I love a good K-drama. Their food ALWAYS has me salivating.
My sister Joni L who is also an avid K-drama fan has been inspired to try out a variety of instant ramyeon.
Since we can't read Korean (yet), she made a photo collage in her Google Keep to reference instant noodles she's tried this year.
Here's a breakdown of the different Korean instant noodles she's tasted, ranked from mediocre to her top favourites:
1. "A bit too sweet. Wouldn't recommend. 2/10."
This halal-certified cup noodles has a sweetish, supposedly cheesy or milky taste to it. She wasn't a big fan of it.
If you're looking for that kimchi tang, then you're not going to find it in these noodles, as it's pretty mild.
3. "Underwhelming. Not worth it."
On its own, it has a plain flavour. It's the type of noodles that you'll probably want to add additional ingredients like vegetables and an egg to it.
4. "Boring. Tastes basic."
If you're into classic offerings, like kari instant noodles, this faintly resembles that flavour.
It's apparently spicy beef bone miso flavoured Korean noodles. And it comes with a packet of dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and seaweed.
5. "Boring flavour. B minus."
It claims to be made with katsuobushi (bonito), seaweed, and tempura flakes floating on the soup.
It's pretty basic too, so you can add an egg, crispy seaweed, or other ingredients to make it tastier. Or if you're into simple flavours, then you can enjoy it as it is too.
6. "Tasty but presentation is plain"
It's slightly sweet, almost like tomato flavoured or maybe apple (since there's an apple on the packet).
Based on the picture, she cooked it dry without a soup base. You can also boil some frozen dumplings to add in.
7. "So-so flavour. Better with kimchi."
'Ram-Don' (Jjapaguri) is a Korean dish that appeared in the Oscar-winning film Parasite. It's a combination of Chapagetti and Neoguri noodles.
This packet of instant noodles is known as 'Chapagetti' (half of the Parasite dish), which is a black bean sauce ramyeon mixed with olive oil.
She liked this with fresh kimchi on the side. You can also find it as cup versions (small and regular sizes).
8. "Can add kimchi and use as a base"
These noodles are great if you prefer mild ramyeon or are tired of overly spicy noodles.
It has seaweed and kelp inside, which adds a refreshing bite to it. One Korean reviewer loves the subtle umami taste from the seaweed.
But the best part is that the noodles also come with little edible raccoon fish cakes. Cute.
9. "Tastes like seaweed and is good for rainy days"
10. "Has a slight umami-flavour and is a bit spicy"
Not too shabby. It comes with bits of beef as well and tastes comforting. A good option for rainy days too.
11. "Good as a base to top up with other ingredients. Simple, clean taste."
Contrary to its name, it doesn't have a strong kimchi taste but you can add your own kimchi to it for an extra 'oomph'.
12. "Good base for adding healthy ingredients. It has a yummy noodle texture."
Instant noodles don't need to be completely unhealthy. Just add vegetables to this and you're set.
There are two varieties: mild and hot (spicy). The mild version has blue lettering.
13. "Worth the try. Tastes quite prawny."
This is pretty good. It's not like prawn mee but it does have a seafood taste.
14. "Nice. Brothy. Addictive."
Top of the list is this cup noodles which has a hint of spice in the broth and bits of dried squid. It's yummy, definitely buy it, try it.
BONUS: "Plain noodles for those who like to experiment in the kitchen"
If you're into making your own meals and experimenting with different flavours, these are plain ramen noodles without any seasoning or spices.
So you can add gochujang, doenjang, seaweed, kimchi, cheese, dumplings, or anything else you like!
This is an ongoing list as she continues to try more. Are there any other Korean instant noodles you love? Let us know what they are!