Have you heard of Chef David Chang? He is a famous chef known best for the famous restaurant chain Momofuku, which is especially renowned for its noodles.
I actually typically don’t like non-broth noodles, but I’ll EASILY make an exception for Momofuku. I think the thick and chewy texture of the noodles help make it more satisfying, so I don’t need the broth to feel like I’ve eaten a hearty meal.
All the flavors are also straightforward and traditional. Momofuku isn’t going for gimmicks; they want to make an instant noodle that delivers a high-quality, restaurant-esque experience for you to enjoy at home. You can also (one might even say encouraged to) add your own mix-ins since the flavor profiles are so accessible, and the noodles themselves are such a large part of the experience. The noodles and sauce packets make a phenomenal base when you want to add some of your own garnishes and tastes. Overall, Momofuku didn’t just want to make noodles, they wanted to make a canvas (which can also double as a finished painting, of course).
The three flavors Momofuku currently boast are: Soy and scallion, spicy soy, and tingly chili wavy noodles. I tried all three! All three are similar inside to pack (air-dried noodles + sauce packet), but the soy and scallion flavor also has a pack of dried scallions, and the tingly chili noodles are thicker than the other two flavors.
Soy and Scallion: This is the simplest, and only non-spicy, flavor. The umami and sweetness are balanced in the soy sauce within the sauce mix, and the sesame oil gives it some earthiness. I added a soft-boiled egg and some Korean seasoned spinach to the noodles when I tried them, and I almost forgot I was eating instant noodles!
Spicy Soy: This was a step up in spiciness, but nothing too major. I mean, my spice tolerance is certainly nothing special, but I handled it fine. I again added a soft boiled egg (but feel free to add something else, I just don’t eat meat and LOVE eggs), and some more of my Korean seasoned spinach (say YES to prepping side-dishes). The taste of this flavor is basically the same as the soy and scallion flavor, but there are no scallions, and chili oil is added to the sauce packet. Go for this one if you want something similar with extra warmth.
Tingly Chili Wave: This one is definitely spicier! It was so spicy I needed to add peanut butter to cope. Despite already knowing this, I did also add some spicy marinated tofu crisps though… So I didn’t do myself any favor… This one has a more complex blend of flavors thanks to the abundance of spices in the chili paste, including numbing Sichuan peppercorn. The thicker noodles also provided an even more substantial mouthfeel.
Momofuku noodles also keep well as leftovers, which cannot be said for every instant noodle. The very first time I had the tingly chili noodles, I did not finish them (I had laid myself out a veritable buffet and overestimated how much I could eat). But the next day I just needed to microwave them, and they were as good as new! We can probably thank the sturdiness of the noodles for that.
Overall, Momofuku noodles are simple, but in that simplicity they go for quality over quantity. The ingredients list are relatively simple, but they seek the best for each ingredient used, which allows underestimated flavors to shine and reveal their own complexity as they flow over your taste buds. The noodles are also special for the same reason. They too are simple, but their quality is practically incomparable within the instant noodle arena. And for more ideas about how to customize Momofuku noodles, check out shop.momofuku.com/blogs/recipes/tagged/noodles