South Korea has one of the biggest markets for instant ramen – or, ramyeon, as in Korean pronunciation. Not only for its simple process of cooking, but also for its affordability, instant noodles are widely beloved by everyone (It wouldn’t be too much to say that instant noodle has earned its position on the list of pantry staples in Korean kitchens, to explain the feelings Koreans have for instant ramen).
With the massive popularity of the Fire Noodles, Korean ramen producers have actively been inventing new flavors lately. Some of the new flavors turned out to be successful while most did not. Below is a list of some of the instant noodle flavors you probably have never heard of. Guess which one turned out to be successful!
The globally popular Asian hot sauce is available as a ramen flavor in Korea. Produced by Samyang Food, which is the producer of the infamous Fire Noodles, released Sriracha Ramyeon earlier this year in its attempt to continue the fame as the leading producer of spicy noodles. The sour and spicy ramen is designed to be cooked without broth just like Fire Noodle.
Seaweed soup flavored instant noodle is the latest hit in the instant noodle market in Korea. Perfectly duplicating the flavor of Korean seaweed soup, this new flavor rose from the ashes of failed spicy flavors that weren’t enough to succeed the fame of Fire Noodle.
This salad-like instant noodle is available in two popular salad dressing flavors – sesame and oriental. People on social media favored its adaptability, as you can turn this simple instant noodle into a proper meal depending on what you add. Its relatively low calories give another reason to give it a shot.
Sweet and Spicy Fried Chicken
Many of us agree that even though Koreans did not invent the fried chicken, they know how to fry chickens the best way. Especially, Korea’s signature sweet and spicy sauce beat fried chickens from anywhere of the world. The “Marinated Chicken Ramyeon” tastes just like sweet and spicy KFC (Korean Fried Chicken).
Tteokbokki is as common and popular as ramyeon in Korea. So of course, someone invented the hybrid of the two, Tteokbokki Ramen. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the greatest hit, partly due to its low accessibility (it was available online only). However, reviews are mostly in favor of the sweet and slightly spicy broth of it.
By Heewon Kim