Tasting K Bag Noodles: 9 Mouthwatering Options Reviewed | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Tasting K Bag Noodles: 9 Mouthwatering Options Reviewed

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The annual consumption is 1.5 times that of Japan! South Korea, the instant ramen powerhouse

The Korean boom began in the early 2000s with the “Winter Sonata” series. Currently, it is said to be entering its fourth or fifth boom. While the drama, music, and other cultural elements are leading the way, the noodle culture that is representative of the country is also beginning to permeate the market. One of these is the bag-type instant noodles, or K-bag noodles.

South Korea is a well-known instant noodle powerhouse, consuming 76.2 servings per person per year (compared to 48.2 servings per person per year in Japan). The most representative instant noodle is spicy ramen, which is also well-known in Japan, but recently a number of unique bagged noodles have landed on the market. These are available at Don Quijote, Cardi, and even at 100-yen stores such as Daiso. Let us introduce you to the world of “K bagged noodles,” where you can enjoy a wide variety of flavors.

K bag-type noodles are available at Don Quijote, Cardi, Daiso, and other 100 yen stores. Which ones are the best?

Potato kneaded noodles dance in your mouth! Kamja Noodles (Sanyang Foods) ) / Actual price: 204 yen (researched by editor)

The package features an illustration of a potato!

While wheat for ramen and udon noodles, buckwheat noodles, and rice for beehoon and pho are the most common ingredients for noodles, many Asian noodles are made from starch from beans and potatoes.

The dried noodles are white in color and have no potato taste.

The chewy texture of the noodles, which contain more than 50% potato ingredients, is truly impressive at first bite. However, as one proceeds to eat, one is surprised by the change in flavor of the noodles. The starchiness of the potato slowly dissolves and the surface of the noodle becomes smooth. The noodles become smooth and silky, and the sensuality of the noodles is unmistakable. The soup is peppery and spicy. The soup is peppery and spicy, and has the spirit of Korean cuisine.

As you continue to eat, the surface of the noodle becomes tingly and smooth!

The spicy miso broth is sure to whet your appetite! Anseong Yumen (Nongshim) / Market price: 177 yen (as investigated by the editorial department).

Ramen noodles served in a pot! The package is just like a K noodle bag!

Spicy ramen is one of the most popular Korean bagged noodles. It has many fans as a spicy noodle, but many people may be put off by the red chili pepper soup. For beginners, we recommend Anseong Yumen. This is the standard Korean ramen from Nongshin Foods, the same company that produces spicy ramen.

Two layers of dried noodles. The easy-to-eat, medium-thick noodles are one of the finer noodles in the K bag.

In Korea, there is a seasoning called “Tenjang” made from fermented soybeans like miso, and there are many miso-based noodle dishes. This “Anseong Yumen” is a beef-based soup with Korean miso and chili peppers. The mild miso flavor is accompanied by a moderate spiciness.

If you drop a raw egg into the soup, you will enjoy a milder flavor.

The chewy thick noodles, similar to udon, pair well with the spicy soup! “Noguri Ramen” (Nongshim) / Market price: 194 yen (as investigated by the editorial department).

Noguri means “raccoon dog” in Korean. For some reason, the crying raccoon dog is cute!

In Korea, there is a handmade udon dish called kalguksu, and “Noguri Ramen” is a dish that brings to the fore the thick, sticky noodles reminiscent of udon. Although instant, the thick noodles, a specialty of Nongshim, have a satisfying texture and are very filling.

The noodles are thick and powerful. Anticipation rises even before the noodles are boiled.
The wakame seaweed, which is used as a condiment, absorbs water and swells up so fast that it almost covers the surface of the noodle.

The reddish appearance may make you flinch, but the spiciness is not that strong. It is a hot soup that gradually takes effect in the mouth. The default setting allows you to enjoy the texture of wakame seaweed and squid, but you may want to add seafood ingredients such as squid and shellfish as toppings.

Seafood swimming in a vibrant red soup! “Squid Champong” (Nongshim) / Market price: 190 yen (as investigated by the editorial department).

The package evokes the image of a good match with grilled squid and shellfish.

A cloudy soup filled with seafood ingredients – that is the image of chanpon, but it is different when it crosses the sea. Korean-style chanpon is a soup made from seafood, to which a large amount of chili peppers are added, and topped with plenty of squid, clams, onions, and other ingredients.

Champon is filled with the stimulating spice of chili peppers.

When the powdered powder was added during the cooking process, the aroma of squid wafted out. While the meat broth is effective as in Korean noodles, the ingredients and flavors have a strong seafood tone. The noodles have a crunchy texture typical of instant noodles. The spicy flavor and seafood broth soak into the noodles, and the flavor increases as you eat more.

The seaweed, kikurage mushrooms, squid, carrots, and other spicy condiments are well-positioned. Add toppings and enjoy!

Korean chanpon originated at a Chinese restaurant in Incheon, and is a popular summer staple. Ika Chanpon” also made me sweat in the hot soup, and I felt cool and refreshing after the meal. It is a recommended dish for the summer season.

A long-time bestseller in Korea, the savory Chapagetti noodles! (Nongshim) / Market price: 167 yen (as investigated by the editorial department).

The package image, reminiscent of yakisoba noodles with sauce, raises expectations.
The thick, chewy noodles have a strong impact!

Jajangmyun is a local Korean noodle dish. It is a powerful dish that is served with a meat miso soup called jungjang, which is poured over the noodles and eaten like yakisoba noodles with a thick sauce.

