We Tested (and Rated) Five Flavors of Momofuku’s Instant Ramen — And There Was One Clear Winner


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What We Tested: In this installment of The Test Kitchn, we tested out the ramen noodles from Momofuku. With five different flavors available, these air-dried noodles are editor-favorite items (you’ve probably seen us write about them before) that we always keep on hand for easy weeknight meals, office lunches, and more. Momofuku was founded by chef David Chang in 2004, and after opening numerous highly acclaimed restaurants around the world, the brand opened an online store with chef-approved noodles, sauces, chili crisps, and more pantry staples. 

This week, we have Ian Burke, senior commerce editor for The Kitchn (me); Morgan Pryor, commerce editorial assistant; Phil Vuong, CFO/COO of Apartment Therapy Media; Steven Marinos, director of brand innovation and strategy; and Samantha O’Brochta, social media manager. All of us are self-proclaimed noodle lovers (Phil and I are also big Momfuku fans), and jumped at the chance to test out all of the brand’s noodle offerings in the office. Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch — we all had to rank our favorites, give them a rating out of five stars, and write down what we liked and didn’t like about each flavor. (A small price to pay for great ramen.) 

Momofuku Noodle Variety Pack: These air-dried instant noodles come à la carte or in a variety pack. The variety pack comes with a box of each flavor — Spicy Soy, Tingly Chili, Sweet & Spicy, Spicy Chili — and two boxes of their most popular flavor, Soy & Scallion. The size and shape of the noodles vary depending on flavor, and the Momofuku website has recommendations of what to pair with each one. Additionally, there are a ton of great recipes on the site to make with the noodles, including Taiwanese beef noodle soup, weeknight ragu, and more. 

How We Tested: On the day of the test, I put on my old prep cook hat and got to work cooking five bowls of ramen in our office kitchen. Since the ramen only takes four minutes to cook in boiling water, it was a quick and hassle-free process. Then, I popped the corresponding liquid flavor packs into the bowls of drained noodles (with a little extra cooking liquid to help prevent sticking and ensure proper sauce coverage) and called in the testers. We sampled them all with gusto, and while they were all delicious, I urged everyone to really be discerning in their ratings and rankings, and we reached a clear consensus on the favorite. 

The Spicy Soy noodles, while tasty, were at the bottom of our list, just because they were a little plain on their own. “It also wasn’t as spicy as I was expecting,” Morgan explained. (Pro Tip: These are great as a base noodle to build your own bowl on top of — I eat these with chopped scallions and a six-minute egg all the time.) 

The Tingly Chili noodles lean on Sichuan peppercorns to give your mouth that numbing, or “tingly,” effect that so many people crave. Our only issue? We didn’t get enough tingle. However, Steven noted that these had a lot more depth than the Spicy Soy noodles, and I’m personally a big fan. “These have a good amount of spice for a non-spicy lover,” Sam said.

Now, if you’re a fan of heat, you’re going to love Spicy Chili. While not overwhelming, there were definitely some polarized opinions on these. Steven thought they were “Too hot!” while Phil said they were excellent if you’re a spice-lover. “I was a little worried about this one at first since I’m not a pro at handling spice, but I was pleasantly surprised,” Morgan said. “The heat, though significantly strong, didn’t overwhelm the taste. Definitely have water on hand, though. I finished the whole bowl after the taste test!” 

In second place, we have Soy & Scallion — Momofuku’s most popular flavor. “These are very easy to eat,” Phil said. “I can crush this.” Everyone seemed to enjoy these, especially with the addition of dehydrated scallions that soak up all of the excellent soy flavor. “I was surprised at how flavorful it was!” Steven said while Sam explained that it had a “really great non-spicy flavor.” 

And the winner is… Sweet & Spicy! This relatively new flavor reminded many of us of Korean barbeque, and Phil thought they had a “great flavor” and were “well balanced.” Morgan was a super fan, as well. “As someone who leans more towards mildly spicy foods,” she said, “I thought the spice level and sweetness were balanced just right. Plus, like the other four options, it had a much more complex flavor than most other instant ramen.” 

It helps to add a little (or a lot!) of water from the cooking liquid to ensure the noodles don’t stick together — or you can take it up a notch and add butter or oil. Also, though these are delicious on their own, they serve as a blank canvas for you to make them your own with different toppings and recipes.

So, if you’re looking to upgrade your lunches or weeknight meals with some of the best instant ramen on the market, snag some of Momofuku’s noodles ASAP — especially while they’re still on sale! 





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