Masochism: it’s defined as the enjoyment of pain and suffering. Evidently, many Singaporeans appear to give in to their masochistic tendencies when it comes to torturing themselves with the spiciest instant noodles possible, as shown through all the spicy noodle challenges that have dominated the internet over the years.
With the huge selection of spicy instant noodles currently conveniently accessible across the nation, it may be difficult to decide which brands live up to their claims of being the spiciest noodles in the world and which are bordering on false advertising.
But fret not, SETHLUI.com readers, for I shall valiantly sacrifice my taste buds and stomach to deliver the penultimate ranking of spicy instant noodles available in Singapore.
Here are a few ground rules that I set for the fairest comparison: One, all noodles were of the dry varieties. Two, I used the whole sauce and seasoning packets provided, squeezing out every last drop. Three, I allowed myself some time in between tasting each brand so that the flavours and spice of the previous brand wouldn’t affect my experience with the next one.
Which brands don’t live up to the spice hype? Which ones are worth frying your tastebuds off for? Let the spicy instant noodle showdown begin!
Samyang Hot Chicken Instant Noodles 2x Spicy
Kicking off the Spicy Instant Noodle showdown is arguably the most famous spicy noodle brand in the world: Samyang. This Korean brand took over the internet when folks all over the world took on the Fire Noodle Challenge, with hundreds of videos online documenting valiant challengers attempting to conquer these noodles.
I am certainly no stranger to these noodles as they can be found in almost all supermarkets and convenience stores. These noodles can be obtained in three different sizes: a 70g cup at S$2.05, a 105g cup at S$2.80, or a bundle of five 140g packets at S$7.50.
I went for the 105g cup, which came with a packet of Samyang hot sauce and a packet of seaweed and sesame seeds.
After I had mixed the sauce into the cooked noodles, they adopted an appetising bright orange hue.
Initially, the spice was rather mild in my mouth, but it slowly built up over the span of a few seconds. Soon, I found myself breaking into a sweat after a few more mouthfuls as the full force of the noodles caught up to me.
I would rate the spice level as around eight out of ten, as while it made me pant and sweat, I was still able to finish it without any problem.
As for the other elements, the Samyang noodles were rather chewy and the sauce had a pretty strong taste of chicken. However, I would’ve liked for the flavours to be stronger as it did taste a little bland in comparison to the searing heat.
It is important to eat these noodles fresh as they got rather clumpy and sticky after I let them sit for a while. Regardless, Samyang definitely earns its spot in this showdown.
Maggi Pedas Giler Ayam Bekar Instant Noodles
Fun fact: pedas giler means “crazy spicy”. Despite Maggi being a household brand in Singapore, I’ve never tried their version of spicy noodles as I’d always been slightly sceptical of whether or not the name was just for show.
I obtained these noodles at S$2.10 for a 98g cup.
The Pedas Giler noodles came with a packet of powdered seasoning and two sauces. When mixed into the cooked noodles, they also became bright orange, with a similar look to Samyang’s noodles.
The texture of these noodles were slightly thinner and softer than the Samyang noodles. When I initially tried a mouthful of the noodles, I found them a little bland and rather mild.
However, like the Samyang noodles, the spice took some time to build up and eventually, I felt the dull heat of the Pedas Giler noodles heating up my mouth like a furnace. However, flavour wise, it could have been stronger with a little more salty or savoury elements.
The spice was considerably strong, though I’d consider it to be on the slightly milder side. I’d give it a seven and a half out of ten on the spice scale, as it did pack some heat, but not to the extent that Samyang’s did.
Mie Sedaap Korean Spicy Chicken Instant Noodles
The second and last Indonesian spicy noodle brand I found was Mie Sedaap. The 81g cups were available at Sheng Siong for only S$1, so I decided to try it out too.
The Mie Sedaap cup surprised me as it came with a whopping four different seasoning packets (five, if you consider the two chilli packets to be separate), despite its small noodle portion. Like the Pedas Giler noodles, Mie Sedaap uses a mix of powdered seasoning and sauce packets.
Initially I was worried about these noodles being too salty because of the significantly higher amount of seasonings, and while it was definitely saltier than its competitors, it was also the most flavourful.
I find that most spicy instant noodles more or less taste the same, but Mie Sedaap’s noodles were noticeably different as they had more flavour and the noodles were much thinner and softer than other brands. They somewhat reminded me more of bee hoon than regular instant noodles.
As for the spice, while Mie Sedaap does offer a bit of a spicy kick, it was certainly the mildest of all the brands I tried. It’s still rather hot and someone with a low spice tolerance may be unable to finish it, but personally, I would give it six and a half out of ten in terms of spice.
Because of the tolerable yet shiok spice level and the tastiness of the noodles, I was able to finish the entire cup easily.
