Korean Ramen – Insider’s Guide To The Best Korean Ramyun!
Are you looking for the best korean ramen experience as you travel South Korea? Look no further! In this article, I will give you insider’s guide to the tastiest and most authentic Korean ramen restaurants across the country.
Whether you’re a ramen connoisseur or just plan to begin your journey into the world of Korean food, Make sure to read to the end if you don’t want to miss out on this delicious dishes you must try in korea!
Table of Contents
What is Korean Ramen, Ramyun, Ramyeon?
Ramyeon or ramyun is one of the most popular comfort food in Korea, especially among youth. On average, South Koreans consume 80 to 90 packs of ramen every single year.
Similar to Japanese Ramen, this dish is made of dried, curly noodles, freeze-dried vegetables, a powdered soup packet, mixed with boiling water to create a quick and satisfying meal. Ramyeon also comes in a wide range of flavors and various toppings.
Historically, ramyun was invented by Jean Jon-Yeon, a businessman who lived in the 1960s during the Korean war. This dish was originally designed to help feed Korean people in a quick and most affordable ways during that hard times.
The original price of Ramyeon was sold at 1 cent. Jean Jon-Yeon was inspired to create ramyun after eating instant ramen during his trip to Japan.
Korean Ramen Based On Location
There are four main types of ramen in South Korea based on locations:
- Type #1 Korean Ramyun – Pyongyang-style ramen
Pyongyang style ramen originates from North Korea, and is characterised by its thick, chewy noodles and hearty broth.
- Type #2 Korean Ramyun– Seoul-style ramen
Seoul style ramen is lighter in terms of flavour, and comes with a clear broth and thinner noodles.
- Type #3 Korean Ramyun – Busan-style ramen
Busan style ramen is characterised by its spicy and fiery flavours.
- Type #4 Korean Ramyun – Jeju-style ramen
Jeju style ramen is characterised by fresh seafood ingredients.
Variations of Korean Ramen
There are some different variations of ramyun, here are some of the most popular you can find:
- Kimchi ramen, which is flavored with real fried kimchi for a tangy and spicy taste unique to Korean cuisine.
- Shin ramen, a spicy beef-flavored broth that has gained a cult following. Despite its high 2,700 Scoville Heat Units, it is not the spiciest ramyeon option.
- Jjapaghetti, an instant version of jjajangmyeon or black bean sauce noodles.
1. Samyang Carbo Buldak Ramen
Samyang Ramen is well known worldwide for it’s spiciness. Their Carbo Buldak Ramyun is no different, the word “Buldak” here refers to “fire chicken” and “Carbo” refers to the addition of a powdered black bean and garlic seasoning, which gives the dish a distinct flavor.
The noodles character is thin and chewy, and you will get it with the seasoning packets include powdered cheese. This help provides the dish with a creamy flavor. However, do note that this ramen has a high level of spiciness. Grab it here.
2. Nongshim Shin Ramen
Nongshim Shin Ramen is one of the most famous ramyun in town you can find as you travel here. Most of household in Korea have this ramen stored in their kitchen. You can find this ramen easily in any Korean local or online markets.
Do note that this ramen is well known for it’s high level of spiciness. If you can’t eat or hate spicy food, then you better avoid this one. This ramyun usually comes with a little bit of beef and vegetable flake with it. Click here to try it now.
3. Ottogi Jin Ramen
Ottogi Jin Ramen is another ramyun that most korean household have in their kitchen. This ramen taste similar to Shin Ramyun with a slight different in that this ramen has more red pepper taste to it. Jin Ramen has a milder flavor compare to another ramen on the list, which makes it perfect for those who hate spicy food.
4. Nongshim Jjapaghetti
Jjapaghetti ramen is a classic dry and no-broth type of ramen with a thick and chewy texture noodles. This ramyun was popularized by a famous ‘Parasite’ Korean dramas.
Jjapaghetti comes with Chajang sauce, as known as dark soybean paste sauce which give it a distinct taste. This ramen has a sweet flavor and the packet usually comes together with a loose dried vegetable garnish, seasoning powder and seasoning oil.
5. Samyang Jjajang Buldak Ramen
Samyang jjajang buldak ramen is a combination of traditional black bean sauce (jjajang) and spicy Korean sauce (buldak). This ramen comes with with a small packet of vegetable flakes. Make sure to top this ramen with eggs or meat as toppings to makes it even more satisfying.
6. Nongshim Ansung Tangmyun
Nongshim Ansung Tangmyun korean ramen is known for its rich, savory broth and thick, chewy noodles, which makes it a popular choice among instant noodle lovers. To be exact, Nongshim Ansung tangmyun is the 6th best-selling ramyeon in South Korea. The taste is milder compare to other spicy ramen and has a strong miso flavors. Grab it here.
7. Paldo Bibimmyun
Paldo Bibimmyun is a popular Korean ramyun that comes with the famous sweet and spicy sauce, gochujang, as it’s sauce topping. Typically, koreans mixed this ramen with a hard boiled egg, vegetables such as cucumber and sometimes meat or seafood.
Paldo Bibimmyun is one of the most popular dish during hot summer days as it is refreshing and has a balance of sweet, and spicy flavors. Pro tips, immediately rinse the noodles with cold water once it’s ready to get the best taste experience.
