• Top 10 Best Instant Noodles in 2021 (Nongshim, Maruchan, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Instant Noodles in 2021 (Nongshim, Maruchan, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Instant Noodles in 2021 (Nongshim, Maruchan, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Instant Noodles in 2021 (Nongshim, Maruchan, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Instant Noodles in 2021 (Nongshim, Maruchan, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Instant Noodles in 2021 (Nongshim, Maruchan, and More)

Instant noodles have become common in the pantries of families in many parts of the world. According to the World Instant Noodles Association, 106.4 billion servings of instant noodles were consumed in 2019, which means approximately 280 million servings were consumed each day. The top three rankings were China, Indonesia, and India, and the US ranked number 6 in the world! 


Most people like instant noodles because they are cheap, tasty, and convenient. There are also different flavors, noodle types, and soup types depending on the origin of the product. We picked Nongshim's Shin Ramyun as our number one instant noodle because of its popularity with reviewers and its flavor profile. There are more great instant noodles on our list, so take a look!

Experts featured in this article

Anisha Chandra
  • Last updated: 03-24-2021
  • 6,569 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Instant Noodles

We’ve extensively combed through reviews to pick out 10 of the most popular instant noodles. We've also ranked them based on factors such as their flavor, spice level, soup type, and so on. Take a peek at our list!

1

NongshimShin Ramyun Noodle Soup

16 pack

$26.99

OriginKorea
Available packagingPack/cup/bowl
FlavorSpicy beef broth
Spice levelHot
Noodle typeWheat noodles
Soup typeClear soup
2

IndomieMi Goreng

20 pack

$28.49

OriginIndonesia
Available packagingPack
FlavorIndonesian fried noodles
Spice levelMild
Noodle typeWheat noodles
Soup typeNo soup
3

MAMAShrimp Tom Yum Instant Noodles

30 pack

$17.87

OriginThailand
Available packagingPack
FlavorShrimp tom yum
Spice levelMedium
Noodle typeWheat noodles
Soup typeClear soup
4

Samyang2X Spicy Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen

5 pack

$10.45

OriginKorea
Available packagingPack/cup
FlavorSpicy chicken flavor
Spice levelExtra hot
Noodle typeWheat noodles
Soup typeNo soup
5

MaruchanInstant Lunch Chicken Flavor

12 pack

$4.08

OriginJapan
Available packagingPack/cup
FlavorChicken flavor
Spice levelNone
Noodle typeWheat noodles
Soup typeClear soup
6

NongshimChapagetti

16 pack

$28.38

OriginKorea
Available packagingPack/bowl
FlavorBlack soy bean sauce
Spice levelMild
Noodle typeWheat noodles
Soup typeNo soup
7

Lotus FoodsOrganic Millet & Brown Rice Ramen

12 pack

$16.69

OriginUSA
Available packagingPack
FlavorNutty taste
Spice levelNo spice
Noodle typeRice noodles
Soup typeNo soup or your choice of soup
8

MaruchanYakisoba Teriyaki Chicken Flavor

8 pack

$16.81

OriginJapan
Available packagingPack
FlavorTeriyaki chicken flavor
Spice levelNo spice
Noodle typeWheat noodles
Soup typeNo soup
9

SnapdragonVietnamese Beef Pho

6 pack

$20.54

OriginVietnam
Available packagingBowl
FlavorBone-beef broth
Spice levelNo spice
Noodle typeRice noodles
Soup typeClear soup
10

Skinny PastaKonjac Noodles

6 pack

$23.90

OriginUSA
Available packagingPack
FlavorChicken flavor
Spice levelNo spice
Noodle typeKonjac noodles
Soup typeNone

Compare the Best Instant Noodles

The best three products on our list were:


  1. Nongshim - Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup
  2. Indomie - Mi Goreng
  3. MAMA - Shrimp Tom Yum Instant Noodles

Check out the main characteristic comparisons of these three products and the other seven delicious and convenient instant noodles that made the mybest ranking below.

