The United Kingdom has its fish and chips. South Korea has its Bulgogi. Thailand has its Pad Thai. Vietnam has its Pho, and for the Philippines, it’s Adobo. With Japan, you’ll never go wrong because we are 100% sure that you know it’s going to be ramen.  

The world is a phenomenal place to explore with your empty stomach, and today, we will be talking about one of the fastest ways to travel and have a taste of Japan’s best offering – ramen noodles. However, don’t book a ticket just yet, because you don’t have to travel far and wide to get a taste and sink your teeth into a delicious bowl of Japanese ramen.

Whether you are looking for the best Japanese instant ramen, or even the most popular Japanese instant ramen in the market today, we recommend that you simmer down and enjoy this short but tasty article about Japanese ramen to find out just what the buzz is about and, more importantly, where to find the best version in the market. 

What is Ramen?

Ramen is one of the most popular Japanese dishes that took the international gastronomic stage by storm. Basically, this humble dish is a type of noodle soup, with different variations that make the taste interesting. Another interesting fact about ramen is that it is not originally from Japan. Ramen means “pulled noodles,” and this method of preparing noodles from wheat came from its big neighbor – China (specifically the country’s Northwest Region). 

The flexibility of ramen is truly remarkable. It can be prepared with the simplest set of broth and some garnish, such as scallions or nori, or you can go grand by adding luxurious pork slices for that meaty and rich flavor. There is this distinct feeling that you’ll get after finishing a bowl of ramen. Thanks to its tasty broth, this is a very nourishing and invigorating meal to consume. 

In the traditional Japanese ramen scene, there are notable regional variations based on how the ramen is prepared or what ingredients go into the ramen, such as flavor or toppings. These regional ramen variants include Sapporo, Kitakata, Tokyo, Yokohama, and Wakayama. There is a particular distinct characteristic that separates each region from the others. For example, Kitakata ramen is known for its thick and curly noodles that is flat like fettuccini and comes with niboshi and pork broth. Tokyo ramen on the other hand, has a slightly curly noodle consistency and is served with chicken broth and soy flavor. 

As you can see, each region carries a unique story that is very evident in the way their meals are prepared. This is also the reason why the taste of Japanese restaurant ramen varies depending on which city or region you are visiting in Japan. 

In the United States, the taste of Japanese restaurant ramen will completely depend on the primary influence of the restaurant you are visiting. There is a preconceived notion about instant meals not being tasty, but you’ll be surprised at how our recommendations later will win you over.

Our Recommendations

A lot of ramen purists hate the fact that “instant” is gaining more popularity than the authentic ramen you’d find in Japanese restaurants. While we absolutely get where they’re coming from, we should find a middle ground because of course, the best Japanese instant ramen offers an instant fix. While we can all agree that the taste of authentic ramen will never be surpassed by its instant counterparts, we are all here for convenience and satisfaction whenever and wherever we crave for ramen.

ICHIRAN Instant Noodles

apanese populer Ramen "ICHIRAN" instant noodles 5

This limited edition instant noodle pack from Fukuoka, Japan is one of the most recommended in Amazon today. Showcasing an improved glutinous texture and holistic flavor, thanks to the special powder in each pack, a serving of ICHIRAN ramen is always a hearty and filling meal.

Japanese Popular Ramen "ICHIRAN" Instant Noodles

One of the most recommended because of its improved glutinous texture and holistic flavor.


Maruchan Ramen Noodle Oriental Flavor

Maruchan Flavor Ramen Noodles

Maruchan Ramen Noodle Oriental Flavor is essentially a beef-based shoyu ramen in an instant. These generously flavored packs capture the authentic taste and texture of Japanese ramen, without the long process needed to obtain a very nourishing broth. 

At 3 oz, the packs strike the right balance of being satisfying without overfilling. We highly recommend this Japanese ramen because it is one of the closest to the authentic in the market, without overheating your wallet. This is easily one of our favorites as the most popular Japanese instant ramen in the market today.

Maruchan Flavor Ramen Noodles

Is essentially a beef-based shoyu ramen in an instant with an authentic taste and texture of Japanese ramen.


Nona Lim Fresh Noodles

Nona Lim Fresh Traditional Ramen Noodles

If you are feeling a little fancy and want to put more heart and effort in preparing your meal to be as close in taste and presentation as Japanese restaurant ramen as possible, then we would like to introduce you to Nona Lim Fresh Noodles. 

Showcasing a wide variety of ramen noodle options that are vegan and dairy-free, this product makes everyone, regardless of the diet they’re following, happy and able to have a taste of a warm bowl of freshly cooked ramen. Nona Lim combines premium ingredients and takes an authentic approach to its products, whether it be the noodles themselves or the broth flavorings. It is actually surprising that the company managed to capture the essence of the real thing despite being established in the United States. 

We just want to remind you that when preparing your own bowl of instant ramen, do follow the instructions to the letter to maintain the integrity of the flavor and the noodles. Some consumers add more water for more “broth,” but this will dilute the flavor based on the recommended amount, so we really don’t recommend that.

Nona Lim Fresh Traditional Ramen Noodles

A wide variety of ramen noodle options that are vegan and dairy-free with premium ingredients.


Conclusion

Japanese ramen is a very simple yet satisfying dish to have. There is something about the popular Japanese instant ramen in the market that entices foodies and regular consumers alike – it is probably the level of simplicity without compromising the exquisite flavor. Sometimes, when we aim for convenience in food, taste is severely compromised. Thanks to manufacturers that aim to maintain flavor and a good price point, these instant ramen choices allow us to experience a piece of Japanese culture and take a gastronomical journey through a small bowl of ramen.

Mikasa Jones
Mikasa grew up in the dynamic Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Mikasa defines herself as an adaptive young woman who has been immersed into various cultures not just in the United States, but also her mother's hometown in Yokohama, Japan. She is a chef by profession and is an active member of the American Culinary Federation. She swears by a cup of hot matcha after a long day, saying that it helps her relax and focus on her tasks on a day-to-day basis.

Japan Daily Press is one of her outlets for sharing information with readers about the accessibility of commercially available Japanese products. She thinks that the misconception of sub-standard quality and taste of commercial food should be erased because there are a lot of manufacturers that are really stepping up their game in terms of developing products that are as close to authentic as possible.