodles
These noodles are manufactured by one of the largest instant noodle manufacturers in the world, Indomie Mi Goreng. These noodles are manufactured in Indonesia and are made in the style of Indonesian fried noodles. This product is designed to be served with the characteristic broth that most ramen style noodles use. Instead, it’s supposed to be served with just its seasoning packet and soy sauce. This product is supposed to be boiled in water for 3-minutes and then pan stir-fried for an additional 2-minutes. This creates a delish that is not only Halal certified but is also quite delicious as well.
5. Mama Tom Yum Shrimp Noodles
This unique and delicious style of instant noodles has a flavor profile that’s unlike the flavor profile of any style of ramen. Although it’s supposed to be a simple shrimp flavored product, it has a hot and sour profile that’s off of the charts. This is thanks to these hot noodles using a blend of kaffir leaves, galangal, and lemongrass in their flavors. This creates a unique taste and aroma that has to be experienced to be believed. And since these noodles also have plenty of red chili oil in their formulation, anyone who tries this product might want to prepare their tongue for the heat in this Thai flavor product.
4. NongShim Kimchi Noodle Soup Cup
Nongshim is a company with a name that’s Korean for “farmer’s heart,” and it’s with a lot of heart that this company makes these brilliant kimchi instant noodle cups. Each cup features vegan-style Kimchi soup that has a number of traditional spices in it and is both simple and delicious. It’s a perfect soup to enjoy on cold winter days, or to enjoy while studying for a school exam. They are made with only the highest quality ingredients, and they not only warm the body, but they also engage the senses. All of which makes them a good instant noodle choice for anyone who is looking for something different.
3. Sapporo Ichiban Instant Noodles
Some people feel like their ramen noodles have strayed from their Japanese roots and have become a product that’s been made for Western cultures. However, that’s certainly not the case with these Japanese-style noodles. Even though they can easily be cooked within 3-minutes, they deliver a flavorful broth and aroma that puts other ramen products to shame. These noodles are made with quality ingredients which include real chicken broth, a unique blend of Asian spices, beef stock, leek chips, and onion powder. And all of these ingredients come together to create a unique and flavorful ramen blend that just can’t be ignored by anyone looking for authenticity.
2. Nissin Raoh Tonkotsu
Although there are a lot of noodles which claim to deliver true Japanese-style ramen flavor, the truth of the matter is a lot of them fail to do it. Fortunately, these noodles not only claim to be authentically Japanese but they prove it. These noodles are actually manufactured in Japan using many of the same methods the top Japanese ramen houses use to craft their noodles. These high-quality noodles undergo a triple-layer process that takes advantage of air-dried noodles that have been steam cooked and then blends it with an umami broth that’s savory and rich.
1. NongShim Shin Ramyun
Although true ramen is a dish that was created in Japan, these hot and spicy noodles bring a Korean flair that just can’t be overlooked. After tasting these noodles, it’s quite easy to see why the company that makes them have sold more than 22 billion bags of Shin Ramyun since 1986. This product features noodles which cook up to be soft and chewing and are ready to be consumed in 5-minutes or less. They’re made without any added trans-fats or MSG and are made in the United States. Overall, these ramen noodles are ideal for anyone who is looking for spicy and unique ramen noodles that wake up the senses as well as it warms the body.
A Guide to Cooking With Ramen Noodles
After the consumer has purchased the right ramen noodles for their pantry, it’s time to cook them up. Although there are some people who will just throw the noodles into boiling water and then dump them into a bowl with the flavor pack, that’s only one way to make these delicious noodles. In fact, there’s a way to actually take them up to the next level and turn those instant noodles into a gourmet meal that can rival what’s served in any ramen restaurant.
Basic Ramen Technique
This is the method that most people use when they make a bowl of ramen noodles. They boil some water, add the flavor packet and then add the noodles. And this makes a pretty good, if not basic, dish. It’s a perfectly legitimate way to make these noodles and are also desirable for those who want to keep dishes to a minimum, after all, it’s all cooked in one pot. However, it’s not the only way to make these noodles, as can be seen below.
An Advanced Noodle Technique
If you could go into the kitchen of most ramen restaurants, then you’d discover that they don’t use the basic technique of making ramen noodles. Which means that they wouldn’t cook the noodles and the flavor packet in the same pot. Instead, they would cook the noodles for the required 1.5 to 2-minutes in water that was already boiling and then rinse them in cold water. Then, after all of that was done, they’d add it to the already made broth. Of course, the flavor packet would only be a part of a more advanced broth and just wouldn’t be the packet added to plain water.
