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The ultimate Korean comfort food, ramyeon, and why it went viral! Plus, our favorite types and brands!

When you hear the phrase "Korean food" there might be one food that comes to mind, kimchi, However, ramen or ramyeon in Korea, is a staple in the Korean diet and is a must-try! There's a good reason why this Korean comfort food is taking over social media! We break down why this classic is a sensation and why it has hit the Western market like a storm!



Classic Korean comfort food ramyeon (Whattodoinkorea.com)
Classic Korean comfort food ramyeon (Whattodoinkorea.com)


Aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, versatile, and convenient, it's no wonder that Koreans love ramyeon! We can all agree that social media has been hyping up this instant noodle classic especially with the self-serve ramyeon library or convenience stores!



Living in South Korea for the past few years, I can safely say that Korean instant noodles have have become a staple in part of my weekly meals. Of course, there are a number of good ones and you have to make sure that you prepare them as recommended.


Recently, Korean food has gained lots of attention, especially in the Western market! Let's take a look why!



Korean Ramen. Photo: Lewis Hooper
Korean ramyeon selection at a local supermarket (Lewis Hooper)


Now, while ramyeon can be a quick grab and go meal, you can prepare it at most convenience stores in Korea, which is why it has become a staple in a Korean diet. Although, it is not a health food, you can add vegetables into it, or eggs which I often do. This makes this off the shelf food, so much more! And the flavor packs a punch too!


There are so many different brands of ramyeon, that I have't had the chance to try them all. But of course we can't leave you empty handed! Here's our list of our favorite Korean ramyeon brands and flavors!


Our favorites!


Shin Ramen - Photo: Lewis Hooper
Shin Ramyun (Lewis Hooper)

Now this is probably the most famous of all Korean ramyeons, and I understand why!

Nongshim’s Shin Ramyun is well known around the world so it’s usually one of the easier ones to find in local markets and online. This isn’t considered one of the spiciest options to most Koreans. If you’ve never had it or aren’t used to Korean spices, it will be a bit spicy that first time. At least it was to me. But it has since grown on me, and I buy it often!



Jin Ramen. Photo: Lewis Hooper
Jin Ramen (Lewis Hooper)

My second favourite ramen is Jin Ramen, which tastes very similar to Shin Ramyun except it has a more red pepper taste. This one also has some variety though the one with the blue is the more common one. If you like spice then I would suggest to try the red option.


The broth for Jin Ramen is a beef and kimchi flavor so hits the spot when you’re missing Korea! In general, most people agree that Jin Ramen is relatively more mild than other ramyeon brands so it’s a good option for those that aren’t used to the spice and want an introduction.



These two brands are our favorites and we definitely recommend for you to try them! Not only is Korean ramyeon convenient and tasty, but you can always "dress it up" to make it more of a meal! Koreans tend to add spam, tofu, dumplings, and green onions to add more flavor. If you really want to go all-out and make it a meal, add some cheese (to make the broth creamier) and crack a raw egg (you can choose to fry an egg as well) into it!



"Dry" ramyeon


There are also numerous types of "dry" ramyeon as well. These instant noodles require you to boil the noodles in water and then drain it afterwards. You then add the sauce packet, mix, and enjoy! Our favorite "dry" ramyeons would have to be Nongshim Japagetti and Ottogi Mac and Cheese! The Chapaghetti stands for a mix of jjajangmyeon (Korean style black bean noodles) and spaghetti. The Ottogi Mac and Cheese has a little bit of a spicy kick to it, but if you really want to kick up the spice level up a notch, try the Buldak version!





Let us know in the comments below what your favorite Korean ramyeon and how you like to make it!


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