9 Best Japanese Instant Ramen Noodles

Our top pick is the Nissin Demae Ramen Instant Noodle that you'll love to have due to its traditional Japanese taste and mesmerizing aroma.

Best Japanese instant Ramen

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We all love instant noodles as they are tasty, cook fast, and are affordable snacks. Japan has a long history of Ramen noodles, and it is famous for various flavors of noodle recipes. With so many Japanese instant noodles available in the market, it can be hard to decide which ones are the best. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of the best Japanese instant noodles based on their availability and taste. These noodles are easily available at most of the superstores, marts, and online stores. And as for taste, let’s just say you’re in for a treat!

Japanese Cup Noodles vs. American

Japanese Cup Noodles:

Japanese cup noodles are known for their springy texture and are often air-dried, which helps maintain their firmness when cooked. These noodles have a variety of unique and savory flavors, ranging from classic miso and soy sauce to more exotic options like tonkatsu (pork bone) or seafood. These noodles also include more diverse toppings, like dehydrated vegetables, meat, and seaweed, which enhance the overall taste and texture.

American Noodles (Instant Ramen):

American instant ramen, on the other hand, consists of precooked, deep-fried noodles that can be made quickly. The broth flavors tend to be simpler and lean towards saltiness. While American instant ramen options have expanded to include various flavors and styles, they often lack the depth and authenticity found in Japanese cup noodles. Toppings in American instant ramen are typically limited to freeze-dried vegetables and sometimes small meat or tofu bits.

If you are looking for an authentic ramen experience with rich, nuanced flavors and are willing to pay a bit more, Japanese cup noodles are the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a quick and budget-friendly meal, American noodles provide a satisfying option.


The Best Japanese Instant Ramen / Noodles At a Glance

  1. Menraku Authentic Japanese Ramen
    Read ReviewView at Amazon
  2. Nissin Demae Instant Ramen
    Read ReviewView at Amazon
  3. Ichiran Instant Ramen
    Read ReviewView at Amazon
  4. SAPPORO ICHIBAN Ramen
    Read ReviewView at Amazon
  5. DREAM Kitchen Cup Ramen
    Read ReviewView at Amazon
  6. SAPPORO ICHIBAN Yakisoba Ramen
    Read ReviewView at Amazon
  7. Nissin UFO Instant Japanese Sosu Yakisoba
    Read ReviewView at Amazon
  8. Maruchan Seimen Japanese Instant Ramen
    Read ReviewView at Amazon
  9. MARUTAI Kumamoto Tonkotsu Instant Ramen
    Read ReviewView at Amazon

Menraku Authentic Japanese Ramen

Menraku Authentic Japanese Ramen

Features & Specs:

  • Instant cooking
  • Multiple flavors
  • Rich taste
  • Strong and natural flavors

What We Like

  • The soup tastes great with the noodles
  • The spicy flavor has a balance for people for every type of taste
  • The seasoning and texture are authentic
  • Easy to prepare and eat

What We Don’t Like

  • Noodles can catch fire at the high temperature inside the microwave oven
  • It only requires hot water to prepare, unlike other products

If you ever miss the taste of fresh ramen noodles and craving a delight, Menraku Authentic Japanese Noodle is a perfect choice. These noodles come in various flavors that allow you to select the taste according to the mood. The perfect blend of spice and flavor keeps you wanting to have more bowls of noodles every time you serve them.

The Menraku Ramen Noodle comes in four flavors: Spicy Miso Tonkotsu, Hot and Spicy, Sichuan-Inspired Spicy Sesame, and Japanese Ramen Spicy Sesame. These flavors are an excellent replacement for a restaurant like Japanese noodles. You can make them while camping or going office as no preparation or cooking is required to serve and eat.

Overall, the flavor is diverse but tasty for every type of noodle offered under the Menraku Ramen Noodle. The miso flavor comes enriched with a blend of several spices and a strong sesame taste. In contrast, the Sichuan flavor is spicier as it combines famous Japanese peppers and miso sauce. While testing, I found the soupless miso and sesame taste rich that kicked the taste buds. Besides, the fried garlic and bold chili flavor also taste great if you want to try something different yet authentic.

