Build or Buy – the ramen noodle paradox!

On returning from a recent trip to the US, I decided to research a little more about 1) making home made ramen noodles & broth, and 2) what would be the best packet ramen noodle as a substitute!

IMG_1768-buildSo, a quick search on the web and I came across the recipe from luckypeach.com – a quick and easy method to make fresh alkaline noodles.  Following the recipe is easy until you get to the kneading part!   Having never been into baking, kneading the dough turned out to be a skill I was clearly missing (and had no real interest in acquiring!). Suffice to say the noodles were less than perfect (or edible)….

What’s the best packet ramen noodle?

Option 2 then….. Living in the Czech capital doesn’t bode well for an abundance of Japanese/ Korean noodle providers.  Referencing the amazing ramenrater.com, the best performing ramen noodle turned out to be the “Nissin Demae Ramen Straight Noodle Black Garlic Oil Tonkotsu Flavour Instant Noodle”.  A quick search on both local and EU based companies yielded an out of stock response.  That left the local supermarkets and niche Japanese market.

IMG_1791

One bonus from this little shopping excursion was the purchase of some very nice, authentic Japanese noodle bowls from Japa Foods (https://www.japafoods.cz).  Anyway, the assembled collection included the following:

  • OTTOGI Jin Ramen
  • NONGSHIM Shin Ramyun
  • NONGSHIM Kimchi Ramyun
  • NISSIN Raoh Tonkostu
  • DAISHO Hakata Ramen
  • YUMYUM TomYum Shrimp

Notice!

Now, the yumyum noodles were included as a baseline to compare the cheapest variety with the increasingly more expensive specialist noodles. Also, when cooking the noodles I’ve normally added an egg, spring onion, a splash of seasame oil and chicken to complete the meal – these do not come in the packets!
IMG_1749-Jin Ramen

OTTOGI Jin Ramen

The Jin Ramen were the first ones I tried and were surprisingly good! The noodle consistency was almost perfect and the soup base very tasty but not quite that creamy tonkotsu flavour I’m looking for.

IMG_1784-ShinRamyunNONGSHIM Shin Ramyun

Second up was the Shin Ramyun flavour noodles from Nongshim.  Ok, now these had a bit more of a kick to them (Spicy version) and had a similar consistency to the Ottogi Jin Ramen.  Still not the tonkotsu flavour but a good ramen choice.

NISSIN Raoh Tonkotsu

IMG_1787-NissinRaoh TonkotsuNext up was the very promisingly named Nissin Raoh Tonkotsu – the king noodles!  Straight away, the flavour of the soup broth put this to the top.  However, the noodles lack the girth and consistency of the Ottogi and Nongshim noodles.  So, top marks for taste but slips to nearly bottom due to the noodles (YumYum are bottom and won’t get a review!)

That’s as far as I’ve got on the tasting, the rest will be consumed over the next few days…

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