Although you could certainly make ramen broth by adding the flavor packet and water, it wouldn’t have the same zing as professionally made noodles. The broth can be upgraded by simply adding a pat of butter to the pot before you create your broth, this will give it a little bit of extra depth. Or the water could be replaced with a beef or vegetable broth. If broth is used instead of water, however, it’s important that it’s an unsalted broth because the flavor packet is already brimming with salt and if a regular broth is used, then it’s going to create a broth that’s too salty.
Ramen Noodle Recipes
There are probably a lot of people who are going to be quite happy with their ramen dish after using the advanced noodle technique, but there will also quite naturally be amateur chefs who want to take it up just a little bit more. With these people in mind, we’ve presented the following ramen variations which can be used to whip up some pretty fantastic dishes.
Hoisin Pork Ramen
- 1-pound pork tenderloin
- 1/4-cup of Hoisin sauce
- 1/3-cup of water
- 3-tablespoons soy sauce
- 3-tablespoons of sugar
- 3-cloves of minced garlic
- 2-teaspoons of ginger
- 2-Tablespoons of butter
- 2-Packages of ramen
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 450-degrees Fahrenheit
- Make the sauce by adding the Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and a dash of red pepper.
- Place pork tenderloin in a pan and brush with a 1/4-cup of the sauce
- Roast tenderloin until it has an internal temperature of 145-degrees Fahrenheit (about 20-minutes)
- Stir water into the rest of the sauce mixture and bring to a boil.
- Cook sauce mix uncovered for approximately 5-minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove sauce from heat and add the 2-Tablespoons of butter.
- Meanwhile, remove the pork from the oven and allow it to rest.
- Slice the pork on a bias into thin strips.
- Cook the ramen according to directions and put the seasoning packet away.
- Remove the noodles, drain them, and rinse them.
- Top the noodles with the pork and sauce.
- Serve hot.
- 2-Packs of Oriental flavored ramen noodles
- 1-Tablespoon canola oil
- 1-pound of Spam
- 1-can of diced pineapple
- 1-can of red kidney beans
- 1/2-cup of cilantro
- Cook ramen according to package directions.
- Rinse and drain the noodles. Set aside.
- Add the canola oil to a pot and put over medium heat.
- Separate the pineapple from its juice.
- Place the Spam and pineapple (without juice) into the pot.
- Cook until the pineapple begins to caramelize and the Spam browns slightly.
- Add the pineapple juice, drained red beans, and chopped cilantro to the pot.
- Add the ramen noodles with their seasoning packets.
- Cook until the sauce clings to the noodles and then dish into bowls.
- 1/4-cup of butter
- 1/2 of a small onion
- 2-Packs of favorite ramen flavor
- 2-cups of cottage cheese
- 1/4-cup of sour cream
- 1/4-teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4-teaspoon of white pepper
- Place butter into a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add 1/2 of a small onion diced.
- Cook onions until soft and translucent (approximately 7-minutes)
- Cook ramen according to directions.
- Rinse and drain the ramen.
- Add ramen to butter and onion mixture. Stir to coat.
- Add in sour cream and cottage cheese.
- Salt and pepper mixture.
- Cook mixture over low heat for approximately 5-minutes.
- Serve while warm.
- 1-teaspoon sesame oil
- 1-teaspoon of ginger
- 1-clove of garlic
- 1-cup beef broth
- 2-cups chicken broth
- 1-teaspoon honey
- 1-teaspoon salt
- 1-Tablespoon Sake
- 6-Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2-packages ramen noodles
- Place sesame oil in a deep pan.
- Warm pan over medium heat and saute ginger and garlic.
- Add 3-Tablespoons of soy sauce to beef broth and set aside.
- Lower the heat on the pan.
- Add chicken stock and prepared beef broth/soy sauce mixture to the pot.
- Bring mixture to a boil.
- Add Sake, the rest of the soy sauce, honey and salt to the mixture.
- Cook ramen noodles according to directions in a separate pot.
- Rinse and drain the ramen noodles.
- Pour the soup through a fine mesh strainer.
- Place the soup into individual bowls.
- Add the noodles to the soup mixture.
- Serve while hot.
Other Ramen Additions
Ramen can be spiced up another way by simply making it according to directions and adding in a few extras to spice it up or make it more interesting. Some of the items which can be added to ramen noodles include the following:
- Stir-fry vegetables.
- Sriracha sauce.
- Soy sauce
- Beef, chicken or pork.
- Cottage cheese
- Sour cream
- Shredded Cheese
As it can be clearly seen, ramen noodles are a lot more versatile than people give them credit for and we’ve barely scratched the surface on what this product is capable of doing. And that’s why everyone should at least have a couple packages of this inexpensive pasta product in their pantry at all times.