The only thing worth noticing about the Menraku noodles is that you can’t prepare them inside the microwave oven. They can catch fire at high temperatures when exposed for more than the recommended time. Therefore, it is best to prepare them using boiling water. It ensures you taste fresh noodles and satisfy your craving with a perfect blend of flavors.

Overall, I loved the taste, texture, and flavor of the Menraku Authentic Japanese Ramen Noodles that offer rich flavor with the right amount of spice that you always crave. The best thing about these noodles is that you can modify the recipe and add ingredients like sliced onions or fried eggs. I added chives to the noodles, making the whole experience wholesome. So, Menraku is the go-to choice if you crave authentic restaurants like instant Ramen.

You can also buy it at Walmart


Nissin Demae Instant Ramen

Nissin Demae Instant Ramen

Features & Specs:

  • Strong flavor
  • Irresistible taste
  • Instant preparation

What We Like

  • One of the finest black garlic ramen
  • The sesame oil flavor is incredible
  • Perfectly fine thickness for Ramen
  • The noodle texture is spot-on

What We Don’t Like

  • Slightly more expensive than other noodles
  • Packaging needs some upgrade

I was looking for something a cut above Top Ramen and Maruchan, so I decided to give Nissin Demae Ramen Instant Noodle a try. It’s best known for its unparalleled aroma among other products on the list. The broth is satisfyingly rich in flavor with perfect consistency, even when adding more water. Another plus is that it is not very salty, which is positive for people with heart issues. And since there’s no spiciness to it, it’s perfect for those who can’t handle the heat.

The Nissin Ramen Noodle is the perfect choice if you want instant cooking without following any recipe. These can get ready in a few minutes while tasting like freshly made restaurant noodles.

I love how it tastes like I’m eating at a restaurant. The texture and flavor of these ramen noodles combine to give extra tasty and seasoned noodles that can send your taste buds to heaven. Adding garlic paste can provide rich flavor and add to the overall taste and depth of the flavor. I added vegetable broth and cream on the top, which improved the taste and added flavor that felt amazing.

The Asian flavors are on point, and it’s easy to add to. I tried adding vegetables with olive oil and included a flavor pocket to enrich the flavor. One thing that stands out from other noodles is their soft nature, unlike the hard brick-like structure. The flavors are so rich that I sensed the black sesame oil garnish on the first bite. Besides being tasty to addicting levels, the quantity is enough for serving a hearty dinner if you add vegetables, eggs, or chicken sausage.

I loved the thickness and flavor of Nissin Demae Ramen Noodle compared to traditional options. The reason for its taste is the richness of the flavor, along with the black garlic oil that makes the experience worth every bite. The spiciness is not up to the level to irritate the stomach, and best for people who like to have a less spicy flavor.

You can also buy it at Japanese Taste


Ichiran Instant Ramen

Ichiran Instant Ramen

Features & Specs:

  • Easy to Make
  • Restaurant like taste
  • Addictively delicious

What We Like

  • The noodles are tender, and the texture feels great
  • Broth taste exceeds industry standard
  • Extremely easy to make
  • Delicious and takes less time to cook

What We Don’t Like

  • Not for people who like an extra spicy flavor
  • Packaging is not suitable for shipping as noodles can break
  • Slightly more expensive than a locally available ramen noodle

The Ichiran is the best ramen that I have tasted outside Japan. If you like tender and delicious ramen noodles, these are the best ones that you can grab.

Although these ramen noodles are comparatively expensive, if you are a serious ramen fan, the price is not a deal breaker for having these noodles. You won’t miss out on the taste and presentation of the Tokyo Ramen restaurant when serving these noodles with creative toppings. It only takes 3-5 minutes to boil the noodles.

