The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

Ramen review: a guide to your perfectly warm all-nighter meal

Instant+ramen+aisle+at+the+Bellaire%2FChinatown+HMart+in+Houston
Chloe Tran
Instant ramen aisle at the Bellaire/Chinatown HMart in Houston

Whether you’re sitting on a crisp autumn afternoon in the common area or slaving away in your dorm for finals week all-nighters, a steaming bowl of ramen is all you need to keep the peace. Imagine perfectly bouncy, al-dente instant noodles soaking up the right amount of flavor—an ally for any student. The question is, “Which type? Which brand? Which flavor?” Navigating the packed aisles of dehydrated noodles at any Asian grocery store can be daunting if your palette is at a loss for ideas. 

I ventured to my local HMart, curating some of the most well-known brands of ramen. Prepare your tastebuds for an exploration into some of the most renowned ramen brands.

Meh: Cup Noodles

One of the many “beginner” ramen brands on the list, Cup Noodles definitely has a distinguishing flavor. It’s slightly savory, slightly salty, with a slight hint at vegetables, but it isn’t so special. It’s just…meh.

3/5 – So Close: Shin Ramen

As a household name and the base for so many dishes and expanding outside of the “instant” category, Shin Ramen deserves a spot somewhere on this list. Yet, when eating it with a reviewer mindset, the spice and flavor were more short-lived than the other bowls on this review. The brand is great as an add-on to dishes, and I can attest that Shin Black is more flavorful and fitting, but the original Shin Ramen left more to be desired.

Story continues below advertisement

Most Westernized: Top Ramen (Chicken)

It definitely says something when Top Ramen was the only brand that I couldn’t spot along the extensive aisle at HMart. Top Ramen appeals more to Western taste, but ineffectively. The flavor tastes more artificial than tertiary butylhydroquinone, and there are definitely better chicken ramen brands out there. 

Best for spice: Buldak

Ramen connoisseur or not, I’m sure everyone has heard of Buldak (Fire Chicken) Ramen. Their brand variety is endless with flavors, from 3x spice to their best-selling version, carbonara. Their identity has been cemented in countless eating competitions and innovative flavors. While I do have a weak spice tolerance, I could definitely taste the flavor behind the immense amount of spice. If you’re looking for spice, look for Fire Chicken. 

Best for Seafood: Tempura Udon

Not in the mood to burn your tongue off or get hit by heavy beef broth? Tempura udon, while not being a true udon, mimics seafood udon to a tee. The add-ons of fish cake and green onion aided with the saltiness from the broth make a perfect combo. 

Editor’s Top Choices –

Best for Savory: Jin Ramen

I’ve never sprinted back for a 6-pack of ramen faster than for Jin Ramen. The soup distinctly reminds me of the beefy hot-pot broth you’d find elsewhere in Chinatown, and the bursts of flavor without any spice give an instant comfort feeling.

Sesame Ramen

Sesame ramen is a god-send for all egg lovers out there. The dehydrated egg and dissolved egg block adds a hearty feel to the bouncy noodles, and the flavor packet (both with and without the chili oil) is a perfect blend of savory, saltiness, and spice.

With college acceptances rolling out, these quick and easy meals are going to be your best friend for the next coming years. Even as Carnegie kids, I’m sure our all-nighters could use a bit of flavor. No matter the circumstances, instant noodles make my days and nights a little sweeter with a savory flavor packet. 

Which of these ramen brands is your pick?

Loading...

Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

View Comments (1)
Donate to Upstream News
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Carnegie Vanguard High School. Your contribution will allow us to cover our annual website hosting costs and fund field trips, competition fees, and equipment. We appreciate your support!

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Chloe Tran
Chloe Tran, Staff Writer, Social Media Manager
Chloe Tran is a sophomore at CVHS. When she's not acing her classes, you'll likely spot her playing libero for the Carnegie varsity volleyball team, or dancing to Enhypen in the school’s KPOP dance group. But Chloe's interests don't stop there; she's also a wordsmith at heart. Writing is her way of exploring diverse perspectives, and she loves writing and decorating letters to send to her friends. And as for her culinary adventures, this ESTJ dynamo is up for any challenge – except for cucumbers. Korean BBQ, Japanese hotpot, you name it, and Chloe’s all in.
Donate to Upstream News
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (1)

All Upstream News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • N

    Natalie HoJan 31, 2024 at 10:56 am

    I ❤️

    Reply