Top Instant Noodles for Flavourful, Quick Meals

September 14, 2023

Instant noodles, beyond hot water and seasoning, hold historical and cultural significance. They serve as affordable sustenance, a solution for future food shortages, and a canvas for culinary experiments—a reflection of our current needs. Moreover, the simple pleasure of a warm, savoury, and delicious bowl of instant noodles is universally comforting.

Selecting the finest instant noodles is challenging. With thousands of varieties and 106.4 billion servings consumed worldwide and still counting. Here are a list of noteworthy instant noodles we like to mention.

1. NongShim Shin Black Noodle Soup

Among various NongShim noodles, the Spicy Pot-au-feu flavour stood out with its intricate, spicy broth, hearty dehydrated vegetables, and toothsome noodles. The Shin Black noodles are an enhanced version of the popular Shin Ramyun, featuring a creamy ox bone seasoning packet. They offer a meaty flavour with garlic and mushroom undertones, a vibrant red hue, and rehydrated garlic, mushrooms, and green onions that contrast with chewy noodles. These noodles, ranked third in the Los Angeles Times's roundup, are widely loved.

2. Prima Taste Singapore Laksa La Mian

Highly recommended by The Ramen Rater for four consecutive years, these noodles boast a flavourful broth with dehydrated coconut milk, galangal, and dried shrimp, resulting in a rich, mildly spicy soup. The noodles are long, thick, and straight, air-dried instead of fried, offering a neutral taste that complements the pungent broth. With lime and fresh herbs, this restaurant-like dish becomes even more satisfying and protein-rich than basic chicken ramen.

3. NongShim Chapagetti & Neoguri

Popularised by the movie "Parasite," this combo ramen, known as jjapaguri or chapaguri, combines Chapagetti (black bean sauce noodles) and Neoguri (spicy seafood stew). The bouncy noodles are coated with a smooth, earthy sauce that balances black bean paste with seafood-flavoured broth. While the dehydrated bits in Chapagetti and carrots may disappoint, the kombu in Neoguri adds brininess. These thick, chewy noodles pair well with butter-cooked ribeye steak.

4. Oh! Ricey Instant Rice Noodles Pho Bo (Beef Flavour)

Recommended by cookbook author Andrea Nguyen, these instant pho noodles offer a quick, MSG-rich bowl of pho. The aromatic broth features anise and warming spices, while the rice noodles, though thin, turn spongy when overcooked. Adding lime, beef, sprouts, and herbs can enhance the dish's brightness and depth.

5. Nissin Raoh Ramen Noodle Soup (Umami Tonkotsu Flavour)

Author Amy Kimoto-Kahn favours these Nissin Raoh noodles for their separate oil and seasoning packets, creating a rich broth reminiscent of homemade tonkotsu. The tangy, slightly artificial flavour is complemented by sesame seeds and sesame oil. The wide, chewy noodles and dried scallions contribute to a complete dish.

6. NongShim Shin Light

Air-dried for a healthier option, these noodles boast a bright, acidic broth with a tomato-like taste and intense spiciness. The noodles are thin, springy, and slightly chewy. While the vegetables are less flavourful, scallions add a hint of freshness.

7. Nissin Top Ramen Noodle Soup Chicken flavour

A classic choice, these noodles feature golden, oily, and vegetal-tasting broth with concentrated flavours, resembling a bouillon cube. The noodles are springy and curlier, making them delightful to eat.

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