Add toppings like hard-boiled eggs, minced garlic, or chopped onions; the broth will take your taste buds to the heavens. This is the taste test that has put Ichiran Ramen noodles on top of the Instant Ramen list due to their peculiar flavor. The broth keeps the texture with its terrific taste while the noodles don’t fall apart or feel mushy at any preparation stage.

If you are in a hurry, you can cook for two minutes and let the noodles rest for a few seconds, and they will get ready without any further preparation needed. With the strong flavor and medium spice, you will enjoy every bite of the Ramen.

One thing worth considering is the spiciness of the red chili pepper that comes with the pack. The bag of red chili pepper is not strong enough to give the broth and noodles extra spiciness. A friend of mine and I tested this Ramen, and we felt like the spiciness was right at the spot for us as we don’t often like extra spiciness in the food.

These Ichiran Instant Ramen are now my absolute favorite as they are far better than many other options available while being slightly expensive. If you ever miss the taste and flavor of real Japanese Ramen, Ichiran Ramen is worth giving a shot.

You can also buy it at Walmart


SAPPORO ICHIBAN Ramen

SAPPORO ICHIBAN Ramen

Features & Specs:

  • Original flavored soup
  • Japanese style noodles
  • Transfat-free

What We Like

  • Great base to add actual food
  • The distinguished flavor is amazing
  • The noodle texture is great
  • Not salty, and the flavor is perfect

What We Don’t Like

  • The taste isn’t very strong
  • Less salty than usual

The Sapporo Ichiban Original Ramen Noodle is a hearty meal that’ll leave you feeling satisfied. It’s a unique combination of soy sauce and chicken broth, with the bonus of sweet-smelling vegetables, garlic, and a hint of ginger. The soup’s bouncy texture pairs perfectly with the noodles to create a filling meal that is sure to please.

It takes three minutes to prepare the noodles because they are thinner and have a better recipe. I liked the mild and unique taste with the texture better than other brands like Marchuran that offer mushier consistency. In contrast, Sapporo Ichiban is slightly harder in texture and cooks better while being affordable.

Simply add your favorite ingredients – mushrooms, green onions, napa cabbage, or whatever strikes your fancy – to the pot while boiling water with the package flavor. Then add the noodles and an egg into the mixture when they are nearly done. Give it a light stir and let it sit for a few seconds to cook through. Once everything gets cooked to perfection, sit down and enjoy your delicious creation!

The noodles are firm, and the broth has appropriate saltiness. I like to add a scrambled egg and some sambal chili paste for extra flavor. These Sapporo Ichiban noodles have the potential to become a staple for anyone who enjoys eating ramen noodles regularly.

It’s better not to overcook the noodles if you want to maintain their texture and flavor. Eat right away so they don’t become flabby or mushy. Top your Ramen with the above-mentioned ingredients or sliced meat with fried green onions.

I recommend the Sapporo Ichiban Ramen Noodle because it’s light and easy to eat. The noodles are delicious on their own, but they become even more delicious with simple additions like chopped cabbage.

You can also buy it at Walmart


Dream Kitchen Cup Ramen

DREAM KITCHEN CUP RAMEN

Features & Specs:

  • No preparation needed
  • Wrapped and sealed
  • Various flavors

What We Like

  • It comes in various seasonings and vegetable toppings
  • Full of flavors and tastes, delicious
  • The noodle texture is above and beyond perfect
  • Very quick for getting ready and served

What We Don’t Like

  • Forks are not reliable
  • Sodium quantity is more than usual

The Dream Kitchen CUP Ramen is relatively affordable while providing the same taste as you experience in any restaurant in the USA or Japan. At first, I was surprised at how small they were, but after cooking one up, I realized there were more noodles in this cup than in a typical cup you’d pick up at the grocery store. They’re not spicy at all, but you can add extras like red pepper or hot sauce to make them reach the level of spiciness you like for the Ramen. 

In terms of taste, I’ve only tried a few flavors like spicy miso, soy sauce, and curry, but I like them so far. They might not be as strong as you’d get in Japan, but they’re miles ahead compared to anything you can get in the US. I’ve tried other brands of Cup Noodles, but none of them come close to the taste of these. Even though they’re not perfect, I recommend them – they’re still pretty good!

