We all remember our go-to late-night studying snack foods in college. Peanut butter sandwiches? Popcorn? The whole array of “ito” products from Fritos to Doritos and Cheetos? Me too. Those days were delicious and filled with indulgence. Not the healthiest food choices we’ve ever made but they kept us alert, engaged and fueled for our midterm cram sessions that were the best and the worst all at once.
You’ve probably grown up a bit since college and have more fruits and vegetables in your daily diet than you did back then, and that’s a good thing. A well-balanced diet is filled with proteins, grains and those vitamin-rich foods that keep us healthy. However, the need to whip up a quick meal in a pinch is something that doesn’t decrease in adulthood, if anything it becomes more common, and that is why we still need instant ramen.
Ramen is a fantastic quick, easy, delicious meal that’s a bit indulgent but will keep you filled up and your taste buds happy no matter where you are. Whether you’re enjoying a weekend movie marathon or camping in the wilderness and only have access to boiling water, the best instant ramen is there for you.
We’ve gathered our favorite instant ramen brands for a tasty snack or meal any time of day. You know the drill, you’ve probably had some of these before, and it’s time to throw it back to the good ol’ days of slurping and savoring with the best instant ramen brands available.
1. Maruchan Instant Lunch Beef Flavor
This brand should bring up some good memories. It’s one of the most popular instant ramen brands for a reason. The beef flavor is classic, it’s ready in just a few minutes after adding in boiling water, and is packed with delicious flavor. This tasty fan favorite encapsulates convenience as it comes in the container that you eat it out of, taking extraneous dishes off of your plate. They’re easy to enjoy anywhere you’ve got access to hot water, and come in a variety of other flavors as well. We recommend the beef, but the chicken and shrimp are solid other options as well. If you want to satisfy your instant ramen craving without any funny business, Maruchan is one of the best instant ramen brands to choose. Also, at just over $4 for a pack of 12 you’re looking at one of the cheapest instant ramen options out there.
2. Nongshim Shin Black Noodle Soup
This ramen is slightly more expensive than Maruchan but has a fantastic flavor worth checking out. Their black noodle soup is hot and spicy with fresh vegetables mixed into the salty and satisfying beef broth. The broth’s flavor has also been enhanced by garlic and more vegetables, giving it a rich and bold flavor you’ll enjoy. Red pepper and green onions are also a part of the recipe and there’s a kick of spice to keep things interesting. The noodles can be made in minutes and make for a great meal or large snack anywhere at any time of day.
3. Indomie Mi Goreng Instant Ramen
BACK TO BASICS
If you want a straightforward, delicious ramen then this pack from Indomie Mi Goreng is the way to go. After a quick boil and sauté of the condiments packets you’ll be in business. We recommend not adding all of the chili sauce unless you can really handle your spice, and maybe adding in some vegetables as well to round out the flavor. Each pack of noodles comes with five different condiments you can mix and flavor with based on your preferences including dried onion, sweet soy sauce, onion sauce, chili sauce and dry seasonings. They all blend together quite well and create a delicious flavor with little to no effort needed.
4. Nissin RAOH Miso Flavor Japanese-Style Ramen
Nissin RAOH roughly translates to the King of Ramen and for good reason. While this may look like your typical ramen noodles in a packet, this restaurant-quality meal is rich and savory with just the right amount of spice, salt and authentic umami flavors. The triple-layered noodles are air-dried and steam cooked so they’ll come out al dente every time. All you need is four extra minutes of your time and two cups of water to make delicious magic happen. This particular miso flavor is delicious and will bring you back to your favorite hearty bowl available at your local ramen or sushi shop, except you’ll be making it in the comfort of your own home.
5. Annie Chun’s Shoyu Ramen Noodle Bowl
The downside of delicious ramen? It tends to not be the healthiest thing for you. Thankfully there are brands creating more mindful and health-conscious options like Annie Chun’s. This bowl of Japanese-style Shoyu Ramen is only 240 calories, non-GMO and vegan! It’s made with Shoyu broth with carrots, green onions, corn and comes with the noodles already cooked. All you need to do is pop it in the microwave for a few minutes and voila! You’ve got a convenient and healthy ramen lunch or dinner ready to go.
6. Prima Taste Singapore Curry Lamian Noodles
These noodles from Prima Taste are more of a Singaporean style rather than strictly Japanese, and taste delicious. They’re just the right texture as they’re steamed and air-dried rather than fried, and the whole package contains no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or MSG. The broth has a full-bodied taste with a coconut base that will soothe and amplify the spice at the same time. This packet contains more protein than many of the other ramen options and is also more expensive. It tastes and feels like the closest instant ramen brand to something you’d order at a restaurant, in a good way. Add a few herbs and maybe some fresh lime to this dish to take it to the next level.
7. Samyang Instant Ramen
Want instant ramen with a kick? This is one of the best instant ramen brands for spice, especially the spicy chicken fire noodles which are comparable to a hotter hot Cheeto. They’re used in a bunch of different fire noodle challenges on YouTube and are tasty, if you can handle the spice. The chicken adds a savory flavor to the heat and there’s a sweetness to it that’ll give your tongue the reprieve it needs.
8. Chapaguri Set — Nongshim Chapagetti Chajang and Neoguri Instant Ramen
Have you seen the movie Parasite? It made this noodle snack, Chapaguri, even more popular than it already was in South Korea. It’s made by combining two different types of instant ramen noodles, both South Korean, Chapagetti and Neoguri. Chapagetti noodles have a soybean sauce on them that adds flavor to the meat and vegetables you can add to the dish, while the Neoguri adds spice and a bit of seafood flavoring. They’re fantastic when combined together and are both thick, elastic noodles that can hold their own with the addition of heartier meats and vegetables, if you choose to do so.