Great Eats,  Korean food,  Product Reviews

6 Spicy Korean Instant Noodles to try if you love Samyang’s Buldak Nuclear Noodles

I think it’s safe to assume that by now all of us have encountered one or two of those eating challenges involving the Samyang Buldak Super Spicy Noodles. As someone who likes spicy food, I personally enjoy these Korean instant noodles to some extent, but even I have to admit they are too spicy to be comfortable to gorge on. Luckily, Korea makes a whole slew of other types of instant noodles. To me they are some of the best in Asia; in particular, the spicy ones that give a good amount of heat without burning your tongue off.

From the quality of the noodles themselves to the flavors of the broth, Korean instant noodles are simply some of the most satisfying quick meals you can ever have. Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorites, all of which have a degree of spiciness to them that I think my fellow fans of Samyang Spicy Noodles will enjoy. Below I’ve ranked them from least to most spicy. Let’s get to it!

Paldo Instant Rabokki [팔도 즉석 라볶이 Paldo Jeugseok Rabokki]

Tteokbokki fans might be familiar with rabokki, which is basically a fusion of the words ramen and tteokbokki since the dish is basically tteokbokki base with noodles added into it. If you’re not familiar, tteokbokki is a popular Korean street food composed of chewy cylindrical rice cakes in a thick spicy sauce. Add ramen to that and it becomes rabokki.

[READ ALSO: Tteokbokki Recipe]

For the instant version, what you need to do is to boil 400 mL water before adding in the noodles and the flavorings. First time I tried this, I wondered if there would be actual tteokbokki pieces inside. Since there was disappointingly none of that, I decided to take some from our frozen stash and throw them in. How can you have rabokki without the rice cakes? Seriously, Paldo.

I used the thinly sliced variety of tteok (available in Korean Groceries), soaked them for as long as it took the water to boil, then threw them into the pot alongside the flavorings and the noodles. I wanted them to cook within the 4 minutes instructed on the package for the noodles.

I was surprised when I first tried this since I was actually expecting something spicier, as what rabokki traditionally is like. However this one is actually more on the sweet side with just a light bit of spice. You can remedy that by adding some chili flakes or Korean gochugaru.

The soup is less like a broth and more like a thick sauce that coats the noodles. After a while, the bit of heat from the flavorings becomes more apparent as you polish off the bowl. Nothing particularly sweat-inducing though.

One thing I really like about Paldo’s Instant Rabokki though is the quality of its noodles. It plumps up nicely and has a lovely texture. Coupled with the rice cake discs I added in, it just becomes a pleasure to chew! (Is that a weird term to use?) If I added some more chili, some fish cake, and a soft-boiled egg, this would be perfect already.

Where I bought this: Famulei Grocery on Shopee Philippines

Paldo Bibimmyeon [팔도 비빔면]

This instant noodle was inspired by the Korean cold noodle dish called naengmyeon, which is one of my favorite Korean dishes ever. I can tell you this instant variety isn’t nearly as good as an actual bowl of naengmyeon, but then again, it’s a “bibimmyeon” isn’t it? “Bibim” actually means ‘to mix’, so this noodle basically wants you to mix it up with the sauce like you would a bibimbap.

To cook it, you need 600mL boiling water. It takes only three minutes for it to cook, after which you rinse the noodles in cold water before adding in the flavorings. If you skip this step (like I did because I was in a hurry and completely forgot), the noodles will look and feel dry when you eat it.

For fun, I decided to top my bibimmyeon with a sunny side up. I don’t know why either egg or cheese always makes instant noodles better, but it just does.

The sauce that comes with these noodles are of the sweet and spicy variety, with notes of sesame laced inside. (As a matter of fact, a sprinkle of sesame seeds on these noodles would be great.) It’s not as sweet as the rabokki above, but the heat is a light undertone which I think even those who don’t like spicy food can enjoy. It’s no naengmyeon, but somehow it’s a filling breakfast option. 😉

*This instant noodle has a spicier version that comes in a red package. Haven’t tried that but I will probably add it here when I do.*

Where I bought this: Shine Korea Mart in Quezon City

Ottogi Kimchi Ramen [오뚜기 김치 라면]

Ahh one of the classic of all classic instant noodles. What identifies Kimchi Ramen is its spicy-salty broth, flavored by the spicy-salty kimchi. This one isn’t strictly the best Kimchi Ramen out there, but I think it is one of the most accessible, so I chose to just put this into the list.

Cooking it is rather easy. Put 550mL water to a boil and then add noodles and flavorings. Cook for 4 minutes, then serve hot.

This ramen for me is a step up from the Shin Ramyun that seems to be everywhere over here. Everything from the quality of the noodles to the taste of the broth of Ottogi’s Kimchi Ramen is just so much better. The soup can be salty so you may want to add a bit more water, but it is also a lot spicier than the two I mentioned above. It’s a tolerable kind though.