Instead of coming with a powder to be mixed with water, the sauce and toppings are in separate packages. Pour hot water over the noodles and wait for 3 minutes – it’s that easy! The fork that comes with it is flimsy as it can bend and break easily, but it’s better than nothing when traveling or eating in the office.

My biggest concern about these Dream Kitchen Cup noodles is the amount of sodium packed with them for preparation. Although high sodium content is pretty much common in instant noodles, a packet over 1900 mg of sodium is not a healthy choice.

Overall, I liked the variety of Ramen in this pack. My favorites are curry, tonkatsu, and spicy miso. They’re also a bit bouncier than I’m used to, but they don’t get soggy as easily.

You can also buy it at Walmart


SAPPORO ICHIBAN Yakisoba Ramen

SAPPORO ICHIBAN Yakisoba Instant Noodles - Delicious Chow Mein

Features & Specs:

  • Instant Japanese Yakisoba
  • Traditional flavor in minutes
  • Easy to cook

What We Like

  • Great pre-seasoned easy noodles
  • Nourishing and wholesome flavor
  • Fresh and well-packaged
  • The seasoning is very savory

What We Don’t Like

  • Lose their heat quickly
  • Require precise cooking
  • To much water can turn the broth into soup

Sapporo Ichiban is Japan’s most popular pouch ramen because it delivers delicious, authentic flavors inspired by traditional Japanese cuisine. Other brands can’t get near the deliciousness or authenticity that Sapporo Ichiban offers. Its taste, richness, and seasoning will take you back to the memory lane of eating authentic Japanese Ramen in your childhood.

Sapporo Ichiban yakisoba is a delicious, hearty meal or snack that will satisfy any craving. The chewy, fried noodles are perfectly seasoned with a blend of soy sauce, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a combination of spices. It comes packed with dried seaweed, making the whole recipe delicious and full of color compared to the traditional flavor.

I recommend draining it slightly and only using half a flavor packet for perfect results. Adding leftover steak and vegetables makes it an even more delicious meal. Be careful not to add too much water when preparing these noodles – unlike soup, they shouldn’t be watery.

I prefer to eat Sapporo Ichiban yakisoba instant ramen, straight out of the frying pan while they’re still hot. If you have leftovers, leave them in the pan and pour some water before reheating them on the stove.

Overall, Sapporo Ichiban is a great choice from the brands of Ramen I taste-tested, and I have to say, it stacks up pretty well! Even though it’s called chow mein, it’s just fancy Ramen. It will hit the spot whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner or a satisfying snack.

You can also buy it at Walmart


Nissin UFO Instant Japanese Sosu Yakisoba

Nissin UFO Instant Japanese Sosu Yakisoba

Features & Specs:

  • Authentic Yakisoba ramen
  • Rich flavored
  • Soba derived

What We Like

  • Legitimately delicious and flavorful
  • Texture and thickness are perfect
  • The sauce tastes great
  • It comes with mixed veggies

What We Don’t Like

  • Cooking instructions in Japanese are difficult to read
  • A bit oily for health-conscious people

Nissin UFO Instant Japanese Sosu Yakisoba is a far better choice than locally available Yakisoba in the States as the taste and flavors are close to the authentic Yakisoba. Once you try these ramen noodles, you will stick to them as it takes only a few minutes to get ready while staying as authentic as possible.

I was impressed with this instant soba because it came with minced ginger and nori packets in addition to the noodles, dehydrated veggies, and sauce packets. These two simple ingredients made my soba noodles taste like authentic noodles. There is tough competition between the Sapporo Ichiban brand and Nissin UFO Instant Japanese Sosu Yakisoba as they both provide the taste and flavor you get from the local Yakisoba available in Japan.