8. Ottogi Sesame Flavor Ramen
If you are a lover of sesame seeds sweet flavors, then you might want to try this Korean ramen. Ottogi Sesame Flavor ramen is a non-spicy sesame based ramyun that gain popularity among foreigners for it’s distinct sweet sesame seed flavors. The package usually contains dried noodles, dried vegetable flakes, and seasonings.
9. Nongshim Neoguri Ramen
Neoguri ramen is well known for it’s thick udon-style ramen and distinct seafood flavor. The word Neoguri comes from Korean word ‘neo’, which means wild and Japanese word ‘guri’ that means noodle. This ramen is made with a real seafood ingredients, so if you are a seafood and a thick noodle lovers, then this ramen is perfect choice for you.
10. Nongshim Soon Veggie Vegan Ramen
Nongshim Soon Veggie Vegan Ramen is a vegan friendlyramyun option you can find in korea. This ramyun name comes from a korean word ‘Soon’, means Mild, to express the flavor of this ramen. The ramen is made with 100% vegan ingredients and flavored with various spices, including garlic and onion. This ramen is a great option for vegan and those who follow a plant-based diet.
11. Paldo Gomtang Ramen
Paldo Gomtang Ramen comes with a beef bones based broth. This broth is then combined with various ingredients such as beef, scallions, and sesame oil to give it a rich and savory flavor. Make sure to topped this ramen with a hard-boiled egg and some sliced green onions to give it some color and flavors.
12. Nongshim Twigim Udong
Nongshim Twigim Udong is a seafood based ramyun you can find in Korea. The word ‘Twigim’, means fried, which explains that this ramen is based from a fried fish cakes. While you might expect a real thick noodles based on words ‘Udong’, it actually just a little bit thicker compare to a common ramen in korea.
Twigim Udong is considered as a non-spicy ramyun, usually served with a dipping sauce such as soy sauce, vinegar, and chili paste. You can easily find this ramen at any street food vendors or traditional Korean restaurants.
13. Ottogi Jin Jjambbong
Jjambbong is the most popular korean – chinese spicy noodle soup in Korea. Ottogi Jin Jjambbong korean ramen has a thick noodles and spicy seafood broth. This ramyun is a great option to help you beat the cold during winter seasons.
14. Samyang Yukgaejang
Samyang Yukgaejang Korean ramen has a lot of similarities with Shin ramyun in terms of spicy levels, strong flavor, and meat-based korean ramen. The difference is that Yukgaejang adds a little seafood touch to its ramen. In shorts, Yukgaejang is a traditional ramyun plus seafood. Other than that, Yukgaejang noodle size is also smaller compare to another common ramyun you can find.
15. Nongshim Saeutang
Nongshim Saeutang, Sae u’ (새우) means shrimp, so you can expect that this ramen has a strong shrimp taste and even a little shrimp packed inside the ramen bag or cup. Saeutang has a robust seafood taste, so choose this one if you are a seafood lovers.
The size of Saeutang noodle is similar to Yukgaejang, which means the size is smaller compare to common ramyun you can find in Korea. This ramyun is also not spicy, so everyone who loves seafood can try this one.
Popular Toppings for Korean Ramen
There are many popular toppings you can choose to add to your Korean ramen in order to enhance the flavor and texture of it. Some of the most popular toppings include:
- Meat: Sliced beef, pork, or chicken is the common toppings for ramyun. This topping provides protein and a savory flavor to the dish.
- Shrimp: You can add shrimp as additional topping for seafood korean ramen
- Cheese: melting cheese on top of the hot ramen soup gives it a creamy and rich flavor
- Kimchi: a spicy and sour fermented cabbage, kimchi adds a tangy and spicy flavor to the dish, as well as a crunchy texture.
- Egg: a soft boiled or fried egg is a common topping for Korean ramen that help adds a rich, creamy texture to the ramen.
- Vegetables: Sliced carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, and bok choy are popular vegetables toppings, which give additional nutrients, color and textures to the dish.
These are just a few examples, and many people enjoy experimenting with different toppings to find their perfect combination of flavors and textures.
Tips and Tricks for Enjoying Korean Ramen to the Fullest
There are many different ways to enjoy korean ramen, but here are a few tips and tricks to get the most out of your Korean ramen experience:
- Choose The Type Of Noodles.
There are many different types of noodles available, so it’s important to choose the right ones for your preferences. If you like your ramen with a bit of chewiness, opt for thick noodles. For a more traditional texture, go for thin noodles.
- Choose Your Desired broth.
The broth is arguably the most important part of any bowl of ramen, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you order.
- Add the toppings.
Commonly, you can add toppings like boiled eggs, beef, chicken, shrimp, etc to your ramyun. However, feel free to ask about all the possible topping options before you decide on your bowl of Korean ramen.
- Feel Free To customize and add on your bowl.
Many Korean ramen places will allow you to customize your bowl to include things like extra noodles or extra toppings. If you’re not sure what you want, just ask the staff and they’ll be happy to help you out.
- Use Ramen Pot.
Most of the time the ramyun packet include freeze-dried vegetables, freeze-dried meat, flavor packet, and oil packet inside. Prepare your Korean ramen in a ramen pot to add authentic vibes of korean ramen.
With all of it’s delicious and various option of ramen, South Korea is undoubtedly a haven for korean ramen lovers all around the world. We hope this guide has given you some insight and insider’s information about korean ramen. Have you every try one of these ramyun? What are you waiting for? Grab your Korean Ramen now.
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