Image
1
Nongshim Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup 1

Nongshim

2
Indomie Mi Goreng 1

Indomie

3
MAMA Shrimp Tom Yum Instant Noodles 1

MAMA

4
Samyang 2X Spicy Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen 1

Samyang

5
Maruchan Instant Lunch Chicken Flavor 1

Maruchan

6
Nongshim Chapagetti 1

Nongshim

7
Lotus Foods Organic Millet & Brown Rice Ramen 1

Lotus Foods

8
Maruchan Yakisoba Teriyaki Chicken Flavor 1

Maruchan

9
Snapdragon Vietnamese Beef Pho  1

Snapdragon

10
Skinny Pasta Konjac Noodles 1

Skinny Pasta

Name

Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup

Mi Goreng

Shrimp Tom Yum Instant Noodles

2X Spicy Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen

Instant Lunch Chicken Flavor

Chapagetti

Organic Millet & Brown Rice Ramen

Yakisoba Teriyaki Chicken Flavor

Vietnamese Beef Pho

Konjac Noodles

Features

Top-Selling Spicy Beef Noodles With No MSG

Enjoy These Balanced Indonesian Stir-Fried Noodles

A Taste of Thailand Ready in Just Three Minutes

Challenge Yourself With These Ultra-Spicy Noodles

A Basic Chicken Broth-Based Noodle

Tasty Black Bean Sauce Noodles Featured in Parasite

Gluten-Free and Vegan Organic Brown Rice Noodles

Savor These Japanese Homestyle Noodles as a Treat

Authentic Vietnamese Pho Flavors in a Microwave-Safe Bowl

An Alternative Noodle Dish Perfect for Dieters

Price$26.99$28.49$17.87$10.45$4.08$28.38$16.69$16.81$20.54$23.90
OriginKoreaIndonesiaThailandKoreaJapanKoreaUSAJapanVietnamUSA
Available packagingPack/cup/bowlPackPackPack/cupPack/cupPack/bowlPackPackBowlPack
FlavorSpicy beef brothIndonesian fried noodlesShrimp tom yumSpicy chicken flavorChicken flavorBlack soy bean sauceNutty tasteTeriyaki chicken flavorBone-beef broth Chicken flavor
Spice levelHotMildMediumExtra hotNoneMildNo spiceNo spiceNo spiceNo spice
Noodle typeWheat noodlesWheat noodlesWheat noodlesWheat noodlesWheat noodlesWheat noodlesRice noodlesWheat noodlesRice noodlesKonjac noodles
Soup typeClear soupNo soupClear soupNo soupClear soupNo soupNo soup or your choice of soupNo soupClear soupNone
Link

How to Choose Instant Noodles - Buying Guide

There are plenty of instant noodles choice on the market. Although flavor plays a big factor in your decision, there are also other things you should look at before purchasing one! 

Consider the Origin of the Noodles

Each country has its own traditional flavors and brands of instant noodles, but the three most popular on the market tend to come from Japan, Korea, and Thailand.

Japanese Noodles Offer a Wide Selection

Japanese Noodles Offer a Wide Selection

Instant noodles originated in Japan with Momofuku Ando's Cup Ramen in 1958. With that much history, you can expect that Japanese brand instant noodles to have a lot of variety! The taste of Japanese instant noodles tend to be subdued and subtle. Some common brands are Nissin, Maruchan, and Sapporo Ichiban.


Besides the normal soup noodles, they also come in non-soup options, such as yakisoba. Yakisoba is often flavored with soy sauce and sweeteners for a salty-sweet taste. 


For soup bases, we recommend soy sauce, tonkotsu (pork bone-based), miso (soybean-based), and curry flavors. Soy sauce has a savory and salty flavor, while tonkotsu is rich and pretty heavy. Miso soup has a light, nutty flavor, and curry noodles feature a rich, comforting taste.

Korean Noodles for Spice and Sweetness

Korean Noodles for Spice and Sweetness

Korean brands are especially known for their often red appearance, firey kick, and mix of sweet and spicy flavors. If you want in-your-face spice, then consider Korean brands like Nongshim, Paldo, and Samyang. 


Of course, not all Korean brand instant noodles are of the spicy variety, but they do tend to be stronger in flavor compared to their Japanese cousins. We recommend flavors such as kimchi, jjajangmyeon, and bibimbap flavors. 


Both jjajangmyeon and bibimbap instant noodles often come without soup. Jjajangmyeon noodles are made with a black bean sauce, which has a slightly bitter, earthy flavor. Meanwhile, bibimbap noodles use the traditional Korean gochujang sauce and have a slightly sweet, slightly spicy flavor. 

Thai Noodles for Complex Flavors

Thai Noodles for Complex Flavors

Thai noodles are often available in a mixture of sweet, salty, and sour flavors, with acidic notes. They can range in spiciness levels, from mild flavors like salted egg to hotter ones like green curry. Some popular Thai noodle brands are Mama, Waiwai, and Yum Yum. We recommend tom yum, pad thai, green curry, and salted egg flavors.

Choose Between Different Types of Noodles

Choose Between Different Types of Noodles

Wheat-based noodles are the most common type used to make instant noodles. This category can further be divided into fried and non-fried varieties. 80 percent of all instant noodles on the market use the fried version!


There are three main types of Japanese-style noodles. Soba, which is thin and healthy, is made from buckwheat flour. Udon is made from wheat flour and has a thick, chewy texture. Ramen, the most popular type, is also made from wheat flour. Soba dishes tend to be rather light while udon and ramen can pair well with different types of soups and flavors.
Choose Between Different Types of Noodles

There are also rice noodles, which originated from China. They're made from rice flour and contain no egg. If you've ever had pho, the famous Vietnamese noodle soup, then you've eaten rice noodles!


Healthier alternative noodles are usually made from vegetables. This type of noodle includes varieties such as glass noodles and shirataki noodles. 


