I hardly ever eat instant noodles but I absolutely cannot back down when my spice tolerance is challenged. My cousin Adrian got into reading The Ramen Rater over the holidays and started to go looking for some of these supposed best instant noodles in the world. Samyang Foods Buldak Bokkummyeon rests at #3 on The Ramen Rater’s 2015 Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles of All Time. I told a Korean friend of mine that I was about to try this and this is what he said to me.
I think my spicy tolerance level ranges from average to good. But that’s my personal opinion warped by the fact that I am Malaysian and everyone from my mom to my childhood friends can make a meal out of rice, soy sauce and bird’s eye chilli/cili padi and I cannot. So compared to the average Australian I’m probably pretty great, I just can’t get on my mom’s level. I do think I can possibly tolerate more than I let on, it’s just that I like spicy food with flavour like sambal and chilli oil. I don’t really get a kick out of eating just chillies which taste like fire and nothing more.
Noodles and condiments. Noodles are a fair bit fatter than Shin Ramyun which is probably the only instant noodles I am still familiar with. Comes with a packet of the supposed lethal sauce and some dehydrated vegetables. I considered doing a ramenstagram flat lay with all sorts of luxury brand names and things that inspire me in the same colour scheme as Buldak Bokkummyeon, but then I realised I didn’t care.
It almost looks kind of Masterchef-fy if I do say so myself. Dude food is all the rage now right? I call it Waxed Carbohydrates mixed with Indiscernible Korean Flavours topped with Monosodium Glutamate. That’s practically molecular gastronomy right there. I also found out that the condiments weren’t vegetables but slivers of nori and sesame seeds. It’s like Samyang Foods isn’t even trying to convince you that this is a balanced meal.
The verdict? Taste-wise it was actually quite nice as there was a hint of sweetness not unlike gochujang sauce. Not a big fan of the noodles though as I found them too thick and wormy-like. However I didn’t actually finish it. Not because I couldn’t handle the spice (I swear!), but because like most instant ramen, this thing packs a whopping 530 kcals of life’s regrets, hangovers and body odour. What I did consume while quite spicy wasn’t completely unmanageable. At the very least, I wasn’t consuming buckets of water or anything but it was still pretty good in clearing up my sinuses. After speaking to Adrian, we concluded that it’s probably a build-able type of spice as opposed to sambal which smacks you in the face immediately. But while my mouth was fine, my stomach felt warm for the rest of the night. It’s open to interpretation whether that’s a good thing or not because hey winter warmer but oh shit, not looking forward to being in the bathroom later. This probably doesn’t count as a proper review since I didn’t eat the whole thing. But I’d be interested to see how you other guys fare.