Yakisoba sauce is a crave-worthy condiment that hits the sweet, savory, and tangy flavor profiles that most people can’t get enough of – myself included. These noodles are firm and tasty enough that you can eat them in a hurry without having to sit and wait for them to boil.

The flavor is what you would expect, and it is delicious. The cooking instructions are in Japanese, which can be challenging to read. The Yakisoba ramen noodles are quick to prepare and are the best choice if you want moderately spicy ramen noodles.

You can also buy it at WalmartJ-Grab


Maruchan Seimen Japanese Instant Ramen

Maruchan Seimen Japanese Instant Ramen

Features & Specs:

  • Soy sauce flavor soup
  • Quick to make
  • Excellent packaging

What We Like

  • The thickness and chewiness of the noodles are great
  • Very solid base ramen
  • Soup is very authentic
  • Good taste and quality

What We Don’t Like

  • The flavor is weak for people who like the rich taste
  • The sauce is not distinctive
  • Somewhat salty

Maruchan Seimen Japanese Instant Ramen noodles are just as good as the ones served at authentic, local ramen restaurants – if not better. The shoyu flavor is the best, hands down. Add half a hard-boiled egg and some chopped green onions, and you’ll have a delicious meal!

You will love the Maruchan Seimen’s choice of flavors as it comes with tonkotsu, miso, and soy sauce. Every flavor has a different noodle thickness which ultimately adds to the final taste. The Miso flavor is more towards thick noodles, while the tonkotsu flavor offers thin noodles. In contrast, the soy flavor is between miso and tonkotsu when it comes to thickness. The soy flavor noodle thickness perfectly matches the soy sauce soup as it gives a tasty and flavorful bowl that you can only get at a local ramen restaurant.

The broth is very flavorful, the noodles are cooked perfectly al-dente, and the overall taste is lean and more refined than the average Maruchan ramen. The noodles are also much better than other ramen ones you can find in regular grocery stores.

The noodles taste great – they have a fresher taste than those usually fried in palm oil. I think the Miso version tastes better, but it all comes down to personal preference. You can add some veggies, eggs, or any other Asian-based additives, with as much of the sauce over it as you want. It can make a fantastic snack for your craving for ramen noodles.

These instant noodles taste just like real, hand-made ramen noodles without requiring you to spend hours in the kitchen. The noodles taste great and are full of flavors and chewy texture. The only thing you require is to boil them properly.

You can also buy it at WalmartJapanese Taste


MARUTAI Kumamoto Tonkotsu Instant Ramen

MARUTAI Kumamoto Tonkotsu Instant Ramen

Features & Specs:

  • Easy to cook
  • Wonderful flavor
  • Rich meaty broth

What We Like

  • Fast soup to make
  • The broth is creamy and flavorful
  • Come with all the ingredients
  • Slick and chewy noodles

What We Don’t Like

  • One of the most expensive instant Ramen
  • Slightly off flavor for people who like more spice

My sister recently recommended MARUTAI Kumamoto Tonkotsu Instant Ramen to me, and I was a bit skeptical at first because I had never seen or heard of this brand before. But after cooking it, I was surprised by how good the noodles were. They tasted the same as other instant ramen noodles I’ve had. The flavor was also well-balanced, and I enjoyed it.

Making the Tonkotsu Ramen at home is straightforward. The overall taste and consistency of the soup feel creamy while giving a rich taste. It is better to check the noodles as overcooking them can make the whole recipe go bad. The usual time for the noodles to get ready is three minutes which is pretty basic for instant Ramen. You can add boiled egg, minced vegetables, or a combination of nori with powder and fat packets to make them even more flavorful.

MARUTAI Kumamoto Tonkotsu is good – the noodles are great, the broth is tasty, and it’s easy to make. I had two bowls and saved the rest for later this week. If you’re looking for delicious and authentic-tasting instant ramen, this is one of the best brands you can buy.

Though it is expensive, MARUTAI Kumamoto Tonkotsu is some of the best Japanese instant Ramen in terms of taste that I have found. The only downside is that the instructions are in Japanese, which can be difficult for people who don’t speak the language. Though printed pictures are on the package, I think it would be helpful to have directions in English.

