The Not-So Starving Student – Instant Noodle 101


If I had to name one fast food that unites all students worldwide, instant noodles would be my pick. While the column is named “the not-so-starving student”, realistically, there will be a time and place for instant noodles; especially before a fixed deadline or when you’re in dire need of grocery shopping. We will be exploring different types of instant noodles, the unique aspects of each and helping you find the flavor that matches your taste buds. Best of all, this list features only the instant noodles found at most supermarkets saving AU students both time and money.

Shin ramyun

This popular Korean brand features piping hot kimchi flavored noodles that will warm you during cold winter months. The package includes two spice packets; one of which includes the powdery seasoning and another which includes dried seaweed flakes, scallions and carrots. The mystery red powder does a fantastic job of flavoring both the noodles and broth. I also love the thicker and more elastic texture of the noodle than other instant noodle brands listed.


Mr. Noodles

Despite never being a fan of Mr. Noodles, these noodles are the least expensive when compared to their counterparts. The package features a single seasoning packet that offers milder flavors compared to some of the more ethnic instant noodle labels. The texture of the noodles is light but less chewy than the others listed here. However, if you’re looking for a milder flavor rather than harsh, pungent flavors, this would be your go-to.


Mi Goreng


Mi Goreng is an Indonesian brand that produces dry noodles in lieu of soup noodles. While you can consume these noodles with broth, the instruction packet recommends the dry option which enhances the its complex flavor. The packet contains five mini seasoning packets including a soup base, optional chili flakes, soy sauce, sriracha and flavored oil. The combination of these packets creates a fragrant mix unique to the brand. For those wishing to take their instant noodle game to the next level, this would be your pick.

Nissin


My guilty pleasure in instant noodles began with this brand. Its broad flavor selection from five spice beef to tender braised pork broth means your taste buds will never be bored. Its noodles are textured and oftentimes comes with more than one seasoning packet adding to the complexity of the flavor.

Mama

Mama noodles originate from Thailand and feature yet another variation of instant noodles to be sampled by AU students. These packets stand out the most on grocery shelves with their petite, metallic packaging. Don’t be fooled by the small size of these packages, the flavor-filled seasoning really does mimic authentic Thai cuisine. For one, the Tom Yum flavored noodles have the optimal balance of the sweet, tangy, spicy, and savory. The downside being the small package of noodles. Students may find themselves needing at least two or three packs to fully savor the contents.

Xin Xu is a post-graduate health-science AU student, aspiring clinician, globe-trotter, parrot-breeder and tea-connoisseur.

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