Instant noodles are the star food item of university life – easy, simple, and quick to make. And they’re tasty to boot! But sometimes a cup of classic instant noodles just doesn’t cut it. If you love spices—that tingling sensation lingering on your lips and your tongue after a good bowl of extra spicy ramen noodles, then you need to find the right pack!
We’re here to help you pick out what’s spicy and what’s not with our handy buying guide and top 10 list. Personally, we loved Samyang’s 2x Spicy Hot Chicken Ramen for its extra-hot blend of spices, broth, and notoriety. Check out some more of our favorites below!
After looking through countless reviews and weighing our options, we’ve rated the top 10 best spicy ramen noodles for flavor, popularity, and spice level. Take a look below!
|Volume (per pack)||4.9 oz.|
|Calories (per pack)||545 kcal|
|Spice level||Extremely spicy (8,808 SHU)|
|Flavor notes||Sweet, tangy (overwhelmingly spice)|
|Volume (per pack)||4.94 oz.|
|Calories (per pack)||530 kcal|
|Spice level||Extremely spicy (4,404 SHU)|
|Flavor notes||Chicken, slight sweetness, seaweed, sesame (overwhelmingly spicy)|
|Volume (per pack)||4.2 oz.|
|Calories (per pack)||500 kcal|
|Spice level||Spicy (2,700 SHU)|
|Flavor notes||Beef, mushroom|
|Volume (per pack)||4.93 oz.|
|Calories (per pack)||520 kcal|
|Spice level||Extremely spicy|
|Flavor notes||Beef/chicken, curry, slightly sweet|
|Volume (per pack)||4.23 oz.|
|Spice level||Extremely spicy (5,013 SHU)|
|Volume (per pack)||4.2 oz.|
|Calories (per pack)||510 kcal|
|Flavor notes||Hot, sour|
|Volume (per pack)||4.76 oz.|
|Calories (per pack)||520 kcal|
|Scoville units||Spicy (2,700 SHU)|
|Flavor notes||Mildly sweet, spicy|
|Volume (per pack)||2.82 oz.|
|Flavor notes||Umami, slightly sweet|
|Volume (per pack)||3.32 oz.|
|Calories (per pack)||440 kcal|
|Scoville units||Slightly spicy|
|Origin||USA (based on Japanese ramen)|
|Volume (per pack)||2.4 oz.|
|Calories (per pack)||290 kcal|
|Spice level||Slightly spicy|
Mike's Mighty Good
2X Spicy Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen
New Spicy Chicken Roasted Noodles
Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup
Volcano Spicy Chicken Noodle
Hot Pepper Yeul Ramen Noodles
MALA 4x Spicy Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen
Hot & Spicy Mi Goreng Instant Stir Fry Noodles
Hot and Spicy Chicken Bowl Noodles
Spicy Pork Tonkotsu Ramen Noodle Soup
Challenge Yourself With This Extremely Hot Ramen
Halal, Vegetarian, and Painfully Satisfying Spice
The Classic Spicy Ramen That's Good for Beginners
A Heat-Packed Sauce Comes With These Noodles
A Good Serving of Spice and Great Noodle Texture
Vegetarian Ramen With Soy Peptide
Tongue-Numbing Addition of Szechuan Peppercorn
Flavorful Noodles With Chili and Fried Onions
The Chicken Flavor You Love With a Slight Kick
Organic and Simple Ingredients Combine to Make a Tasty Broth
|Origin||South Korea||South Korea||South Korea||South Korea||South Korea||South Korea||South Korea||Indonesia||Japan||USA (based on Japanese ramen)|
|Volume (per pack)||4.9 oz.||4.94 oz.||4.2 oz.||4.93 oz.||4.23 oz.||4.2 oz.||4.76 oz.||2.82 oz.||3.32 oz.||2.4 oz.|
|Calories (per pack)||545 kcal||530 kcal||500 kcal||520 kcal||510 kcal||510 kcal||520 kcal||380 kcal||440 kcal||290 kcal|
|Spice level||Extremely spicy (8,808 SHU)||Extremely spicy (4,404 SHU)||Spicy (2,700 SHU)||Extremely spicy||Extremely spicy (5,013 SHU)||Spicy||Spicy (2,700 SHU)||Spicy||Slightly spicy||Slightly spicy|
|Flavor notes||Sweet, tangy (overwhelmingly spice)||Chicken, slight sweetness, seaweed, sesame (overwhelmingly spicy)||Beef, mushroom||Beef/chicken, curry, slightly sweet||Beef||Hot, sour||Mildly sweet, spicy||Umami, slightly sweet||Citrus||Soy|
When choosing a spicy ramen noodle, there are a couple of things you should consider. These include looking at the spice level, how much spice you can actually handle, how much flavor besides pepper that you want, and seeing how much time the ramen takes to prepare.