MARUTAI Kumamoto Tonkotsu is a go-to product if you want something better than instant ramen. Their flavors vary as they come from various regional ramen from Japan. If you get it, I recommend dressing it with egg and green onion and grilling some garlic to taste higher levels.

You can also buy it at WalmartJapanese Taste


What to Look for When Buying Instant Ramen?

How we tested the best Japenese Instant Noodles

With so many Japanese instant ramen options online, deciding which one to buy can be tough. You can’t touch or examine the product before buying it, so it’s important to keep a few things in mind when making your purchase. Here are a few things to consider:

Flavor

Instant Ramen flavor is one of the first considerations when buying these for snack time. Various flavors are available in the market, including beef, chicken, hot and spicy, seafood, and many more. If you don’t like spicy flavor, Ichiran Instant Ramen is the perfect choice with its balanced spice. SAPPORO ICHIBAN Yakisoba can steal the show for a spicier and more seasoned flavor.

Broth Consistency 

The right amount of broth consistency is important for ramen noodles. They are different from plain noodles, so having broth consistency is crucial for a perfect taste. Menraku Authentic Japanese Ramen is one of my favorites regarding Ramen broth consistency. You can eat it like traditional Japanese Ramen with a broth full of flavors.

Veggies and Extras

Veggies and extras are really important when buying instant ramen noodles. These noodles come with various pre-packed options like seaweed and spices that can improve the overall taste and flavor of the noodles. Nissin Demae Instant Ramen offers a perfect blend of extras, and you can add soft or hard-boiled eggs to make it even more exciting.

Price

Checking the price of the ramen noodles is the way you can get an idea of their average price. Once you know the average price, you can know which ramen product is priced well and which one is overpriced. It is important to consider when shopping as you don’t want to spend too much for a pack of Ramen. All ramen listed here offers good value for the bucks spent, but Dream Kitchen Cup Ramen is affordable and offers better quality ramen than the rest of the list.

How We Tested These Instant Ramen?

To narrow the list of ramen noodles from hundreds of variations and flavors available, I have chosen the best ones with a satisfactory customer experience. From the narrowed list, I taste-tested the ramen noodles over a few days and checked each product for its taste, broth consistency, flavor, spice, and other essential factors to consider when buying the best Japanese instant ramen noodles.

The process took me a few days; I didn’t adjust any parameters like boil time, water, or addition of seasoning other than recommended by the manufacturers. Although it is common to adjust these parameters and add vegetables, boiled eggs, or extra topping to make the result precise and uniform, I followed the instructions on the products listed.

When testing these ramen products, I noted the broth consistency, flavor, and noodle texture. Other important things included looking for add-ins like meat and vegetables. Not only individual parameters, but I also looked at the whole experience, including taste, aroma, and overall presentation, to rate the ramen noodles. All the ramen noodles listed here are the ones that topped the ranking chart and made me feel like I am eating authentic Japanese Ramen from a street restaurant in Tokyo or Okinawa.

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At AHealthyBowl, we want to ensure that the products we recommend are of the best quality and performance. We put every product through a series of quality and performance tests and take detailed reports of our findings. If a product doesn’t meet our standards, it doesn’t cut. We only want to recommend products we wholeheartedly believe in, so you can be sure that everything on our list is something we would use ourselves.

Adalynn Ward has extensive experience testing and reviewing different kitchen appliances and products, so she was the perfect person to compile a comprehensive list of the best Japanese Instant Ramen options on the market. In this guide, she covers everything you need to know about ramen noodles – from how they taste to what factors to consider when making a purchase.

Muhammad Kashif is a passionate chef and a talented writer who has dedicated his life to the world of culinary arts. With years of experience, he shares insights on the latest kitchen gadgets and appliances, alongside delicious and easy-to-follow recipes for any skill level. Join Muhammad on his culinary journey and discover new ways to make your kitchen the heart of your home.