07.08.2019

We reviewed every flavour of Samyang Ramen and have found our new budget noodle

Words by D’arcy McGregor

Forget Maggi and Indomie, these are the new budget noodles you have to try.

If you’re a poor uni student, like me, then I know you’ll love instant noodles. Maggi and Indomie are my usual buys – they’re the stock standards in every Coles, Woolies or IGA in Australia – but I went to Vietnam last year on the same poor-uni-student budget, and Vietnamese convenience stores were my restaurants. So, since getting home, I’ve started being more adventurous in buying random-looking packets from my local Asian grocers.

One fateful day, I stumbled across Samyang Hot Chicken Ramen and put all the ramen packets with the funny looking cartoon chicken in my basket. Here’s what I didn’t know – these ramen flavours are so hot, people do YouTube challenges to eat them.

I bought eight packets of the hot chicken ramen, each a different flavour – I tried them, I cried, and I ate them all.

Here’s the breakdown of every flavour I tried:

Original

The original flavour was good, but didn’t really taste too much like chicken – or even that fake chip-chicken flavour. It was a little boring compared to the others, more like a traditional Mi Goreng that causes minor sweating behind your knees (not in a sexy way). 

2x Spicy

That is literally what the flavour was called and if that wasn’t warning enough, then I don’t know what is. So, of course, this was the first packet I tried – because I’m an idiot. I’m sure the flavour was good, but I can’t tell you because my mouth was on fire and I was guzzling milk from the carton to stop it. I was also uncontrollably crying. Never have I had something so spicy it did this to me. Would eat again.

Mala

This flavour tastes kind of like Sichuan-pepper-Chinese-five-spice and it’s really tasty. But it is HOT. I can still feel my lips burning writing this. I would definitely recommend this as one of, if not the best, flavour. I’ll be having it again, but only once the memories of how badly it burns go away.

Jjajang

It’s a spicy black bean sauce! With the black bean, I felt like the spice levels were toned down a tad, and the flavour was similar to the original flavour, just with a thicker, darker sauce. It was ok, tasty but not amazing. On the plus side, I didn’t involuntarily cry.

Curry

It’s got a very distinct curry flavour, I can’t describe it, but you’ll know what I’m talking about as soon as you taste it. You’ll need a tall glass of water to keep the flames at bay, but it’s probably the most distinct flavour of them all.

Stew

Sticky, sweet, hot and spicy. This flavour is like a big bowl of chicken stew, and the spice level is on par with the original and jjajang. It’s a great bowl to help you defrost on a cold winter day without requiring you to put on some thongs and a speedo to cool down.

Cheese

Eh. If you’re looking for a cheese flavour, this will disappoint. The cheese flavouring is so fake it’s more like a sweetness at the back of your throat and chillies until it hits. It’s a crowd favourite, so maybe I’m wrong.

Carbo

This is my favourite. The limited-edition carbonara flavour is amazing. I don’t know why I like this one so much when I hated the cheese flavour, but I’m not looking too deeply into it. They got the creaminess of a cream-based carbonara perfectly, and the sweeter side to it takes the heat down a few notches, so there was no sweat coming through my scalp. I’d probably sell my firstborn for a box of these bad boys.