For When The Craving Hits—Our 7 Tastiest Instant Noodles From Japan And Korea
It doesn’t take much to trigger a sudden craving for a bowl of steaming noodles, whether cradled in a rich broth or bathed in thick sauce. When you’re studying all night, burning the midnight oil in the office, or after a night out with friends, this bowl of soothing comfort food hits the satisfaction button spot on. And the next best thing to restaurant-cooked noodles? Instant noodles, of course. Just cook in or pour boiling water over your noodles and you’re slurping a piece of heaven in as little as five minutes.
Though most packaged noodles come with just a packet of powdered seasoning, there are those that make an extra effort to measure up to their counterparts in restaurant menus. You can find these in most of your neighborhood Japanese, Korean, and Asian groceries. The noodles are firmer and less prone to sogginess, though the trick is to undercook them because they continue to soften as they sit in the hot broth.
Here are seven of the tastiest noodles you should get your hands on for when your craving hits you hard. And for more of that authentic feel, just add some veggies, a slice of egg, some nori pieces, or a dash of chili or sesame oil to your steaming bowl and you’re all set.
1. Teriyaki Udon
This instant noodle from Korea comes closest to the udon dishes that you find in restaurants because amazingly, you get fresh udon noodles in the pack that’s firm and chewy just the way you want it instead of the dried variety. Simply drop in boiling water for less than a minute, drain and mix in the sweet teriyaki sauce. You can add sliced leeks and your favorite veggies when you heat the noodles for added oomph.
2. Yakisoba Ramen
Like the fresh yakisoba, these dried noodles from Japan are ashen-colored and cook quickly to retain their elasticity. It comes with a unique piece of dehydrated tofu that’s studded with vegetables. The broth is quite flavorful. Moreso if you add some nori pieces and a dash of Japanese seasoning just before serving.
3. Udon Ramen
The udon noodles in this Japanese pack are the dried variety, flat and fettucine-like, but possess the same bite when you cook it just briefly. It includes slices of colorful fish tofu and a hefty piece of plain dehydrated tofu that is surprisingly sweet and gives an added flavor profile to the dish. Just a simple sprinkling of sliced onion leeks transports you to your favorite ramen house.
4. Sesame Ramen
This Korean pack includes your typical curly noodles but the punch comes from the broth that oozes with the smoky flavor of sesame oil. But who’s stopping you from adding a few more drops? Show it off with a slice of perfectly cooked boiled egg and some greens for a true ramen experience.
5. Curry Ramen
There is no mistaking the curry flavor in this noodle pack from Korea and curry lovers are bound to rejoice over this ramen find. Mildly pungent and packing some heat, have it with Japanese tofu to break the spiciness, or you can pump up the heat even more with some fresh bird’s eye
7. Cheese Ramen
The milky broth reminds you of your childhood “sopas,” slightly sweet from the cheese powder that’chili added to the broth.
6. Tonkotsu Ramen
Mild compared to the rich and creamy pork broth in most ramen restaurants, its simple, clear broth made in Japan soothes the tired spirit, nonetheless, and has none of the familiar preservative-packed flavor of typical noodle soups. A slice of boiled egg should complete any comfort food craving you might have.
s included in this pack from a Korean grocery. But it’s full of good memories with every sip of the broth. For a more adult version, you can add some shiitake mushrooms and vegetables to your bowl of instant comfort food.
Photos and styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz