HOT CHICKEN (BULDAK) RAMEN! What isn’t there to love? Spicy noodles, quick to cook, easy to eat in a pinch. Koreans love ramen, and you can too! Especially if you are the type that REALLY loves spice!
This year, I received my first official Korean food to try - ramen! For my birthday, my mom got me 5 different types of hot chicken ramen to try, and I was thrilled to try each one of them! I’ve watched so many videos about Korean food, and have seen people talk about how spicy it could be, but I never once thought that it looked very spicy. However, I didn’t realize that this ramen was the “Hot Chicken Ramen,” which people even do spicy ramen challenges with! Here are my impressions on the 5 types of ramen I got, and how they tasted for me.
Regular Hot Chicken Ramen was the first one I tried. It was unlike ramen that I’ve had before because the noodles had a slick texture which made for easy eating. The spice level for me was more than anything I’d ever tried before. It was as if I had eaten a chili pepper with a hint of noodles. For someone who’s never eaten a chili pepper, I wasn’t prepared for the spice level that accompanied the noodles. As soon as I took a bite, my mouth was on fire. But I kept eating them, hoping that eventually the pain would lessen, and that I would then be able to enjoy these noodles. Overall, my first experience with any Korean food was definitely different! If you enjoy heat, then these noodles are definitely good to try.
Cheese Hot Chicken Ramen was the second flavor I tried. I decided to only put half of the sauce onto it to try and make the spice level less destructive on my mouth. Honestly, that didn’t help at all. I couldn’t really taste the cheese flavor past the spiciness of the noodles, but I’m sure it was there. Since it was only my second try at eating ramen, I couldn’t tell a difference in the spice level between this ramen, and the regular hot chicken ramen. If you enjoy the subtle hint of cheese in your noodles, then these would be a perfect fit for you.
Curry Hot Chicken Ramen was the third flavor. This was honestly the best ramen I tried out of all 5 types. It was the one that was the least spicy and actually tasted a bit sweet. At first, I was skeptical because of how spicy the other two were, however, I thoroughly enjoyed this ramen. The texture of the noodles was the same as the other two - this was nice because I had gotten used to the texture of the noodles when using my chopsticks, so it was less difficult to pick up. Based solely on how this ramen tastes, I would definitely try curry, since I’ve never tried curry before! So if you enjoy curry, or would like to experience what curry tastes like, then these noodles are for you.
Stew Hot Chicken Ramen was the next one to try. The directions stated to put the sauce in the water and boil it with the noodles. This one was different than the rest because I had to keep the liquid in the bowl after boiling it. I think that made this ramen extra spicy, since the spice got cooked into the noodles when boiling. Out of the first 4, it was definitely the spiciest, and I personally would never eat it again. If you enjoy spice, this one should be really enjoyable; otherwise, not so much!
2x Spicy Hot Chicken Ramen was the last one for me to try. I wasn’t excited at all to try this one after watching so many people try this and say the spice is unbearable. Even after I had prepared myself to eat it, I was still very nervous. Most of the ramen I had already tried was extremely hot for me, so this one could be super bad if I wasn’t prepared! As soon as I put the ramen into my mouth, it was on fire! I felt like my teeth were melting from the spiciness of the noodles! I was only able to eat about 3 bites before I quit. Honestly, I don’t think I could ever eat these again since my mouth was on fire for at least 10 minutes after I ate one bite. Hopefully though, if you REALLY enjoy spice, you will love these ones. I know I won’t, but there are people out there who can handle it better than I can.
Here is my rating of most to least hot:
- 2x Spicy Hot Chicken Ramen - 8,808 SHU
- Stew Hot Chicken Ramen - 4,705 SHU
- Hot Chicken Ramen - 4,404 SHU
- Cheese Hot Chicken Ramen - 2, 323 SHU
- Curry Hot Chicken Ramen - 3,810 SHU
Overall, this experience with eating different ramen flavors was really enjoyable. I finally understood why so many Koreans eat ramen all the time. I didn’t know what was in store for me when I started this journey, but I’m really glad I did it! I’m not one who takes spice lightly, so I hope that by reading this, it can show you which ramen might be best for you to try depending on what you like!