Instant Noodles are some of the most commonly eaten food in the world. Loved by College Students and people who are on a budget, they are one of the best budget food around. However, just because its cheap, doesnt mean that its bad. Nor does it always mean that its always the cheapest. The prices of these noodles can range from cheap to expensive. In the states, perhaps the most commonly known brand is Marcuhan, but if you look east, there are some much more delicious alternative. Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Instant Noodle Brands and Bowl around.
Instant Noodle Bowls vs Packet
In most instant, the packet is the better value for the money. The noodles tend to be thicker and you get more per dollar. Some can even argue that the seasoning is different. However, what makes the bowl so great is its portability. Whether its at work or just on the go. All you need is hot water and you can have a quick meal. Some of them even have a integrated fork. Its just cost a bit more…
Japanese vs Chinese vs Korean Instant Noodle Brands
While Chinese are the original inventor of the noodles, the Japanese ( and Taiwanese) are the one that invented the Instant Noodles. Interesting enough, what I find is that the best tasting ones tends to come from Korea. Most notably is the nongshim brand. They have flavors that constantly ranks among the best. Another one would be the Samyang Ramen, which is known for its intense heat.
The Chinese are no slouch either, they have a wider selection of noodles, but they do not have quite the recognition. Some of their more unique style includes spicy Chili Oil or a mix of sweet and salty.
The Japanese instant noodle brands are more of a broth base noodles. You typically get everything you would need to eat, including forks and other accessories. Usually, you will find multiple packets just to make the broth.
Instant Noodle Brands Health and Nutrition
Lets face it, instant noodle is not the healthiest. The main reason why is that the noodles is deep fried then you bath it in a overly salty broth packet. If you drink and eat everything, you will go well past the daily recommended value. Carbohydrate content tend to be high as well.
The good thing is that if you do not drink all the soup, then you will significantly reduce the overall consumption of sodium. So while its not a health food, you can cut down on the health effects.
Another way to improve the overall health of Instant noodle is to add vegetables and protein. I like to add eggs and vegetable to give it some variety. Some great veggies are spinach and mushroom. They soak up the flavor of the broth and the mushroom gives it a extra umami texture. The Japanese love adding little Fish Cakes to give it some extra flavor. I recommend doing so if you have it lying around.
Best Instant Noodle Brand and Bowls
There are many different brands available, these are some of the best that I have come across. Most will have a bowl variation, however, I find that the packet are generally the best value. Choose one that best suits your needs.
Nongshim Shin Ramyun (Best Overall)
Across all the noodles available, I find that Shin Ramyun is the best overall. I constantly reach for it whenever I need instant noodle. The noodle is thick and has a nice chew. Its great by itself or with some vegetables. The soup broth is also excellent as well. The Bowl Version is good but the noodles are thinner. If you can, get the packet version.
Nongshim Kim Chi Noodles (Best Bowl Instant Noodle)
These Kim Chi noodles are the best instant noodle bowl brand around. The kim chi flavor adds a subtle sour note to its spicy broth. Its so addictive that you can never just have one. These noodles are readily available and you can even find it at some walmart. They have other flavors as well such as chicken or shrimp, but none can compare to the kimchi flavor.
Samyang Noodle (Spiciest Noodle)
If you have a love for heat and want a challenge, then check out Samyang Noodles. You can find videos all over youtube of people taking the noodle challenge. If you dare, theres even a 2x spicy version just to up the game. Just be aware, it burns going in and out. Eat at your own peril.
Mi Goreng Noodle (Best Sweet and Salty Noodle)
In Indonesia Mi Goreng is basically a national treasure. You can find these noodles served at restaurant and eaten at home. It has a sweet and salty flavor with some fried shallot. Combined, it is a beautifully melody of flavor and texture. While it can be a little messy making it, you wont regret eating it. Just be aware, these are a dry noodle. Once you boil the noodle, you are suppose to drain all the liquid. Mix it with the packet and you should be done. There is also a Cup Version you can buy.
Nissin Raoh (Best Japanese Instant Noodle)
If you want a more traditional style Japanese instant noodle, then nissin Raoh is the best choice. Their noodles tries to replicate the same great taste of the Ramen that you get in Japan. There are a few different flavor available from Shoyu to to Miso. All are great and easy to make. This is one of the few noodles that are actually made in Japan.
Best Instant Noodle Brands Thoughts
Noodles are a great way to eat food fast. Just because it has a negative image of being cheap food, doesnt mean its bad. In fact, if you get the right brand, they can be one of the most delicious food. While these brands are generally more expensive than the Maruchan brand, the flavor and quality that you get is just that much better. Out of the bunch the mi goreng is the most affordable, just letting you know if you want a delicious budget version.
Want more information on the Winner? Check out our full review on Nongshin Shin Ramyun noodles.