Bulmawang Devil of Fire Ramen
Of all the brands in this showdown, Bulmawang sells itself as a spicy noodle brand the most. I mean, “Devil of Fire“ is a pretty gnarly way to either scare off customers or pique their interest. These noodles are only sold in bundles of four 130g packs at FairPrice for S$9.80, so unfortunately, you can’t sample a single packet to see if you can take it.
The noodles came with a packet of hot sauce and a packet of seaweed, crispy rice bits and sesame seeds. Most notably, both packets came with a warning symbol printed on the surface, and Bulmawang’s Devil of Fire ramen is pretty hell-bent (no pun intended) on branding itself as “The Spiciest Ramen in the World”.
These noodles allegedly have a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) of 14,444 (in comparison, Samyang’s 2x Spicy noodles are 8,808SHU), so I was expecting these to burn me alive from the inside.
Visually, the Devil of Fire noodles looked almost identical to Samyang’s, especially with their scarlet colour and addition of seaweed and sesame seeds as garnish.
The taste was also incredibly similar to Samyang’s, with the only discernible difference being the thickness of the noodles. These were slightly thicker and very chewy, compared to Samyang’s which were a little thinner.
Despite the repeated claims of it supposedly being the spiciest ramen in the world, I didn’t find the spice level to be all that. Perhaps at this point, my tongue had already been numbed to hell and back (again, no pun intended), but it was very slightly milder than Samyang’s.
While it initially tasted a little bland, the spice took a few seconds and a few bites to build, and soon enough, I felt the burn. I sweated and panted and my heart rate picked up.
Despite all that, I still have the gall to say that these noodles were considerably tolerable. Did they incinerate my organs like I had been led to believe from the packaging? Not at all. While these noodles did make me feel very uncomfortable, I was still able to finish them, just at a slower rate.
I’d give this about an eight and a half out of ten on the spice scale. However, given how similar it is in taste to the more accessible Samyang noodles, there’s really no need to specifically get these if you’re craving spicy noodles.
Daebak Ghost Pepper Spicy Chicken Noodles
The final brand in this spicy instant noodle showdown is Daebak with its Ghost Pepper Spicy Chicken Noodles, which instantly stand out from the other brands for two reasons. One, it’s the only brand to prominently feature ghost pepper as its star ingredient, and two, the noodles are stark black.
These noodles are sold exclusively at 7Eleven, where you can obtain one 80g cup for S$2.90, or two for S$5, making them the most expensive noodles in this spicy instant noodle showdown.
Unlike its competitors that provided two to four sauce and seasoning packets, Daebak had a more minimalistic approach – a single packet of hot sauce was provided to go with the noodles.
The sauce had a deep red colour, though it wasn’t noticeable against the black noodles.
Let this be my warning to all of you spice intolerant folks out there. Daebak’s Ghost Pepper Spicy Chicken Noodles are most definitely NOT for the weak of heart. From the moment that I laid these dark tendrils on my tongue, I instantly felt the spice rushing from my taste receptacles to my entire mouth. The spice comes fast, and it comes strong.
These noodles tasted rather different compared to the other brands, as it had a somewhat smokey flavour. The ghost pepper in the name wasn’t for show either, as there was a strong taste of pepper in it.
The spice lingered on in my mouth like a clingy ex, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that these noodles caused me physical pain. I sweated like I had gone on a 1km jog. I panted like a dehydrated dog in the Sahara desert. I even teared up just a little, which the other brands had not been able to make me do.
Honestly? Daebak’s noodles made the other brands look like chumps. While the others gave me a spicy kick, the Ghost Pepper Spicy Chicken Noodles sucker-punched me in the face. I put a whole ice cube into my mouth to quell the flame, but even that didn’t help much.
These noodles were the only ones that I struggled to finish, and I have to admit that I’m a little scared to try them again. Daebak’s noodles most definitely earn a ten out of ten in spice.
Despite the intense spice, this was my least favourite in terms of flavour, partially because I dislike the taste of peppers, and also because the excruciating spice overwhelmed everything else.
The champion of the Spicy Instant Noodle Showdown is without a doubt Daebak’s Ghost Pepper Spicy Chicken Noodles. Eating it felt like I had swallowed a candle as it burned me from the inside out.
From spiciest to least spicy, I would rank the noodles I tried as such: Daebak’s Ghost Pepper Spicy Chicken, Bulmawang’s Devil of Fire Ramen, Samyang 2x Spicy Chicken, Maggi’s Pedas Giler, and lastly, Mie Sedaap.
However, I have to give an honourable mention to Mie Sedaap for being the tastiest of all the noodles, especially with it being the cheapest. I could foresee myself having Mie Sedaap’s spicy noodles again as they were at a comfortable level of spice and packed lots of flavour.
If you ever feel like setting your mouth on fire for fun, why not grab a cup of Daebak’s Ghost Pepper Spicy Chicken Noodles from your nearest 7Eleven? After all, there’s no greater pleasure than pain.
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