Ramen is a favorite of college kids around the nation, or really anyone who doesn’t have much money but loves a lot of flavor (seriously, each pack was like $0.79, that’s insane). There are endless combinations of things you can add to really bring it to the next level, but there’s actually a more important part: the soup base of the ramen is what you build on. This base that makes ramen better. There are so many flavors and brands that sometimes it can be extremely overwhelming to know which one is best.
So I did it for you. This way, you save money, don’t have to eat a heart-stopping amount of sodium and you still get the benefits. In order to make an impartial decision, and so I didn’t waste any food, I grabbed four other friends and we taste-tested 12 different types of ramen. Here are the results, ranked from worst to best.
With an average score of 3.3/10, this was the lowest ranked ramen. The overall consensus was that it wasn’t terrible, just a little strange. Hardly shocking, I suppose – powdered shrimp flavor seems a little sketch.
With an average score of 4.2/10, the Oriental flavor came in second to last. It edged out the shrimp flavor simply because we felt that it would’ve been much easier to add other flavors to this than the shrimp. It has more potential.
This is actually a tie! With an average score of 5.5/10, both the chicken flavor and the chapagetti came in third to last. The chicken flavor is a classic, and it very honestly reminds me of my childhood. I’m disappointed it didn’t get ranked higher, but fair is fair. Chicken ties for 10th.
I’m gonna be honest, I was skeptical about this flavor because I have no idea what this is supposed to be. Everyone seemed pretty neutral about, though, it so maybe I’ll work it into my rotation of ramen.
I’m very unsure what “original” flavor entails, but it’s obviously not bad. It scored 5.7/10, mostly because it was inoffensive enough and had potential for any sort of additions. Sriracha is definitely one of my favorite options to add to this.
This miso ramen placed eighth with a 6.1/10. Similar to the Oriental and the original flavor, it has a lot of potential for adding ingredients because there isn’t anything that could make a real negative impact.
6. Spicy Seafood
With a 6.5/10, this spicy seafood flavor came in sixth place. While there was definitely a kick with this ramen, there wasn’t really any other flavor that accompanied it.
5. Shinn Gourmet Spicy
Shinn ramen placed fifth with an average score of 6.7, and I’m actually a little sad it didn’t place higher because it’s actually my go-to ramen choice. It makes me feel like I’ve been choosing the wrong kind of ramen for far too long. Shinn is pretty well known, and for good reason too. It’s got a nice kick to it, but more saltiness and complexity than the spicy seafood flavor that it barely edged out.
With a score of 7.3/10, this “fire” ramen placed fourth. I actually have no idea what this flavor is called because I can’t read Korean, but the cartoon has fire coming out of its mouth so that’s what I decided to call it. Don’t worry – it’s definitely aptly named.
This ramen is spicy af; your mouth will definitely be on fire. BUT before it reaches that point, you’ll actually get a really delicious sort of blend of flavors which helped push it to this high of a spot. If you can handle the heat, definitely try it. If you want to try it anyway, I recommend adding some cheese and spinach to try to keep your mouth from burning.
2. Tonkotsu Pork
Another tie! For third place with a score of 7.5/10, the tonkotsu pork flavor tied with Shinn black. This tonkotsu pork was definitely interesting. It invoked more of a ramen broth that you might get if you go out to get ramen, and I think its true strength will show once you get to add more ingredients to it (not that third place is a bad spot to be!).
2. Shinn Black (Spicy Port-au-feu Flavor)
Yeah, I have no idea what Port-au-feu is but it is damn tasty, that’s for sure. It’s definitely a more enjoyable flavor than the plain Shinn red, since it did rank higher, although I’m honestly not sure why… It just was? Maybe it was more complex? Maybe it had more salt? Maybe by this point I was just in a ramen delusion? All I know is that for some reason it was better. Definitely try it out if you haven’t, and see for yourself if it really is better than Shinn red.
Last but not least, the number one flavor with an average of 8.1/10 is the Shinn ramen flavored with real kimchi. This ramen was honestly awesome. It was so good – I actually tasted kimchi flavor. This ramen was a star. Even after tasting and re-tasting what seemed like an endless amount of flavors of ramen, this one continuously stuck out. Everyone deserves to try this.
So, there you have it: a definitive list of ramen flavors. Of course, this barely scratches the surface of flavors and brands, but it was very indicative of the ramen aisle in my local Chinese grocery store. Maybe the next time you’re choosing ramen because you have $30 left in your bank account, or you just want a better base for your newest ramen creation, remember this list. You definitely won’t regret it.