Again, the best part here are the noodles, which are delightfully thick and chewy! These Korean noodles really have a way of making the flavors of the soup stick to them. Yum!

Where I bought this: Famulei Grocery on Shopee Philippines, but I also see this in a lot of supermarkets

Nongshim Squid Jjampong [농심 오징어 짬뽕 Nongshim Ojing-eo Jjampong]

Jjampong is a popular seafood noodle soup dish of Korean-Chinese origin. Whenever I’m in Korea and craving for noodle soup, I like to pop into one of those family-owned restaurants and order myself a bowl of piping hot jjampong. Just like the photo on the package of the instant noodles, jjampong normally comes topped with various seafood. I love seafood and I love spicy things, so jjampong is perfect for me. It’s no shock that I love jjampong instant noodles too haha!

To cook, you will need 550mL boiling water. Add the noodles and flavorings in together and allow to cook for 3 minutes, stirring to mix everything well. After that, just serve.

I really love this jjampong. It has a strong squid-y scent and taste, but underneath that is this tomato soup taste that gives it a nice tang and balance. Yum! After about two mouthfuls, you’ll start feeling the heat permeate your mouth and stay there. And yet, you can’t stop!

The noodles of this instant jjampong are nice and chewy too. It soaks up the soup really fast! But apart from the noodles, it is the rehydrated toppings that give this dish more plus points. There are actual bits of squid in here, plus veggie bits you can actually chew. Every single time I eat this, I am always sweaty but oh so happy. Man I love jjampong.

Where I bought this: Famulei Grocery on Shopee Philippines

Ottogi Spicy Rice Cake Noodles [오뚜기 열 떡볶이면 Ottogi Yeol Tteokbokki Myeon]

Stir-fried style instant noodles that feature a red hot sauce and actual tteokbokki pieces. I may not eat dry noodles often, but whenever I do, this is one of my faves! The most exciting part about these noodles for me was the fact that it includes tteokbokki inside. This bit still amazes me until now haha!

So the noodles come in a cup with just two packets inside. One is for the sauce and the other for the tteokbokki. First thing is to add in the tteokbokki with the noodles. Pour hot water over and let cook for 4 minutes until soft. Tearing off a certain part of the cup noodles’ cover reveals slits where you can pour out the hot water without spilling any of the noodles. (Always love when they come with this.) After this it’s just a matter of adding in the sauce and mixing.

The noodles turn a bright and spicy looking red once all the sauce has been mixed in. This looks more like rabokki to me than the first one lol. Technically speaking this is also rabokki, but the brand just decided to call it something else. I don’t really care what it’s called. I just know that I like it a lot.

These noodles are pretty awesome. They aren’t as spicy as the Samyang noodles but they are still very very spicy, with a pleasant sweetness to the sauce. (It actually does remind me quite a bit of the Samyang Original.) The noodles hold on to the flavors of the sauce and give it to you in full when you take a bite. This would be even more perfect with a little cheese and some slices of fish cake.

Where I bought this: Willgo Korean Grocery Store in Ongpin

Samyang Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen Stew Type [삼양 불닭 볶음탕면 Samyang Buldak Bokkueumtangmyeon]

I didn’t think this list would be complete without including this particular product from the Samyang Nuclear Noodles line. It’s a bit lesser known than the Original noodles which is a stir-fry style, which is the one people typically use for eating challenges. Frankly speaking, this one is my favorite from this particular line of products. I might be biased because I like noodle soups, but I’ll explain more in detail below.

To cook, all you have to do is boil 500 mL water, mixing in the red flavor packet even before you add in the noodles. The noodles go in next, and it’ll be done in about 5 minutes. This is when you add the green packet that includes the veggie bits.

What I love about this is that it is slightly sweet, with a delicious garlic taste that leaves you craving for more despite the heat. The aftertaste is really good. The noodles, when not overcooked, has a delightful bite. That thick lava-like broth clings so nicely to the noodles as well.

I normally love to slurp my ramen noodles but it was almost impossible to do so here. Unless you want to accidentally choke on a fireball that is. The soup is just thick enough but not oily, and although it looks as if there’s a lot of soup compared to the noodles when freshly cooked, the noodles tend to soak up the soup nicely as you chow this down.

This starts out as very hearty thanks to the soup, but after a while it almost feels a little bit like drinking liquid fire haha! It’s just slightly less spicy than its siblings from the same line, but make no mistake, it is still very spicy! I really loved this one.

Where I bought this: Willgo Korean Grocery Store in Ongpin

Much as I love Korean instant noodles, I don’t recommend eating them everyday since there is still nothing that beats a good home-cooked meal. (Plus, let’s admit. It’s just not healthy.) Every once in a while though, I get a hankering for some comfort food and I almost always gravitate towards one of these guys, especially the last three instant noodles on this list.

If you’ve tried any of these before, do let me know your favorites! Likewise, if you’re giving these a go for the first time, let me know what you think! Let me know also if you like lists like this one so that I can try to come up with more. 🙂

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