Updated: Aug 6, 2018
It's a fever sweeping the internet by storm... a firestorm to be exact!
A quick search on YouTube for Korean Fire Noodle Challenge will bring up hundreds of eager eaters challenging themselves or unsuspecting friends to grab a pair of chopsticks and slurp up a bowl of pure evil!
First released in 2012 by South Korean instant noodle maker Samyang Food, the original Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen was created after a year of research including devouring hundreds of spicy chicken dishes and tons of hot sauce. The result is nothing short of spectacular! The noodles have a good bite and texture... thick enough to absorb the Heavenly (some would say Hellish) sauce.
Let's talk about that sauce. It's pure bliss! First thing you'll notice is how deep red color. Next you'll notice the sweet, peppery, smoky smell... breath it in! Okay. But how does it taste? Could I handle the heat? These noodles taste great! The fire sauce is surprisingly sweet, which helps tamp down the heat, and extremely thick and rich. You can tell that the sauce was carefully put together and has many layers of flavors to excite your tastebuds. But honestly, I'm a hot sauce fanatic and could tolerate the heat. So for me, it's mostly about flavor and in that regard... Samyang's Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen is a sure "fire" winner! For more fun... add a slice of cheddar cheese and fried egg on top.
Following the incredible success of it's original fire noodles, Samyang has released numerous variations and limited editions; Cheese (includes a packet of cheese powder), Ice (chilled Summer edition), Stew, Curry, Mala (infused with Szechuan peppercorns), Carbonara (creamy Italian limited edition in celebration of 1 billion in sales) and spicy black bean (one of my favorites). All of these flavors have about the same level of heat (or pain depending on tolerance), but the 大哥哥 (big brother) on the block is the 2X! WHEW! This ramen packs the heat!