Dave's House O' Ramen


Since I myself am a quasi-vegetarian, all of the Ramen's on this page are veggie.

While this limits my selection (in a large supermarket, about 1/3 or less of the Ramen is veggie), I don't think it really effects the quality - as I haven't always been veggie and I've tried real Ramen with meat, and it didn't seem any better to me.

This list of reviews uses the term 'Ramen' loosely, including broad noodles and Mien. The only requiring qualifications are:

  1. Comes in a packet or bowl
  2. Contains some sort of noodle
  3. Contains a soup base in one or more packets
  4. Is cheap
  5. Is cooked by adding boiling water

Click on the camera for a picture of the packaging

Wei Lih
Jah Jan Mien
2+ The packaging charmingly states 'one pack, two taste,' whatever that means. The second packet is a thick and chunky packet of soybean paste, which is surprisingly delicious. The soup is excellent, and slightly on the salty side.
Nong Shim
Shin Ramyun
2 ? NOTE: I have been informed by Michael Collier [mcollier off-piste net] that he contacted Nong Shim and was told that this ramen contains BEEF EXTRACT. Ugh. Those fuckers at Nong Shim list it on their Korean packages but not the ones made in CA. They have a 'vegetarian' ramen that is only available in Korea.

Update: Sarah [miss.sarah.andrea.amy of gmail] says: I came across your review page on Shin Ramyun (Sin Ramyeon, in the new romanization system). I think in the past there were "for export" flavour packets that did not contain animal products (this was clearly marked "su chul yong" in Korean) perhaps due to various customs and quarantine regulations of different countries. I think this distinction stopped a few years ago, now the export model (the ones you can buy outside south Korea) is the same as the domestic. I do not think Nongshim intensionally misled consumers by failing to disclose the ingredients; as soon as the "for export only" flavour packets disappeared the ingredient labels began showing beef bone extracts.
The Hwa Ramyun, manufactured by rival Paldo (aka Korea Yakult Co.), looks almost identical to the Shin Ramyun but does not contain any animal products. The packaging also claims that it contains "soy pepcid" but in both Korean and Chinese versions of the label it seems like just some fermented soybean paste (kind of like miso?). The only downside is there aren't whole a lot of stores that carry non-Nongshim products since Nongshim seems to be the only Korean company that has made inroads to a mainstream grocery distribution channel. Try larger Asian supermarket or a Korean store that local Koreans patronize.
This is my favorite standby ramen, and the most common that I eat. It's got a good spicyness to it, though chili oil doesn't hurt.

Kimchee Ramen
2 Not only does the package look like my favorite Shin Ramyun, but it tastes very similar too. I've never had real Kimchee, since the idea of rotting cabbage doesn't quite turn me on.
Soybean Paste Flavor
2+ Despite the excellent choice of names, and a promising soup base that was a paste, this ramen has kind of a fermented teriyaki taste to it. It's not bad, but it's not great either.
Six Fortune
instant broad noodles
2+ The soup base packet is actually a liquid, which is always a plus. This is a good ramen - though I think the noodles suck up water quickly, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your taste. I'll have to try to cook it for less time the next time I make it.
Tung-I Rice Noodles
Chinese Onion Flavor
2+ The soup base is a fatty liquid, but it doesn't have much flavor. The rice noodles have a distinct taste, and are a nice departure from Ramen noodles.
Tung-I Instant Bean Vermicilli
Tong Tsai Flavors
2+ Once again Tung-I creates another noodle soup with a fatty liquid soup base that has a distinct taste. It's got a little more flavor than the Chinese Onion flavor, but that's partly because of all the extra salt & MSG.
Nong Shim
Kimchi Ramen
2 This is darn good kimchi ramen, it reminds me of Shin Ramyun, my favorite.
Pojangmacha Udong
2+ This has a seafood flavor, due to the addition of a piece of 'sea tangle'.
2 This is a tasty soup. I don't know if it's Ramen - the noodles are wider and very curly. The package claims 'non-frying,' but I think that just means preparation-wise, I'm sure they're fried since I've had non-fried Ramen and it doesn't taste this good. It seems nice and spicy too, but I might have just put in too much hot oil.
Sapporo Ichiban
The dark soup base is very worchestershire flavored which is an interesting flavor, and the addition of a packet of seaweed flakes helps, but this soup doesn't quite interest me enough.
In defense of his favorite Ramen, Ken Gober <ken.gober-at-spcorp.com> writes:
..That variety of ramen doesn't *have* any soup. Unless you prepare it incorrectly. If you should decide to give it another try, but this time using only one cup of water, I would like to recommend that you use only half of the seasoning packet, and that you put it into the water before the noodles.
Ve Wong Instant Oriental Noodle This comes with two flavor packets, but the second packet is really just hot oil, which doesn't help much if you stock your own oil, hence the '½ packet' above. The flavor is pretty bland, more like an onion stock than a good ramen.
Sapporo Ichiban Kitsune 2 This is actually Udon, not ramen, a japanese style noodle that's wider than normal ramen. This has a fried bean curd and soup base. This is one of my new favorites. The fried bean curd is unexpectedly tasty, even though I don't like tofu. I wish it had more, actually, hence the star short of five. Best of all, the first four ingredients are salt, soy, sugar and MSG, and MSG is listed twice, for your health amusement.
WaiWai 3 I was very excited to try this ramen out - it had some sort of seasoning on the noodles themselves, and it came with three flavor packets, the holy grail of good ramen. On top of that, the cooking directions were great: "the good tasted instant noodles soup". I was sorely disappointed - the soup is similar to a spicy veggie broth. I wouldn't be surprised if 1 or more of the packets was pure MSG.
Paldo Beef Flavor Pretty Not bad for a bowl Ramen. This advertises that it has "Great Taste!" which is funny in itself. This ramen actually has little bits of TVP in it as fake chunks of beef, which I think is great, I just wish it had more.
Paldo Stirfried Kimchi Noodles ?? 2 ?? Recommended by Katherine Needleman (who is a woman, despite her last name, and despite the fact that she thought I was a woman, despite my photo). Very spicy, though personally I'm not a Kimchi fan, so I'm not sure I'd like it..

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