The past decade has seen the demand for spicy instant noodles rise dramatically. Where once its consumer base constituted mostly busy college students, instant noodles have now come into mainstream interest. Perhaps the spike in its popularity is owed to the fact that spicy noodles are often the subject matter of muhkbang videos and viral spicy ramen challenges.
NongShim Shin Black Noodle Soup is probably the best spicy instant noodles on the market. Coming from the best-selling Korean brand, NongShim, the Shin Black Noodles has a creamy, mildly spicy broth that tastes meaty with dehydrated vegetables for texture and more flavor.
Keep reading the rest of the article to find out more spicy instant noodles worth trying at least once in your lifetime.
1. The Best: NongShim Shin Black Noodle Soup
The Shin Black Noodle is a premium upgrade of its predecessor, the Shin Ramyun noodles, which is also highly rated by noodle-lovers and produced by the same brand. The ingredients on the packet list are beef extract and fat, which would explain why the broth is meaty and savory and tangibly creamier than Shin Ramyun.
The soup takes on a distinct red color owing to its chili content. However, the chili is just enough to give it a spicy kick—you don’t have to worry about the heat being overpowering. The chewy noodles are nicely complemented by slices of garlic, chunky pieces of mushroom, and green onions that provide more texture.
As previously mentioned, this is the premium version, so it’s more expensive than other noodles from the same brand. However, those who have tried it generally agree that the extra dollars are worth this delicious and satisfying instant noodle experience.
2. The Hottest: Culley’s World’s Hottest Ramen Noodles
No list of the best spicy instant noodles can be near accurate without Culley’s Ramen Noodles near the top, if not topping the list. Although made by completely different brands, Culley’s Ramen Noodles is the equivalent of the Paqui’s One Chip Challenge, also powdered with the unrivaled Carolina Reaper.
Made with Carolina Reapers grown in New Zealand, Cully’s Ramen boasts a staggering 1.641.183 million SHU on the Scoville Scale, outranking The Paqui, a Guinness world record holder for its 1,569,300 SHU, when it comes to heat intensity. The recipe for Culley’s Ramen is even said to be endorsed by none other than the masterful Ed Currie himself, who first propagated the Carolina Reaper.
Before setting your taste buds on fire, Culley’s Ramen first gives you a taste of its savory goodness. As you enjoy its nuanced flavors on the first bite, the heat starts to sneak up on you, increasing in intensity with each passing second until even your stomach feels like it has caught fire.
One would expect a similar set of symptoms induced by the Paqui, including a burning sensation, profuse sweating, increased heart rate, and even abdominal cramping. In all seriousness, proceed with caution before attempting to eat the world’s hottest ramen.
Being the holder of the title of world’s hottest ramen makes Culley’s Ramen a novelty, and as such, it has a price point that might shock you. Even the regular price is much higher than most other instant noodle brands. You aren’t just paying for something to eat at this price point. You are paying for a unique and unforgettable experience–and boasting rights for surviving this instant ramen from hell.
3. Mamee Daebak Ghost Pepper Spicy Chicken Black Noodle
The self-proclaimed spiciest noodles of Malaysia, Mamee’s Black Noodle, will quickly humble its skeptics with 1,041,427 Scoville units of pain. Although slightly shy of Culley’s Ramen’s 1.6 million SHU, Maee’s Black Noodle is no underdog. It has made its mark on the market and on the tongues of reformed unbelievers who ever doubted any of its claims.
Flavored with ghost pepper, this Black Noodle is food that bites back. It’s also sure to take a bite out of your food budget, but some people don’t seem to mind and consider the hefty price to be acceptable. After all, you’re not only paying for the noodles but for the novel experience of eating noodles and having your taste buds obliterated at the same time.
Like the Paqui One Chip Challenge, the Daebak Black Noodle has its own viral challenge in Malaysia in which people film themselves struggling to survive one cup of the fiery treat and share their experience online. While its popularity is largely attributed to this viral challenge, due credit should be given to its rich, savory taste and chewy dry black noodles that come together in an explosion of flavor and heat.
5. Korea Bulmawang – The Devil of Fire Ramen
With a relatively more modest heat ranking compared to others on this list, The Devil of Fire Ramen comes to us with 14,444 SHU. The brand’s initial claims of being the hottest ramen on the planet were quickly debunked by ramen enthusiasts. Compared to others on this list, this is actually much more bearable—and dare I say—enjoyable than its spicier counterparts.
Its heat ranking is at around the upper limit of the mere mortal’s heat threshold. The spicy noodles daredevils out there might find the heat level underwhelming, but the rest of us enjoy ramen that doesn’t torture us with every bite. However, this ramen is reportedly not the tastiest. Consumers came to expect more flavor for its relatively high price.
