Buldak Noodles Vs Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles

Buldak Noodles Vs Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles

Dec 06, 2023 Tags 

If you're a fan of instant noodles, you're probably no stranger to the growing world of exotic and unique flavors. Instant noodle brands from different corners of the globe are constantly innovating, pushing the boundaries of taste and heat. In this spicy showdown, we'll put two renowned contenders in the ring: Buldak Noodles and Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles. Get ready for a fiery comparison of these sensational instant noodle varieties, and discover which one will set your tongue ablaze.


What are Buldak Noodles?


Buldak Noodles


Buldak is a Korean word that stands for “fire chicken.” It is a heavily spiced chicken dish that is popular in Korea. Tears-inducing, milk-chugging, touch-scratching level of spice. This style of chicken inspired SAMYANG FOODS company to create bulk noodles, which is a super spicy Korean instant noodle that was produced in 2012. The noodles blew up, and the company was able to sell around 100 million noodle packs in just 2 years. 



It became so famous that in 2014, a YouTuber with the username “Korean Englishman” started the Fire Noodles Challenge. He received so many Buldak noodles from his fans that he decided to challenge his friends to finish one pack of Buldak noodles. While many of them finished the pack, it was not, by any means, easy. Just one pack of Buldak noodles has 4,404 Scoville units, which are similar to the jalapeño pepper numbers. Till today, the fire noodle challenge has not stopped. Many YouTubers upload videos of themselves trying out different versions of the noodles. 


3x Spicy Buldak Noodles


As if Buldak noodles were not hot enough, SAMYANG FOODS created a Nuclear 2X spicy version in 2017. Apparently, customers responded positively to the added heat, so a 3X extremely spicy Buldak noodle was released in 2020. You can try buying these terrifying but amazing noodles to see if it really is the spiciest noodle around. 


What is Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles?


Nissin Hot and Spicy


Nissin, is a popular name in the world of instant noodles. While they might not have started the spicy noodle trend, they've certainly made a significant mark. The company behind this Hot & Spicy sensation has a long and esteemed history in the world of instant noodles. Founded in 1948 by Momofuku Ando, Nissin is known for creating the first-ever instant ramen noodles. Their product appropriately changed the food industry with a quick, convenient, and delicious solution to hunger.

Fast forward to 2010, Nissin released the Hot & Spicy ramen, which became one of its popular product lines. To help you gauge how spicy it is, there is a chili scale from one to six. The chicken and shrimp flavor measures 1 out of 6 on the scale, the fiery beef flavor 2, and the blazing hot flavor is the hottest with of 3 out of 6. However, many reviewers noted that the spiciness was only mild. 


Nissin Hot and Spicy Firewok


So, in 2021, Nissin released the standout "Hot and Spicy Fire Wok" flavor. This new line is recommended only  "for those who really, really love really, really hot" noodles. You’re supposed to feel an explosion of spiciness when you eat these noodles, so it’s for those with tough skin or tongue. They introduced a range of flavors that cater to various taste preferences. The sizzling-rich pork and scorching sesame shrimp flavors reach up to 4 and 5 on the chili scale, while the molten chili chicken and volcanic Mongolian beef flavors max out the scale. 

Hot & Spicy Firewok is the brand's spiciest meal, and it became a social media sensation, with many users uploading videos of them trying out the noodles using the #HSFireWokChallenge. In only just 2 years after launching the product, it gathered around $32 million dollars in sales. But the appeal of Nissin's Hot & Spicy noodles doesn't stop at how much money it’s made. The pack has a separate fire sauce, so if you’re not a fan, you can choose not to up the spice level. Nissin ensures there's a flavor for everyone.


Buldak Noodles VS Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles: HEAT FACTOR


Buldak Noodles Spiciness


If you're a heat seeker, Buldak noodles are designed for you. These noodles are famous for their extreme spiciness, and they released the Scoville Heat Units measurements (SHU) for each variety. Depending on the specific Buldak flavor, the SHU can range from around 2,000 to a whopping 4,404 SHU and beyond. For instance, Buldak has a “lite” flavor that is 40% less spicy than the regular flavor (4.404 SHU), and the 2X and 3X versions come up to 8,706 SHU and 13200 SHU, respectively. 

Most reviewers who have tested the Buldak noodles had to reach for a glass of milk after several bites - some cried. It’s safe to say that eating a Buldak noodle is a fiery experience that might leave you in tears.


Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles Spiciness


Nissin's heat levels vary by flavor. The Fire Woki Chicken flavor is by far the spiciest, but without the official Scoville units released, it’s hard to compare. The original Hot & Spicy flavor is not too spicy and would be fine for someone with low heat tolerance. Even the Hot & Spicy Fire Wok products are spicy enough to kick your taste buds into gear but don't venture into the extreme heat territory like Buldak noodles. For those who enjoy a moderate spice level with other flavor nuances, Nissin Hot and Spicy noodles offer a balanced option




When it comes to the heat level, Buldak noodles take the cake. Nissin Hot & Spicy noodle does have a kick, but it won’t leave you in tears like Buldak noodles.


Buldak Noodles VS Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles: FLAVORS


Buldak Noodles Flavors


Buldak Noodles Flavors


Buldak noodles come in more than 10 flavors, including original, carbonara, cheese, ice stew, kimchi, curry, tomato pasta, mala, corn, and jjajang flavors. The heat level changes between flavors, with some being less spicy than the original flavor, and the taste may reduce the spiciness. For instance, the Jjajang flavor has only 1,920, which is less than half of the original version's spiciness. But the flavor introduces the black bean paste, which is added to jjajjangmyeon, a popular Korean noodle dish.

The cheese flavor is a mix of cheese and noodles with a hint of spiciness. This type of flavor is perfect for Americans who love mac and cheese and Italians who regularly use cheese for their pasta dishes. With over 10 flavors and more being introduced frequently, Buldak noodles have a flavor for someone.


Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles Flavors


Nissin Hot and Spicy Flavors


Nissin offers 4 versions of Hot & Spicy flavors, each featuring different ingredients to complement the heat. The Hot & Spicy line and the Hot & Spicy Firewok line have 4 flavors each, which can be categorized as chicken, shrimp, beef, and pork flavors. Let’s be honest, most customers will feel less pressure when they have to choose between just four flavors, but there are no flavors that go beyond the regular ones people would expect. 




Nissin Hot & Spicy noodles have just 4 flavors, while Buldak noodles have 11 flavors. Although Nissin flavors can satisfy customers, Buldak creates flavors outside the box to please a wider range of customers.


Buldak Noodles VS Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles: PRICE


Buldak Noodles Price


Buldak noodles are widely available in Korean and Asian grocery stores, as well as online marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart. On Amazon, it is sold in a bag with 5 sachet packs, and the price can start from US$11.39 per bag (which comes up to approximately US$2 per pack) to US$31.19 for the combo pack of 10 different flavors (which comes up to approximately US$3 per pack). A carton of 20 noodles costs around US$40, which is around US$2 per pack, so bulk purchase is more rewarding. Additionally, the cup noodles version is more expensive, starting at over US$2.8 each.


Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles Price


Nissin's Hot & Spicy noodle varieties are often found in grocery stores and online retailers, making them easily obtainable. It is only available in the bowls without anu sachet version. You can buy it in a 6 or 18 packs combo, but the price varies by flavor. Nissin Hot & Spicy chicken pack of 6 sells for ‎US$12.79, which is around US$2 per pack. It seems to be overpriced on Amazon because Walmart's online store sells them for US$1.4 to US$1.6 per piece, including the Nissin Hot & Spicy Firewok line.




Nissin Hot & Spicy noodles are cheaper than Buldak noodles. The reason may be that Nissin is a much bigger brand and may have factories in countries that can reduce manufacturing costs. Also, Buldak’s many flavors may have worked against them because rarer and popular flavors cost more than uninteresting ones. 


In the ultimate showdown between Buldak Noodles and Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles, the winner largely depends on your personal preferences. If you're in pursuit of extreme heat and complexity of flavor, Buldak noodles are your go-to. They're a spicy adventure that's not for the faint of heart.

On the other hand, if you prefer a balance of heat and other flavor elements, Nissin Hot & Spicy Noodles offer a diverse range of options to cater to your tastes.
The battle between these spicy noodle giants is less about finding a winner and more about embarking on a flavor journey that suits your spice tolerance, cravings, and budget. 

Satisfy your cravings and experience the joy of authentic Japanese food. Don't miss out on this delectable adventure by buying a ramen box from Japan– start your ZenPop subscription today!


This article was originally written by our freelance writer Umm-Kulthum Abdulkareem and edited by us.