Although instant ramen was created in Japan in the 1950s, in 2023, Japan continues to hold instant ramen close to its heart, as it’s a humble yet iconic dish. Instant ramen isn't just about convenience; it's a comforting meal that can be adapted to any style, and we have Japan to thank for that. While most countries have their key instant ramen products, wouldn’t it be cooler to buy Japan’s favorite instant ramen instead?
Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish made with wheat flour, water, and salt. While the country still has ramen restaurants that make the noodles from scratch and serve them to you hot, Momofuku Ando created instant ramen so that people can make it in their homes faster. Instant ramen is pre-cooked ramen that is dried into a block and sold. It takes only a few minutes to cook, and it has become popular in many countries in the world.
In this article, we delve into Japan's top instant ramen choices for the year, celebrating a dish that's more than just food. Keep reading!
This instant ramen was launched as a Nissin premium line because it provides a restaurant-quality experience with its perfectly textured noodles. The term “Roah” is short for “Ramen Oh,” which is Japanese for “Ramen king”. Nissin is really confident in this ramen because it is supposed to taste fresher than regular instant ramen because it wasn’t fried. Rather, it is steam-cooked and dried.
This ramen is available in three flavors popular in Japan: Miso, Tonkotsu, and Shoyu. It comes with a soup and oil pack, which gives it more flavor. Ramen lovers have praised it as a chewy, richer version of instant ramen. However, its premium quality comes at a slightly higher cost than standard instant ramen.
In Japan, ramen as a noodle dish stands out because it is served steeped in broth, just like in anime like Naruto. However, a popular way of eating noodles worldwide is by stir-frying and serving them dry. In Japan, noodles that are made that way are called yakisoba. Peyoung Yakisoba is one of the most popular instant yakisoba in Japan that started production in 1975.
The Kyushu Tonkostu flavor represents the yakisoba version of the famous Kyushu Tonkostu ramen. Another cool feature of this soba is that it only takes 1 minute to boil. Yes, it gets soft that easily, and all you have to do then is add the spice pack, some vegetables, and oil, and then you stir fry it.
Maruchan Seimen is renowned for its patented method of air-drying noodles, which is similar to the Nissin Roah instant ramen, which provides a chewy, satisfying texture. Maruchan only started producing instant ramen in the 1970s but has already sold more than 3 billion instant ramen packs. It took the company 5 years to create this noodle, and it shows in the quality and attention to detail. They are available in a variety of broths, but the noodle for each broth is different.
For the miso broth, the noodle is thicker, the tonkotsu flavor has thin noodles, and the shoyu flavor has medium thick noodles. It comes with a liquid soup pack, which is mixed with hot water to make the broth. You can then boil the noodle separately for only around 5 minutes, mix it with the broth, and dig in. The noodles' popularity can be attributed to their quality and the rich, flavorful broths.
Nakiryu is a popular Tokyo ramen restaurant that has won several Michelin awards. To capture the unique taste of their ramen and share it with people all over the world, 7Eleven Japan, Nissin, and Nakiryu partnered to make the instant ramen version.
The product we are left with is an instant ramen cup with soy sauce, sesame, and hints of beef & pork. Being a cup noodle, you only need to add some hot water and wait for some time to cook the ramen. Then, you can add the extra paste that comes separately. Sure, it may create the iconic restaurant ramen, but this instant version got the stamp of approval from the head chef himself.
This instant ramen brand was created when the founder decided that he wanted to taste the best ramen in Japan. After traveling all over, he had the best one in Sapporo, a city in Japan. Since then, the company has created different ramen flavors, building on that one unique taste. Sapporo Ichiban's original taste offers a rich, savory chicken and soy sauce broth that strikes a perfect balance paired with springy noodles. The ramen is easy to prepare, and it is available in different flavors like Miso, beef, shrimp, chicken, and tonkotsu.
Acecook is an Osaka-based noodle manufacturing company and one of the oldest in Japan. The company started in 1954 but released its Supercup line in 1988, which has since been popular in Japan. As the name implies, Acecook Super Cup ramen is a cup of ramen known for its generous portions. If you are not easily satisfied with the portions of regular ramen cups, Acecook sizes will make you happy. It has a delightful broth and a range of flavors. It comes with a separate pack for the broth, dried vegetables, and oils to truly bring out the flavor.
This ramen was inspired by Kyushu Hakata-style ramen, which is served with very thin noodles. The instant ramen version by Marutai is a big pack that with two servings. The noodles cook instantly because it is so thin, and it comes with tonkotsu soup and oil packs.
Hakata ramen recently became popular in Japan, but it’s easy to see the allure of thinner noodles that have lower calories and cook instantly. If you are a fan of thin pasta, then this is definitely ramen that you should try.
Ichiran is a popular ramen restaurant in Japan that specialises in tonkotsu ramen. They claim to be the first to add red spicy sauce to their ramen broth, making it a popular choice. This popular restaurant recreated its signature dish in the form of instant ramen packs to enable people to make it at home. Their most popular flavor is the Ichiran tonkotsu instant ramen pack, which comes with a liquid broth and spice pack. It is more expensive than regular ramen, but the quality and taste make it worth every penny.
Myojo is another popular ramen brand in Japan with several flavors and types. They sell yakisoba noodles, ramen, and low-carb noodles. Their best-selling packs are the Charumera and Ippeichan instant noodle line. Charumera broth is made using scallops, meat, and vegetables all inside a secret spice sachet. This line has the usual miso, shoyu, and tonkotsu flavors. On the other hand, the Myojo Ippeichan line is yakisoba, which comes with a packet of mustard and mayo, which is creamier.
When it comes to instant ramen, Nissin's Original Chicken Flavor Ramen has secured its place as a timeless classic. This iconic noodles have been warming hearts and satisfying hunger pangs for decades, and for a good reason. It is the first instant ramen ever created, and it has remained on top for decades. The Original Chicken Flavor Instant Ramen by Nissin has garnered enduring popularity due to its consistent taste and widespread availability. It's a pantry essential for college students, busy professionals, and anyone seeking a comforting and convenient meal.
Craving authentic Japanese ramen? Check out our ZenPop ramen packs from Japan today and elevate your culinary experience. Order now to bring the taste of Japan to your kitchen!
This article was originally written by our freelance writer Umm-Kulthum Abdulkareem and edited by us.