Just because you want spice, doesn’t necessarily mean you want spicy! Everyone's spice tolerance is different, and you’ll have to know yourself well on whether or not you can handle spice or not. If provided, we suggest looking at the Scoville scale information when deciding on spice levels of the ramen you're considering.
The Scoville scale measures the hottest peppers in the world on an easy-to-read graph in SHU (Scoville heat units), ranging from the completely unspicy bell pepper to the terrifyingly spicy ghost pepper. It’s based on the measure of capsaicin, the compound causing that burning feeling on your tongue, in the food item.
For reference, we’ve listed some of major ones below:
Generally, less broth means more concentration of spices - so go for soupy ramen if you don't want it too spicy. You can also opt for a spicier ramen and dilute it with more water than the package recommends to try and lessen the spice levels!
If you are looking for strong spices, then watch out for a few special ingredients that help to kick up the spice level. These are mainly concentrated in the soup or sauce part of the noodles, rather than the noodles themselves.
As you’ll note, many of these are pepper varieties. So, keep an eye out for black pepper powder, red pepper powder, paprika, or chili peppers – or combinations of all of the above for a spicier meal!
You can also look for sauce names, such as Mala, for more specific kinds of spicy. Mala is a sauce based on Szechuan peppercorns, which is the ingredient that gives it its signature, tingly feeling (this is from the hydroxy alpha sanshool molecule).
Unfortunately, there are only a few studies done on peppers and their effects on perception of "slow burning" versus the "immediate burning" sensation you feel on your tongue when you eat spicy foods. So, to make sure of the exact type of spice sensation you're going to get with a spicy ramen, take a look through the reviews.
Spicy noodles aren’t just about the spice. If the noodles were just spicy, then you’d get bored of them quickly! So, you want to find a spicy ramen with a complex flavor profile. Though Korean noodles may be the king of heat, there are plenty of other countries creating ramen noodles packed with flavor.
Thai noodles tend to be more acidic, balancing sweetness, saltiness, and spiciness together in perfect harmony. Japanese noodles are more subtle in flavor, toning down spiciness in favor of clean, smooth tastes. Chinese noodles that are inspired from Szechuan can also pack a punch with their spicy peppers.
When looking at flavor profiles, checking the reviews is your best bet. Find comments on tasting notes such a sweet or sour – not just spicy. This will give you an idea on whether or not you’ll be able to enjoy your ramen noodles beyond that fiery exterior.
Ramen can come in two main types of packaging: cup/bowl or packets. Cups and bowls are extremely convenient since they can be made right away without having to transfer the noodles to a stove and bowl. They also tend to have more extras packaged with them to add more flavor to your noodles.
However, packets are more commonly available to buy online, and they actually take up less storage space in your home! They also tend to come in multiples and are cheaper to purchase. It’s easy to personalize packets because they come with less additional ingredients. You will need to cook them over a stovetop and then transfer them to a bowl, however!
Though cups and bowls are more convenient for preparation time reasons, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they take a shorter time than packets to make! Make sure to check the label for how much boiling time is required for making the ramen before purchasing.
Instant ramen might come with dried veggies or meats as a topping, but sometimes this doesn't feel like enough! Maybe you want some acid or some crunch—adding texture, additional spices, or fresh ingredients can really help to make a bowl of noodles sing.
The most common additional topping you'll see on ramen bowls are eggs. They can be softboiled for those who love the creamy, runny consistency of the yolk, or they can be hardboiled for more density. Then there's also spring onions—adding just a sprig of it into the soup makes the ramen taste lighter and fresher. This same idea applies to the addition of lemon juice.
Other additions you can think about adding include sriracha or ginger, for just a bit more spice, and bean sprouts or crispy onions, for crunch. Any fresh vegetable can work, and succulent meats such as big chunks of pork or stewed beef could also pair well with ramen!
Have you ever wanted to create your own ramen from scratch? There are various ingredients and machines involved in the process, but we’ve got you covered with our top picks for each. Check out the links below for more helpful tips on choosing the best products to make your own perfect bowl of noodles!
Sometimes you just want a lot more spice than what a normal pack of instant noodles can offer. If you want tongue-numbing fiery ramen, then we highly recommend Korean brands. However, you’ll want to make sure you know how much spice you can handle first, because you wouldn’t want to buy a packet that you can’t finish!
But spice isn’t the only thing to consider. You’ll also want to check out the convenience and preparation time involved in making the ramen noodles. Ultimately, at the end of the day, what you want is great tasting ramen that can satiate your hunger for spiciness but also leave you wanting more of it!
Author: Kristina Tan
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