Chapaghetti is a recreation of this traditional dish in a bag of noodles, and has been a long-seller in the Korean instant noodle market for 40 years since its launch in 1984. Olive oil is used to make the noodles easy to absorb, and the noodles have a mild taste that is popular with all people. It is a pleasure to eat muhamahara.

Thick noodles provide a delightful texture.

In the Korean movie “Parasite: A Family in a Half-Basement,” which won four Academy Awards and conquered the world, chapaghetti was mixed with noguri ramen, which is introduced in the latter section of the movie, to create chapaguri (jaeger ramen in Japanese subtitles). It would be interesting to try to recreate it.

A double punch of sweet and savory sauce with seaweed-infused noodles! “Chawan” (Nongshim) / Market price: 247 yen (as investigated by the editorial department).

Authentic package design with a profound representation of Hangul

While “Chapaghetti” is a casual jajangmyeon, “Cha Wan” is an authentic product that aims to reproduce the taste of the restaurant. The manufacturer, Nonshin, even calls it “Korean-style premium jajangmyeon”.

Kelp powder kneaded noodles that are flatter than chapaghetti.

The sauce is thick and heavy, with a sweet finish. The sauce is thick and sticky, and is kneaded with kelp powder, making it gooey and sticky. The authentic way to eat jajangmyeon is to hold a pair of chopsticks in each hand and thoroughly mix the noodles with the sauce. The “Cha Wan” is also served with a good mixing.

The noodles are chewy and are entwined with the sweet sauce.

The chewy flat noodles perfectly match the spicy and savory sauce! “Cream Carbonara Buldak Stir-Fried Noodles” (Samyang Foods) / Market price: 279 yen (as investigated by the editorial department).

The pink package is cute, but the spiciness is surprisingly fierce!

In Korean, “bul” means fire and “duck” means chicken – chicken that is so spicy that it will catch fire. Here, we selected the Cream Carbonara.

It looks mild, and the flat thick noodles blend well with the soup.

The orange-tinged sauce looks mild, but it is Korean cuisine. The spiciness of the sauce is so intense that it is numbing. The numbing spiciness has a strong impact, but as you continue to eat, you can feel the depth of flavor.

Noodles focused on stickiness

The boiling process is the same as for ordinary bagged noodles, but a unique method is used for the finish: about 50 ml of hot water is left before mixing in the liquid sauce and kayaku. Depending on how much hot water is left in the noodle, it can be made into a soup noodle or a soup noodle. Customize it as you like.


A rich powdered cheese combined with a wave of spiciness in the “Korean-style Soupless Stir-Fried Noodles Cheese Tteokbokki” (Nongshim). Market price: 214 yen (as investigated by the editorial department).

The catchphrase, “Cho-You Spicy,” has a big impact!

Cheese takkarbi, a dish of melted cheese mixed with chicken and vegetables, became a trend in the late 2010s, and some K bag noodles are attempting to recreate the cheese takkarbi in a noodle bag.

After serving, the dish is finished with a powdered sauce that looks like powdered cheese.

After boiling and cooking, the dish is placed on a plate and then finished with a sprinkle of cheese powder. It is firm and spicy, and the cheese is thick and sticky. It is a dish with a punch that would be good as a snack with beer.

Like the “Buldak,” the noodles are flat and easy to mix with the sauce.

The sourness of apple cider vinegar is refreshing! Thin noodles with a smooth “tsuru-tsuru” taste! Furuuru Cold Noodle Water Cold Noodle” (Nongshin) / Actual price: 161 yen (researched by editor)

The product name “Fururu” is a Korean onomatopoeia for “slurp, slurp, slurp.

While chilled noodles are a part of the Japanese bagged noodle scene, cold noodles have a strong presence in the K bagged noodle market! This familiar dish served at the end of a yakiniku (barbecue) restaurant can be enjoyed at home with ease and refreshment.

The noodles are brown like buckwheat noodles. The noodles are made of buckwheat flour.

“Water-cooled noodles (Mulnaengmyeon)” is a local noodle dish that originated in Pyongyang and Hamgyong Province in North Korea. Traditionally, it was a regional dish enjoyed in warm rooms during the winter, featuring cold noodles. However, after the Korean War, it spread to the southern regions and became available year-round.

When boiled, the noodles turn white and have a finish similar to that of somen noodles, and they also feel good down the throat.

The soup is made from beef bones, and the “Fururu Cold Noodle” also uses beef bone extract. The soup is made with pickled daikon radish and accented with apple cider vinegar. The noodles are ultra-thin but non-fried, made with a traditional Korean extrusion method. The noodles are made using a traditional Korean extrusion method and are very thin, yet still have a smooth texture. It is served with kimchi, cucumber, and boiled egg.

 For this issue, we cooked and tasted more than 20 varieties of K bagged noodles and selected nine that we considered to be the best members. While Japanese bagged noodles have been remarkably innovative, K bagged noodles have a strong footing of spiciness and come on strong with their impactful noodle taste. You can either eat it the authentic Korean way from the cooked pot or arrange it with Japanese-style ingredients. Enjoy the fascinating K-bag noodles to the fullest.

  • Interview, text, and photographs Masataka Sasaki

    Representative of Kids Factory. He has edited several ramen books, including "Hideyuki Ishigami Ramen Selection" (Futabasha), "The Industry's Highest Authority TRY Certified Ramen Grand Prize" (Kodansha), "Ramen Saikyou Unchiku Ishigami Hideyuki" (Shinyusha), and "Solanoiro Chihiro Miyazaki's Ramen Theory" (Shibata Shoten). He loves ramen, and his motto is "Be a pervert in your quest for ramen, but a gentleman in your behavior.

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