If you search YouTube for “Spicy Ramen Challenge”, you will find countless videos of people eating this particular variety of instant ramen noodles. Reactions of these contenders range from mild discomfort to outright hysteria.
As a self proclaimed pepper-head, I took it upon myself to seek out these infamous noodles, and find out for myself if they were the real deal.
After searching a handful of my local Asian grocers, I was able to find the noodles in a convenient 5-pack. At first glance, they look like your garden variety ramen noodles. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll find that instead of a wimpy bag of seasoning powder, these noodles come with a hefty packet of dark red sauce about the consistency of ketchup.
I prepared the noodles according to the directions. Unlike some noodles, you drain these noodles before mixing in the seasoning, so there’s no “broth”. Also included is a packet of nori (dried seaweed) and sesame seeds, nice touch.
With the noodles ready, I dove in and took a big bite. First impression? Meh. After a few more bites, the noodles began to show their true colors. These are undoubtedly spicier than your garden variety ramen noodles. One thing that they did not lack however, was flavor. I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty the noodles were. The flavor did not take a backseat to the raw heat.
Conclusion: Are these the spiciest ramen noodles that you can readily buy? Probably. Are they spicier than your average “spicy” flavor noodles. Absolutely. Are they too hot to be enjoyable by a self proclaimed pepper-head? Absolutely not.
Bonus: After enjoying my first batch of extra spicy noodles, I decided to mix it up by adding chopped peanuts, scallions, bacon, shiitake mushrooms, and a soft boiled egg. Now that’s a sexy bowl of ramen noodles!