There is no argument that Koreans love ramyeon (라면 or ramen). On average, one Korean person eats 73 ramyeon a year (including Korean cup noodles) and it is the No.1 consumption of instant noodles in the world. So Koreans do have some credibility when it comes to choosing cup noodles.
Often it is not easy to find the right one for you when you stand in front of a huge stack of Korean cup noodles (or endless scrolling on your phone). So, here is a list of the top 5 Korean cup noodles that have been the most sold in South Korea. Taste is very subjective so sometimes it’s a good idea to go with what the majority of ramen-loving nation buys. At the end of the post, I add a few more Korean cup noodles that don’t make the list but are worth mentioning.
Try any of these (or all of them) and share your reviews in the comment.
No. 5. Samyang Buldak Cup Ramen (Samyang Buldakbokkeummyeon Cup Noodles/ 삼양 불닭볶음면)
Thanks to the original Samyang Buldak Ramen, Samyang introduced its cup noodle version and it is another hit. ‘Bul’ in Korean means fire and it’s not too much exaggeration for its spicy taste.
No. 4. Nongshim Kimchi Bowl Noodle Soup (Nongshim Kimchi Sabalmyeon / 농심 김치사발면)
Kimchi Bowl Noodle Soup came out to the world in 1986 to introduce the kimchi flavor cup ramen to the world when South Korea hosted the 1986 Seoul Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
No. 3. Paldo Jumbo Bowl Noodle (Paldo Wangttukkeong / 왕뚜껑)
The name ‘Wangttukkeung’ literally means the king lid, and this cup ramen has indeed the largest size bowl and lid (its weight is the same as most of the other cup noodles, though). You can use the lid for side dishes or an extra plate.
No. 2. Nongshim Instant Shin Cup Noodles (Nongshim Shin Ramyeon Cup / 농심 신라면 컵)
If you are an avid fan of Korean ramyeon, you would be surprised that Shin Ramyeon Cup doesn’t take the No.1 spot. This cup noodle tastes almost the same as its original noodle, and yet the noodle is much thinner. Also, if you expect the portion of the original one, make sure to purchase the big cup noodle, not the small one.
No. 1. Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soup (Nongshim Yukgaejang / 농심 육개장)
The best-selling Korean cup noodle in South Korea is Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soup (Nongshim Yukgaejang Sabalmyeon.) Since its introduction in 1982, it has kept its best selling Korean cup noodle spot for over 40 years. It is supposed to have a taste of Yukgaejang (육개장/spicy beef soup), but I don’t think it actually does. However, whether it tastes like Yukgaejang or not, it tastes good and the sales number has proved it.
More Korean Cup Noodles I Tried
Doshirak Cup Noodles (Doshirak / 도시락)
Doshirak Cup Noodles is one of the oldest cup ramen in South Korea. It has a unique rectangular shape. Although it is not as popular as before, the history of almost 40 years proves something. By the way, Doshirak (도시락) means a lunch box.
Busan Spicy Fish Cake Ramyeon (Busan maeun eomuk ramyeon / 부산 매운 어묵 라면)
OK, this cup ramen is neither popular nor famous, but I had to try it because it says “Busan.” Of course, it doesn’t include fish cakes like a picture on the bowl and it doesn’t taste as I expected. And yet, if you find this one at one of the convenience stores in Busan, why not trying? I assume you wouldn’t find this one anywhere else.
Ottogi Black Pepper Powder Ramen – Spicy (Ottogi Sunhuchu Ramyeon / 오뚜기 순후추 라면 – 매운맛)
I had to try this because; first, I like the brand Ottogi, and second, I love black pepper. But, sometimes life is not always like one plus one is two. In my humble taste, I didn’t really like this one. The flavor was almost too unique and the black pepper didn’t bring the extra flavor to the cup noodle. I wouldn’t buy this one again, but it was worth trying. No regret.
You may say, “I know cup noodles are convenient but I would like to try the original instant Korean ramen.” Here is a list of 10 best-selling Korean Ramyeon for you. Read the full list.
Related Post: Types of Korean Noodles
Related Post: Top 10 Best-Selling Korean Ice Cream