As the semester winds down, students’ time and desire to acquire healthy and complex food products often significantly diminishes. Instead, they seek quicker and cheaper alternatives, such as instant ramen. Verde sampled four different types of instant ramen that can all be found at your nearest Safeway or Asian market. v
Bulddak Bokkeum Myun
For all those spice lovers, the Bulddak Bogguem Myun is the one for you. The brothless ramen had a blood-like, gelatinous appearance that warned of the extreme chili spice we experienced at once after the first bite. At some point, you have to stop because the spice burns, but you’ll keep coming back for more because it tastes so good — it’s an endless cycle. Between gasping for air and gulps of water, we discerned a distinct chicken taste in the back of our tongue, a welcomed addition. Give it a try, but beware: Come prepared with plenty of water.
Indo Mie Beef Lime
Indo Mie’s Beef Lime ramen is an exotic taste among the dime-a-dozen spicy meat flavors commonly seen in instant ramen. Although the smell of the broth is acrid with citrus, the taste of the broth itself is much more palatable. The beef broth screams of MSG — the second ingredient listed for the sauce packet — but paired with the thick and firm noodles, we bwe able to overlook it. We advise eaters to not add condiments to the ramen, as the classic combination of beef and lime is quite strong on its own.
Don’t let the fire-truck red broth scare you away. The Neoguri broth is a delightful seafood spice paired with generous amounts of seaweed ensnares the senses. A sister-brand of Shin Ramyun, this ramen is a spin-off of udon and ramen topped off with a seafood broth. The udon-ramen hybrid noodles deserve a special mention: they’re the thickest, chewiest, and most dense noodles we’ve seen. In short, these noodles are perfect for those seeking a heartier bite to their ramen.
The quintessential meal for any ramen lover, the iconic black-and-red Shin Ramyun holds its ground as a revered classic among the heaps of noodles that fill your local Asian supermarket. With chewy noodles and a chili-pepper spiciness that will give a kick but won’t knock you out, Shin delivers on every note. We recommend adding an egg into the broth to counter-balance the spice.