Glass noodles are usually made from mung bean, and shirataki noodles (also known as konjac noodles) are made from glucomannan, a type of fiber that comes from the konjac root. They also make a great low-calorie option if you crave noodles but have dietary concerns.

Select a Type of Soup (or No Soup!)

Select a Type of Soup (or No Soup!)

Instant noodles have three main types of broth: thick soup, clear soup, and no soup. Clear soup is light and low in calories. It's usually made from broth with salt or soy sauce, so the taste is mild and is easy to drink. 


On the other hand, thicker soup varieties are higher in calories, because there are more ingredients added to them. They often contain thickening agents like fat, flour, or starch, but provide a smooth mouthfeel and heartiness that lighter soups may not. 

Select a Type of Soup (or No Soup!)

If you aren't interested in broth at all, then there are still options for you! Yakisoba is a well-known no soup noodle dish that still packs a flavorful punch without the water. You could also try boiling a regular pack of instant noodles, drain the water, then mix them with the included flavor packet to make your own no soup ramen!


There are also noodles that come without any soup bases. So you can freely make the type of sauce or soup that you want! 

Decide Which Packaging is Best for You

Decide Which Packaging is Best for You

Cups or foam containers are the most convenient type of packaging since you can simply just add hot water to the packaging straight away. The material can be either foam or plastic and is pretty light. 


However, cups and foam containers tend to take up more storage space than other types of packaging. Also, beware that plastic containers can sometimes burn your hand when you add hot water!


Noodle packs don’t need a lot of storage space. However, they're less convenient when it comes to preparation and cooking time since you can't prepare it in its own container. However, portioning your meal is a lot easier with packs!

Pay Attention to the Calorie Count and Label

Pay Attention to the Calorie Count and Label

If you're concerned with calories, make sure to check the labeling carefully! Sometimes, one package of instant noodles can contain more than one serving size. For example, if it says two serving sizes on a package with 300 calories per one serving size, this means this package actually contains 600 calories. On average, however, one serving is about 300 to 500 calories.

There are also many types of soups, with varying nutritional values, but we suggest clear soups like salt or soy sauce base broths because they have the lowest amount of calories. If you're extra worried about calories, you can try avoiding spicy or thick soups because they tend to add extra oil, flour, or cornstarch.

When it comes to nutrition, instant noodles often contain a high amount of sodium which can increase the risk of high blood pressure, kidney stones, or even heart disease. Since most instant noodles are fried noodles, they tend to be high in calories and saturated fats, too. Remember to enjoy instant noodles in moderation, rather than every day!

Tips on Making Instant Noodles

Tips on Making Instant Noodles

Instant noodles tend to be plain when there's nothing except noodles, soup, dried vegetables, and meat. If you want to turn instant noodles into a gourmet meal, try adding toppings! If you can't think of anything off the top of your head, you can just follow the picture on the package.


In general, people like to add soft boiled eggs, steamed vegetables, and meat. Green onions also add a great flavor kick and make your noodles look beautiful, too!


You should also carefully read and follow the cooking instructions printed on the packet. Many people mistakenly overcook their noodles; the perfect texture should be a little bit gummy and not mushy. 

An Easy 3-Step Parmesan Garlic Ramen

It's fun to use your ramen noodles in creative ways, and it's super convenient since the noodles are already cooked and easy to prepare! Take this delicious buttery and garlicky recipe from delish for example. It takes just three steps and five ingredients to make!


Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan
  • 3 packets ramen noodles (seasonings discarded)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

  1. Boil the noodles according to the package instructions. Save about 1 cup of the cooking water to loosen the sauce later, if needed. Drain noodles and toss them with oil so they don't stick together.
  2. Melt the butter in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add noodles and toss with butter. Stir in Parmesan. Pour in about 1/2 cup reserved noodle water to create a sauce. Gradually stir in more water if the sauce is too thick.
  3. Top with parsley and enjoy!

Want More Noodles?

Want More Noodles?

Besides instant noodles, there are so many other varieties of pasta or noodle-based dishes! If you're planning on making a great tasting one from scratch, we've got you covered.

Summary

Instant noodles are considered a low-cost, low-effort, and decent tasting product. They're also great to stock up for emergencies since they often expire years later. Though they may be convenient, you shouldn't consume them daily because they usually lack nutrients and contain high calories, fats, sodium, and additives.


Many people add toppings to make their dishes gourmet or pick low-calorie options to make their instant noodles healthier. However, the best way to enjoy having instant noodles without having to worry too much about your health is to control your portion size and not eat them often. 


Author: Apinya Masuda


Elevate Your Food With This Expert Recommended Amchur Powder

Finding your instant noodles or just any kinds of food boring? Give them a little flavor boost with this amchur powder, recommended by plant-based food blogger Anisha Chandra. It'll give you food a tangy, intense flavor that will wake up your taste buds. 

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