Another criticism of this ramen is the fact that it doesn’t come with an oil packet, only a large powder packet. It is often compared to the Samyang 2X Spicy, which is twice hotter, twice cheaper, packs more flavor, and has an oil packet. Despite the criticisms, however, the Devil of Fire Ramen still manages to secure a place in the hearts of many noodle-lovers
6. Samyang Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen Buldak 3X Spicy Noodles
Samyang Foods brings you the hottest of the Spicy Buldak chicken noodles at 13,000 SHU. By comparison, it has a lower heat ranking than other ramen. Depending on your heat tolerance, the Buldak Spicy Noodles will be hot enough to keep things interesting or hot enough to keep your lips puckered up to your last bite.
Sadly, the 3X Spicy is a limited edition, so you might be hard-pressed to find it in stores or online in the US. Luckily, the 2X Spicy isn’t as rare and is a great compromise to the 3X Spicy.
7. Samyang Spicy Hot 2X Spicy Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodles
KOREAN SPICY NOODLE (140g Each) (5 packs)
At 3,000 SHU short of 3X Spicy’s 13,000 SHU, Samyang’s Spicy Hot 2X Spicy Ramen Noodles hits the sweet spot between hot and too hot. At 10,000 SHU, it gives you the thrill of the
It is usually sold in 10-a-pack bundles. It is easier to find in supply than its rarer cousin, the 3X Spicy.
8. Paldo Teumsae Ramen
Even at 9,413 SHU, the heat is said to linger like a warm afterglow. This ramen is really savory, enjoying high reviews all over the internet.
Perhaps this is because this Teumsae Ramen has a wider reach. It’s enjoyed by a larger number of people, as it’s hot but more tolerable than other overly pungent noodles on the market. Most consumers have no complaints about the relatively high price. That consumers are willing to overlook the price testifies to how delicious the noodles must be.
9. Paldo Volcano Chicken Noodle
The Paldo Volcano is placed somewhere between the original Samyang and the Samyang 2X Spicy, with no official SHU rating. Its subtle sweetness is enjoyable, but the heat does not live up to its name.
At the same price as the Paldo Teumsae, these soupless spicy noodles are a treat you can enjoy with family and friends.
4. Paldo Namja Ramyun
We have one more entry from Paldo: the Namja Raymun. This packet comes with dried veggies for garnish and slightly thicker-than-average noodles, but it’s the broth that will stay in your mind after you’re done—and in your mouth and stomach, too.
The broth of the Namja Raymun packs a strong beefy, garlicky taste, and you only need to take one look at its deep red color that you’re in for an extremely spicy experience. It’s still a far call from some of the spiciest items on this list, but it will deliver enough heat for
However, it’s the overall quality that makes the Namja Raymun have a place on this list. All of that garlicky flavor isn’t just coming from a mysterious flavor packet—it also comes from real sliced-up garlic. The texture of the noodles is perfectly chewy, and the garnish contains shiitake mushrooms, carrot, chili, and spring onions. The broth is thick and quite salty, so beware of that just in case you don’t like your food to be too salty.
The price of these noodles is in the medium range. You can get a pack of 5 for under $20. It’s not the cheapest, but it has more than enough quality to justify its price.
10. Ottogi Yeul Ramen Noodles
This is one of the noodles on our list that is more memorable for its flavor than its spiciness. Although it does provide some heat at 5,013 SHU, the heat is overshadowed by the rich flavors that make a lasting impression.
The chewy ramen immersed in a thick, hearty broth combines to achieve the perfect flavor, texture, and heat balance. The beef-based broth is infused with red pepper, green onions, shiitake mushrooms, carrots and cabbage, peppers, garlic, kelp, and scallops that give off a mouthwatering aroma.
This is considered premium ramen in its native South Korea, which may explain the hefty price tag. One of the brand’s claims about their Yeul Ramen is that it’s easy to prepare and can be ready to eat within minutes.
Reviews are a little conflicting, with some claiming it’s not even that hot, while there are others, who insist otherwise. Whichever the case, both sides unanimously agree that this premium quality, delicious ramen will leave you wanting more.
11. NongShim Shin Ramyun Noodles
The NongShim brand made a name for itself with their Shin Ramyun noodles that have only gotten more delicious over the decades since they were first produced in 1986. It has been exported to the USA since 1994 and is still one of the most recognizable names in the ramen industry.
Although it may seem like the underdog next to other ramens on this list with tongue-scorching Scovilles, at 2,400 SHU, the Shin Ramyun Noodles were considered one of the hottest noodles when it first hit the market and found their way to our hearts through our stomachs.
Still considered one of the most beloved comfort foods, Shin Ramyun’s bold flavors are a feast for the tastebuds. Dried toppings of mushrooms, beef, and carrots provide a satisfying, savory texture. The underlying flavor that ties it all together is the Korean-chili sauce-based broth.
The brand’s success with Shin Ramyun is owed in part to the fact that it was marketed as “customizable,” where consumers were convinced that the Shin Ramyun is the perfect base for a personalized ramen experience. By adding your own ingredients, you can enjoy Shin Ramyun in many more ways than one.
Another great marketing point was the company’s empowerment of the consumer to control how hot their ramen could be. They put the word out that using less of the soup powder packet will decrease the heat’s intensity without detracting from the savoriness of the Ramyun.
