When it comes to instant Korean food, noodles or ramen definitely top the list. And since the release of Academy Award winner, Parasite, instant Korean ramen has become popular even amongst the non-foodies.
Imagine you’ve been roaming around all day in a South Korean city with a detailed itinerary. But the hunger strikes and you are too far from any café and restaurant! What to do now? You can go to a Korean convenience store and grab Korean instant ramen! Did you know that convenience stores have boiling hot water? You can easily prepare and eat your favorite ramen at the store by adding cups of hot water. It is very convenient and, at the same time, cheap, delicious, and instant!
If you are in a hurry and want to grab a quick lunch, going to the ramen aisle in a Korean convenience store is bound to get overwhelming. It is difficult to choose among the rows and rows of flavored and spicy instant ramen noodles with so many flavor options.
Use this ‘Ultimate Instant Korean Ramen Guide’ to navigate the instant ramen aisles and find your favorite flavor!
You can eat instant noodles as is, or you can make a fancy Korean dish by frying noodles, adding soy sauce, protein, and such. The sesame oil flavor works well in most of these ramen noodle soups.
Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to know more about ram don noodles(Parasite-fame Korean food). You can find the top ten ramen from South Korea on Amazon easily.
The Korean instant ramen can be categorized into ten primary flavors from different noodles brands.
A Multitude of Flavors of Korean Instant Ramen
If you love the spiciness of kimchi but don’t really want soggy pieces of kimchi floating in your ramen, then it is an excellent choice. The noodles are thin and come with a spicy, kimchi flavor broth with little bits of kimchi inside for seasoning.
You can check out Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soup, Kimchi, to try out the authentic kimchi flavor in a convenient on-the-go meal.
Generally, when you think of cheese, ramen is not what comes to mind. The Korean instant ramen breaks that pasta-cheese default combination and offers something delicious for cheese-lovers.
Paldo Cheese / Fromage Ramyun comes with a separate cheese and spice packet so that you can control the level of spiciness and cheesiness.
For beef lovers, you can enjoy Korean ramen in beef flavors. It has a spicy broth with little bits of dehydrated meat.
Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soup, Beef, has a zesty flavor of onion combined with the savory flavor of beef. It has a mild flavor of beef, which everyone can enjoy!
Who doesn’t love classic chicken-flavored noodles! It comes in different levels of spiciness, so there’s something for everyone. You can have extra spicy to not spicy at all!
Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soup, Chicken, is a Korean-style chicken noodle soup that meets the classic comfort of American chicken soup. It has a delicate aroma of rich chicken broth and a touch of curry flavor. It also contains mushrooms and Bok choy for additional flavoring. And the best part, it is not spicy but has a savory flavor.
Just as the name suggests. There are not many options for vegetarian Korean ramen. But sometimes, you can get a kimchi flavor that is completely vegetarian-friendly.
Nongshim Soon Veggie Noodle Soup is Korean ramen without any meat or non-vegan ingredients. It is one of the solely veggie options available in the market. With a delicious and mild vegetable broth, the noodles contain more vegetables than most veggie ramens. It has a simple savory broth, yet it has some hearty flavors that even meat lovers will enjoy!
For the ones who don’t really like their food too spicy.
Ottogi Jin Ramen (Mild Taste) is an Asian-style instant cup noodle where you can enjoy the harmony of chewy noodles, beef bone stock, and aged mild spicy taste. It is flavorful and rich, which will definitely take care of your hunger pangs.
There are a lot of seafood varieties of Korean noodles, including bits of dried squid, oyster flavor, shrimp flavor with tiny shrimp pieces, and many more. Ultimately, all of them have a prominent taste of refreshing seafood flavor.
Nongshim Noodle Cup, Spicy Shrimp, is one example of seafood instant ramen that you can try. It is hot and spicy noodle soup in broth, and it contains real shrimp and unique spices for added flavors.
As the name suggests, a bowl or cup full of spicy noodles. Locals generally have a preference for spicy flavors, and you can find spicy taste combined with others like chicken, seafood, and others.
Nongshim Shin Bowl Noodle Soup is a premium quality noodle with a spicy flavor cooked with beef, mushrooms, and carrots. The world’s finest peppers inspire the taste of noodles. Soft, chewy noodles are combined with a spicy beef broth.
It is essentially noodles in black bean sauce. Jjajangmyun is a Korean-style Chinese noodle dish topped with a thick chajang (black bean) sauce.
Paldo Jjajangmen Chajang Noodles are thick and chewy noodles coated in black bean sauce. It is made with a unique blend of spices, dehydrated carrots, onions, and ground bean grains. It’s a fusion of east meets west, where spaghetti-style noodles are prepared in secret chajang sauce.
It combines two Korean favorite foods – ramen and tteokbokki (ddeokbokki) into one dish.
Samyang Carbo Ra-bokki brings the perfect harmony of tteokbokki, ramen, and carbo bulldark spicy chicken roasted sauce. The overall texture is very smooth, and it blends with a soft taste of cheese.
Parasite’s Ram-Don (Jjapaguri)
After the Parasite movie won Oscars, ‘how to ram-don’ noodles was trending on YouTube. Ram-don noodles are mentioned in the movie when mistress of the house (Cho Yeo Jeong) calls her newly-hired housekeeper (Jang Hye Jin), instructing her to get a warming pot of “ram-don” going with premium Hanwoo beef. The housekeeper, then asks, “What the hell is ‘ram-don’ noodles?” and just like that, our attention was captured! And the best part, ‘Ram-don,’ is virtually invented by the movie’s subtitle translator Darcy Paquet because it was too difficult to translate the Korean word, jjapaguri, into English.
Watching the sequence certainly stimulated our taste buds irrespective of its origins, and the internet exploded with people asking for the recipe of the dish.
If you look up jjapaguri, it is basically mixing of two instant noodles packages together, Jjapaghetti and Neoguri. Jjapaghetti is an instant version of Korean black bean noodles and is served dry (Jjajangmyun). Neoguri is an instant version of udon – a slightly thicker version with a bit more chew – noodles that are served in a spicy soup, which has a bit more umami. And although the instant noodles are food for masses, it was made premium by adding Hanwoo, a premium and expensive Korean beef.
If you are a Parasite movie fan, you can also check out the iconic Parasite neighborhood in Seoul.
Also, if you wish to know more about instant ramen noodles from Korea, check out the Top 10 South Korean instant noodles.
Photo credits: Amazon