K-Drama Food Cravings? Here Are 6 No-broth Instant Noodles You Can Spot While Watching Your Favorite Show
Since we can’t travel to Korea yet, just take a trip to the K-grocery.
If you’re an avid fan of Korean dramas or even K-pop, you’d be familiar with the (abundant) variety of instant noodles and Korean food they always chomp on. Watching your favorite shows can actually make you crave because they make the food look so good (I mean, right in front of my salad?!)!
Fortunately, Korean marts and groceries have been popping up in every corner—there’s probably one near you! Even online shopping platforms offer Korean snacks and food now. They sure save us from the midnight cravings and help us bring a little bit of Korea with us. Here are 6 no-broth instant noodles that we recommend you try:
The name “Chapagetti” is a mesh between the famous noodle dish jjangmyeon and spaghetti. It was introduced in 1984, but it became more popular because of the 2019 film “Parasite” since it was one of the two important ingredients of the chapaguri or “ram-don” meal—an important detail in the film.
The Nongshim brand spent years developing and tweaking their own secret chajang recipe, and Chapagetti is their own version of jjangmyeon. Apparently, making this dish requires a tedious process so the food company made the first-ever instant noodle version of it, so people can enjoy it anytime and anywhere without the hassle.
ICYDK, chajang is a Chinese black bean sauce that Koreans have grown to love since the 19th century. BLACKPINK members enjoyed the black bean ramen when they went to a jjimjilbang (Korean bath house) in their own reality show Blackpink House. Rosé said it smells good too!
Nongshim Jjawang Ramen
Due to popular demand, Nongshim launched Jjawang Ramen in 2015. The name is a fusion of the word jjangmyeon (of course) and wang, which means “king” in Korean. Since Chapagetti was such a blockbuster, they decided to release a new and improved version of it.
This time they focused on recreating the authentic taste of jjangmyeon. The Jjawang Ramen has thicker noodles—3mm to be exact—that is very chewy and rich in flavor. The brand also upgraded the vegetable flakes and added onions, slices of cabbage, potatoes, and green peas to replicate the traditional taste better.
Samyang Original Buldak
You’re probably aware of the spicy noodle challenge (or have you been living under a rock?) that became popular in early 2014. Well, the Samyang Original Buldak is the one responsible for that trend!
The word buldak means “fire (bul) chicken (dak),” and it’s, well, a super spicy barbecued chicken dish. Samyang’s Original Buldak is probably one of the most popular Korean instant noodles worldwide. If you haven’t tried it because you’re not sure if you could take the heat, they have milder or “light” noodle variants too.
ICYMI, this famous spicy noodle is back in demand following “Squid Game’s” successful release! More foreigners are curious as to how it tastes like, both cooked and raw, after watching that memorable scene where player 001 Oh Il-Nam (Oh Yeong-Su) and player 456 Seong Gi-Hun (Lee Jung-Jae) snacked on the raw noodles outside a convenience store in Episode 2. Though it was not sponsored, it piqued the curiosity of viewers. Talk about influence!
Samyang Carbonara Buldak
Three years after the Samyang Buldak became popular, the company released the “carbonara” buldak—an Italian twist to the original. The creamy and cheesy sauce balances or reduces the spiciness of the classic while still retaining the rich flavor. Samyang also has just the cheesy buldak if you’re not a fan of creamy carbonara.
Neal West of Medium says, “I love this instant noodle. To me it has that perfect balance of heat with creaminess that I’m often missing in instant noodles, and it really helps deal with the heat. I can actually enjoy this without sweating from my scalp!”
Paldo Bibimmyeon Cold Noodle
The popular bibimmyeon Korean dish refers to spicy fried noodles with gochujang (red pepper paste) as its base. Garret Smith of Medium says, “The flavor of these noodles very much represents the Korean flavoring we’ve been seeing in things like potato chips, wings, and various other snacks these days.”
Even BTS members, especially J-Hope, love Paldo Bbimmyeon so much that you can always catch them devour it during their livestreams!
In “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’s” 8th episode, Chief Hong (Kim Seon-Ho), Hye-Jin (Shin Min-A), and Seong-Hyeon (Lee Sang-Yi) all had bibim nangmyeon for dinner. People say that the flavor of Paldo’s Bibimmyeon is close to authentic. The noodles are thick and chewy, and they go well with the provided sauce. Worth the try if you’re into cold noodles.
Nongshim Beef Bulgogi Fried Noodles
Here’s another Nongshim creation. If you love sweet food or sauces, this one is probably for you. If you’re a (Korean traditional) beef bulgogi enthusiast, then you should definitely try this. It already has everything you need—the hint of beef + fried noodles all in an instant pack!
As stated in their post, “It's a stir-fry noodle with a sweet and mild peppery taste of bulgogi beef. Definitely one of the best-sellers!”