Korean Ramen Party, part one

Box o Ramyeon

As readers know, I have been studying Korean intensively in recent weeks, and I used TTMIK quite a bit. The Korean lessons they provide are entirely free, but if people want to support their work they offer a nice Korean-products store you can order things from, including a 10-pack sampler of Korean ramen or ramyeon (라면). I noticed in KDramas and such that ramyeon is really popular in Korea, and as a result, there’s a wide-variety of it too.

Anyhow, this sampler is selected by the staff at TTMIK, and comes with a nice set of instructions, including instructions for individual brands. Being an active TTMIK user, I decided to place and order for the 10-pack ramyeon sampler, plus some nice stationary for my daughter, and a set of Korean-keyboard stickers so I can type more easily.

The shipping costs are a bit high, but on the other hand, the package arrived pretty quick. This photo above is the opened package with all the other things taken out.

Since I had just finished 6-weeks of prescription heartburn medication (posted here), I felt it was time to celebrate even though my heartburn came back. I had been missing spicy food for a long while, and with the recent shipment of Korean ramyeon, I was going to enjoy.

So, here at the JKLLR, I decided to try one ramyeon a day and rate them based on:

  • Taste – 1 is OK, 5 is awesome. There were no bad ramyeon here at all, just better ones. ;)
  • Spiciness – 1 is mild while 5 is hot. Enough said.
  • Presentation – This is how it looks, once prepared. 1 is not very appetizing, and 5 is really appetizing.
  • Packaging – This is how the packaging looks before preparation. 1 is not very appetizing, 5 is really appetizing.

Why one a day? So I can try each one objectively (not compare with other flavors), and because the sodium levels would probably give me a heart-attack. :P In reality, sometimes I tried more than one a day, if I was sharing with my wife (who loves Korean food), but I made sure to sample each one.

This post is too long for all 10, so I am featuring just 5 today and later this week, I will post about the other 5 as well as my personal winner. Here’s the first 5 that I tried in chronological order:

너구리 (neoguri) by Nong shim

Neoguri Ramyeon
Neoguri Ramyeon 2

Taste – 3
Spiciness – 3
Presentation – 3
Packaging – 4

Special note: I loved the little Raccoon on the package. Really cute. Also, this ramyeon comes with a big piece of dried seaweed. It was fun to put it in the broth and watch it grow, and it tasted good too. Slight seaweed smell but good all-round taste.

짜파게티 (jjapageti) by Nong shim


Taste – 5
Spiciness – 1
Presentation – 2
Packaging – 5
Special note: This one was a surprise. Nong Shim, better known for their “Shin Ramyeon” line started selling these in the US. I’ve seen them sold in Asian markets as “Chapagetti” and I didn’t know what to make of it. It’s kind of a cross between Korean ramyeon and spagetthi, which I assume is where the name came from. As for making it, it came with special instructions and a lot of sachets, including olive oil.

It didn’t look very appetizing when I made it, but wow was it good! It was rich and sweet tasting, like Asian curry, but without the spice. I was very pleasantly surprised and will be buying this one again at the local Korean supermarket.

비빔면 (bibimmyeon) by Paldo (팔도)


Taste – 3
Spiciness – 4
Presentation – 2
Packaging – 3

Special note: This was another interesting “ramyeon crossover” like the Chapagetti above, but this one is for the famous Korean dish Bibimbap. The instructions from TTMIK suggested cooking with a fried egg and such (just like bibimbap), and what’s what I did, even though I didn’t do a very good job. It’s served cold, and had great noodle texture. It was a little spicy too, just the way I like it. All-round good taste like bibimbap and clever idea.

보들보들 (bodeul bodeul) by Oddugi (오뚜기)

Cheese Ramyeon
Cheese Ramyeon packets
Cheese Ramyeon 2

Taste – 5
Spiciness – 3
Presentation – 5
Packaging – 5
Special note: Now this was clever. It’s “Cheese Ramyeon”. I loved everything about it: the packaging was very cute, had a variety of sauce packets and amazing taste. Plus the cheese powder melted so nicely in the broth. My wife tried it and loved it too, because it reminded her of something similar in Japan called コーンポタージュ (kōnpotāju). I’m not sure if they’re related or not, but I was truly impressed by this.

The idea of “cheese ramyeon” doesn’t sound too appetizing to a Westerner like me, but this was why my “ramyeon research” was so fun: I discovered lots of new flavors and ramyeon types that I never knew existed. :)

By the way, in Korean, 보들보들 means something tender (in this case, noodles).

김치라면 (gimchi ramyeon) by Oddugi (오뚜기)

Kimchi Ramyeon
Kimchi Ramyeon

Taste – 3
Spiciness – 3
Presentation – 3
Packaging – 3

Special notes: This was classic kimchi-flavored ramyeon. What can I say? It was good all round but not great. To be honest, I ate this one at the same time as the cheese ramyeon because it was Saturday and the family was hungry, so it might be overshadowed by the other one, but all in all it was just good, basic kimchi ramyeon.

Stay tuned for part two where we announce the winner!

P.S. If you’re looking for a true Ramen expert, check out the venerable Ramen Rater. :)

About Doug 陀愚

A Buddhist, Father and Japanophile / Koreaphile.
This entry was posted in Cooking, Korean and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Korean Ramen Party, part one

  1. cocomino says:

    The party is really fun. I also like Korean ramen and food.

  2. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Ha ha ha, it was fun. :-)

  3. kelleynymph says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I am always intimidated to try Korean Ramen, but your blog will help me know which ones to give a chance. :)

  4. Ninay says:

    Shin Ramyeon or chapagetti is my favorite of all. I like it’s full flavor and rich color. Informative and too tempting blog post. Now let me have my own mini Chapagetti moment. :)

  5. I want to try that Ottogi Cheese sometime! Looks awesome! Thanks for the nice compliment, too!

    Hans Lienesch
    The Ramen Rater

  6. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Hi kelleynymph,

    Bon appetit!

  7. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Hi Ninay,

    We all need our Chapaghetti moment. :-)

  8. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Hi Hans and welcome to the JKLLR! :-) Good to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s