Quest to find the instant noodles.
Now i might not be the best food critic but it is my summer break so i have a lot of free time. I want to go to the market and buy 20 different packages of instant noodles and each day i would eat one. In the end, i could figure which one out of the 20 is the best. I need you guys to help give me suggestions of which ones to get.(tell me your favorites)
Best idea: go to a big Asian market and get some of the dozens of varieties that never see the inside of a "plain vanilla" supermarket.
Kimchi flavor, squid flavor, whatever...
I've tried a good number (though your project is far beyond anything I've ever embarked upon), and Shin Ramen is still my favorite. Available in most Asian markets, but especially Korean ones. Try to get the ones in the big cellophane packs instead of the strofoam cup. Somehow, they taste better.
For me, it's the spicy kick and the fact that the noodles don't turn soggy as quickly that make Shin my favorite. Look for a red package with black lettering.
if you're looking for something a little different, i highly recommend the masala flavored noodles by maggi. they sell them at indian grocers. if you can get past the sodium and fat content, they are tasty!
I really enjoy the Mama brand of instant Pad Thai noodles. The serving is small but they are very tasty. I don't know if you can get them in the store as I always order them on-line from Thai Import.
I don't particularly like the Mama "dry" noodles but the pad thai isn't half bad for what it is. Myself I'm partial to the the spicy pork and the more generic vegetably ones. (I don't try to parse the names, I just scan the ingredients lists.)
I don't see it at the same places, but Indo-Mie brand also has some good flavors - IIRC I especially like the chicken/onion flavor (the chicken curry I tried recently was pretty blah.)
Unfortunately no one store I've come across - even places with a lot of them - has the whole gamut of brands and flavors so you do have to hit up a couple of places to get a real variety.
Try Fuku. No, I'm not swearing at you, but its really called Fuku! It originated in Hong Kong, and in Canto, its translation is "Six Fortune." I like the fact that they use e-fu noodles, not ramen. It has a different texture. Try the chicken flavoured ones; its better than the original flavour.
Classic sesame oil Nissin. Just classic.
If youre in a big metropolitan city like Toronto, or if there are Japanese markets around, try some of their imported stuff. I cant tell you what specific brand it was, but it was a miso one, and the noodles were just sooooo good. Very chewy, not soggy at all. Actually, here is a picture of it that I just dug out:
Korean brand Shin is very yummy. Another Korean brand is good too. This one has a similar noodle, but I find it chewier:
Hit a Mexican market in your area. Interestingly, instant noodles have become a huge hit in Mexico, and the major producers have started selling flavors to cater to that particular market segment. You might see some varieties there that you haven't seen anywhere else. For instance, lime and chili flavors.
Even more "instant" than instant, these noodles have all the flavors in the noodles themselves. No flavoring packets necessary. Just add water.
My current favorite of the packetless kind is "Mama"'s made in Japan. These come 16 individually see-through wrapped in one large plastic bag. Basically you can eat them dry or wet.
I'm just curious about the brand name, "Mama", the same as the Thai instant noodles...which are my favorite instant noodles with packets. I'm not sure if they are owned and made by the same people. The Thai version has so many delicious flavors. the Tom Yum flavor is a stand out. Their noodles are more flavorful than the usual ramen.
I also like the FUKU brand e-mein that someone else had mentioned earlier in the thread. It's not that readily available in NY though. ALso, some of the ones I've had had some strange chemical taste..maybe just not as fresh any more.
There's another brand called "Baijia" that's made in China:"Original Sichuan Famous Snack" /Instant sweet potato noodle. The "Fei-Chang" flavor should be a challenge in concept for most but god-send for some nostalgic Chinese people. It means "fat intestine". I got these in a Korean supermarket in Flushing, NY. (I think also available in A&C supermarket on Kissena blvd behind the library)They have other flavors that are probably not going to be popular to the general public anytime soon. Off the top of my head I think there are some Northeastern Chinese regional favorites. The noodles are clear, fettucini width and toothsome.
Another one which I have no ready sample for is the Taiwanese's made thin brown noodles..the kind they use in the "oyster noodles soup" (O Ah Mi Suagn - is the best sounds I can conjure up with English..the last word spelled for the nasal sound effect as in the Italian pronunciation rule)These come in a soft plastic tub container. Light brown thin angle hair noodles. Some with purple yam powder added. They are yet another different type of noodles.
(So far the above mentioned other than the Japanese "Mama" brand all are with flavor packets)
I prefer YiBaekYang (200 yang) over Nong Shim's Shin.
the kimchee-flavored and jjajjang (black bean sauce)-flavored ramyun are pretty good as well, and worth trying.
For soup free instant noodles, try
instant meegoring- imitation of malaysian style stir-fry noodle. Its not crazy spicy like the real meegoring but it brings back memories. You can probably find them in HK supermarket in flushing or specialty places that sells south east asian goods.
instant Jiajiang noodle (korean take on of the taiwanese black bean sauced noodle. The sauce becomes even more velvety than it already is when you add a pinch of brown sugar! You can find it pretty much everywhere nowadays, if not, go to M2M (korean supermarket), korean town (32nd b/w 5th and 6th ave), or chinatown supermarkets.
For instant noodles with soup, try
taiwanese, japanese styles. They come in so many flavors (not the sapporo ichiban ramen crap that seems to be in every supermarket or bodega) Find them in Kim Man supermarket in Chinatown or HK supermarket in Flushing Queens