I have personally tried this, and I can vouch for the fact that using less of the powder packet lessens the heat, yet somehow the flavor is still unmistakably rich. I will not pretend to understand the physics or sorcery at play, but it’s easy to see how this little detail has clearly only helped Shin Ramyun’s sales.
12. NongShim Shin Light
The word light in the name might be disarming, but it does not refer to the heat level of the noodles. The noodles are considered light because they are air-dried, making them one of the healthiest noodles on our list. Air-dried noodles are healthier because they are not fried in oil, meaning they have a significantly lower fat content.
Another unique thing about the Shin Light is the fact that it has an acidic flavor reminiscent of tomatoes. The springy noodles, chunks of meaty mushroom, shavings of carrots, and strips of bok choy combine to create a satisfying texture. All the components come together in the savory, spicy broth, perfect for cold weather and lazy days.
You can find the NongShim Shin Light in individual packets or in bundles at a reasonable price.
13. Indomie Instant Noodles Soup Chicken Curry Flavor
This Chicken Curry instant noodles from Indomie, a brand of Indonesian noodles produced by IndoFood, is a big hit with customers in the US and abroad. Due to a lack of advertising for the brand in the US, Indomie’s line of delicious noodles are hidden gems waiting to be discovered by US-based consumers. Some who have had a taste of this Chicken Curry noodles crown it with glowing reviews.
Its spiciness is derived from curry, which distinguishes it from the other spicy instant noodles on our list. The heat from the curry is more comforting than startling, unlike many of the ramens listed here with sky-high Scovilles.
The chicken and curry flavors are perfectly blended to indulge the senses of taste and smell. It’s also an excellent base for added ingredients. I have tried this with chunks of boiled chicken and greens, and it felt therapeutic at the end of a bad day.
Noodle-lovers who want to give this a try will be dismayed to find that these are usually taken off the shelves due to low demand—like I said, hidden gems. But the good news is that they are in stock online. And relatively cheap, too. You can find it for under $30 for a bundle of thirty packets—you read that right. Thirty packets of comfort food to last you a month or more if you do not have it every day.
14. Indomie Mi Goreng Instant Stir-Fried Noodles, Hot & Spicy Flavor
Another contender from Indomie’s popular line of noodles is the Mi Goreng Instant Stir-Fried Noodles. This is one of those soupless ramens that are great for snacking and satisfying those noodle cravings. There are no SHU ratings for this so far, but
The heat borders on extreme, depending on who you ask. But an impressive thing about the Indomie Mi Goreng is the flavors manage to stay on top and are not overpowered by the spiciness. You can get a bundle of thirty packets at a low price. Like the Chicken Curry noodles previously mentioned, the Mi Goreng is quality and quantity.
15. Nissin Bowl Noodles Hot & Spicy With Shrimp
We couldn’t end this list without including something seafood flavored for a change. Another thing that sets these instant ramen noodles apart is that they are microwavable. It doesn’t get more instant than this.
You can just pop it into the microwave for three minutes. This makes it great for quick snacks, college students, and lunchboxes.
However, some criticisms of these noodles were made by consumers who expected some shrimp bits but were disappointed to find none. While shrimp taste is present, it all comes from the flavor packet in powder form. While the broth is thick, spicey, and savory, some noodle-lovers simply want the added texture of dehydrated bits in their noods.
For even cheaper than the Indomie noodles, you can get a bundle of twelve bowls, which is a good deal because of the quantity and the convenience of preparing these microwavable instant noodles.
Things To Consider When Choosing Your Spicy Instant Noodles
With so many options on the market, choosing the best spicy instant noodles can be confusing. There are some things you will need to remember before splurging on a tall order of instant noodles. Check them out here and thank us later:
- Consider your
spicetolerance. Unless you’re buying to participate in a spicy ramen challenge, choose noodles with a heat level you can tolerate. Your cravings won’t be satisfied by noods that bring tears to your eyes.
- Look for allergen call-outs. Instant noodles can contain ingredients you might be allergic to. Some sellers include allergen call-outs on their site, but if they don’t, you’ll have to do the legwork yourself and research the ingredients. Some common allergen call-outs are seafood, sesame oil, and mushrooms.
- Find Halal-certified noodles. Some of our readers might be looking for Halal noodles. The noodles in the Indomie line are Halal. Other options are also Halal, and it is usually declared on the packaging.
Finally, whichever spicy noodles you choose, remember you can easily jazz them up with a few fresh veggies. It’s also a great way to make these dishes a lot more healthy.
And this brings us to the end of our list of the best spicy instant noodles. If the trends of the past few decades are anything to go by, spicy instant noodles will only continue to grow in popularity.
It’s perhaps thanks to this growing popularity that it’s easy to find great spicy instant noodles today. Sure, you can go for the cheapest ramen on this list if you’re in a pinch—but if you want a premium experience, you can have that too.
We can expect and look forward to creative new flavors and textures from the world’s leading brands.