Taste Test: Ramen Noodles

If you buy the right brand, ramen noodles make for a quick and tasty dinner. Here, a food writer taste tests a few brands you can order online.

from Reader's Digest magazine | October, 2011

Ramen NoodlesMarie Keyes/Getty Images
Instant ramen noodles can be a cheap and tasty meal — if you buy the right brand. So forget those ten-cent packs, and spring for one of these, taste-tested by food writer Ruth Reichl for Lucky Peach magazine.

Myojo Chukazanmai Japanese Style Noodles
Reichl deemed this brand the best for the “sprightly, bouncy texture” of the noodles and their “pleasant, very restrained flavor.” $2.05, amazon.com

These noodles are made with Moroheiya, a nutritious leafy green that gives them their color. “The noodles are not fried and contain no artificial colors, no preservatives, no cholesterol, and no MSG. And, in spite of all the health claims, they actually taste good,” Reichl notes. $24 (pack of 12), amazon.com.

Nong Shim
They come from the fun-to-say city of Rancho Cucamonga, California, and Reichl has only this comment: “Decent.” $20.70 (pack of 20), amazon.com.

Kamfen Instant Ramen
It has a “funkily fishy aroma,” writes Reichl, but “when I poured boiling water into the little foam cup, I found myself transported to the back alley of a large Chinese city.” Available online and at Asian markets.

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  • Your Comments

    • bongostella

      Check out the Ramen Rater web site. This guy has tested over 700 types. 

    • being realistic

      $2.00 for a package of ramen noodle soup?   Are you nuts?

    • dolly

      we are old but still love good things.  if you boil 4 eggs for 2 people aND CHOP some green onions, tops and all, put in some left over meat, chopped and serve with soy sauce!!!! very good



    • midwest voice

      Most of the ramen noodle brands, no matter how pricey, still contain massive amounts of salt – often 2 or 3 days worth!  Shame on you RD for not mentioning that when you have so many articles about improving health through diet.  

      A cost conscious way to avoid that is to buy the inexpensive packs, toss the seasoning packet in the trash, and cook them using a cup of low sodium (or no sodium) broth (beef, chicken, vegetable) mixed with a cup of water.  Add your own onion powder, garlic powder, and additional herbs/spices to get a flavorful meal without 2 days worth of salt!  Vary the spices, vary the meal.  Experiment and enjoy.  Plus, you can buy a bulk package of a single ‘flavor’ of noodles as you throw away the “flavor packet” and save even more.