If Your Meals Has Only Been Filled with Instant Ramen, I have Five Other Noodles That Have Been Missing From Your Life (Sentence)

Instant ramen is always touted as a food for college students, but in jails across the country, it’s as good as gold (used as a currency)

Inmates might be limited to Maruchan ramen, but for those of you on the outside who are not on a college student/inmate budget, you have a number of other choices. The only other thing you’ll need is your freedom and access to hot water and chef Mic(rowave) to be able to try these other five instant noodles.

instant-noodles-featured-image. Photo Description: a pile of instant noodles piled atop a table. The bulk of the brands are Japanese, but there is one Korean brand. The packaging is very colorful from black/ed, gold/red, blue, to yellow packaging with Japanese kana.
This is the sort of bounty that might only attract young college age students willingly into my bunker during a zombie apocalypse. Although once you try some of the other types of noodles, I’ll save you a spot inside the ole bunker as long as you don’t shank me for my noodles.

This list is dedicated to all the people who are currently incarcerated.

1. RAMEN (“Soups”)

Instant ramen brands tend to have noodles with a mundane chew and taste that’ll remind you that you’re eating an instant noodle. If that reminds you of the time you were doing a stint either in the big house or in college, you should drop a few more George Washington’s on the Myojo brand which has a noodle that’ll taste like freedom.

Type of nooodle: wheat flour
Type of broth/flavors: sesame flavored sauce with mustard.
Brand/product: Myojo Chukazanmai Hiyashi Chuka (a cold ramen).
Preparation type: hot water
If you fancy: you got to get fancy with this one, so don’t waste this packaged noodles on eating it straight. Go out and get and julienne cucumbers, ham/shrimp, tomatoes, kaiware, and some eggs for an omlette (also the must have condiment is Chinese mustard). If you’re limited on ingredients, maybe these jailhouse recipes by Gustavo “Goose” Alvarez will help (here’s a preview of his book)
Size: 4.9 oz
Pricing: $1.38

It does not matter if you have a pertty mouth because your mouth will love the chew of these noodles.
If you had these on any cell block, these would be like Benjamins which would allow you to buy all the bats and papers you want.


Korean, Japanese, Chinese, etc., it doesn’t matter because anybody who loves spicy will have to turn to the Koreans or Thai people for that because Japanese don’t really do spicy.

Type of noodle: wheat flour
Type of broth/flavors: spicy enough to slightly burn your bunghole.
Brand/product: NongShim/Shin Ramen
Preparation type: hot water/microwavable
If you fancy: “Budae jjigae (click the link for the recipe)” or “booo-tayyy, jiggle it all daaay,” is not how you pronounce that, but I can tell you that it is dish that you can mimic with a package of Shin Ramyun. The only other thing you’ll need to start off with is some Spam, hot dogs, or Vienna sausages. Toss that all in, along with some veggies, kim chi, and you have got a dish good enough to serve in a restaurant in Seoul (yea, that’s where I got taken too even though I was hoping for galbitang).
Size: 4.2oz
Pricing: $3.88 (x4)

That perfectly round puck of noodles fits perfectly in a saucepan unless you have a square pan.
I’m sure I have a pic of booty jjigae from my trips to Korea, but I’m not going to look for them. Image by Jo del Corro aka “RamenFuel.”


If you want to get healthier, you just might want to be looking at an entirely different web page, but I get it, but baby steps. So I can’t fault you for starting with a healthier instant noodle because these noodles are partially made of buckwheat, and if you don’t know the exact significance of that, either do I because I just finished off a handful of dark Almond Roca candies.

Type of noodle: wheat flour and buckwheat
Type of broth/flavors: midori no tanuki soba (1st pic), sansai soba (2nd pic)
Brand: Maruchan/Itomen
Preparation type: hot water (the bowl is not microwavable).
If you fancy: some kizami nori, green onions, and if you’re an “A” student, some tempura (keep in mind, I’m a “C-” student, and I still manage to put in the extra effort to do tempura).
Size: 3.5oz/2.8oz
Pricing: $1.98/$2.48

How did noodles end up being referred to as “oriental” because nobody says they watch an oriental television or drive an oriental car,  well maybe in Texas they do.
That looks like a piece off of Big Bird (I wish), but it is only a piece of tempura.
Any time you eat something slighltly healthy, you have to counter it with something fried/unhealthy because it balances out the universe.
If you wear yoga pants, these noodles go great with them.
That’s not a whole lot of “sansai (mountain vegetables)” in this package (the packaging art always looks better like a lot of Tinder profiles).


The best way to eat somen is chilled with a basic dashi, green onions, and myoga. That is all you need because we good with just that.

Type of noodle: thin, wheat flour noodle
Type of broth/flavors: soy and bonito dashi
Brand/product: Shirakiku/Sanukiya spicy somen
Preparation type: hot water (microwable cup)
If you fancy: no need to get fancy with somen, but putting in the extra effort to chill the dashi, dice some green onions, and grate some ginger or slice up some myoga are all you will ever need.
Size: 5.82oz

NOTE TO SELF: spicy somen suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks (stick with the basic somen).
I did take a pic of that spicy somen, but I can’t show it because it’s a crap way to eat somen. So, I have chosen to show this image that reminded me of the way I had it with my grandma/obachan as a wee kid. Image by Toshiyuki Imai


Ohhhh yea, as for instant noodles, I have got to say udon reigns supreme because I got a thing for aburaage (fried tofu), tempura, and curry which all go great with udon.

Type of nooodle: thick wheat flour noodle
Type of broth/flavors: bonito/katsuo dashi
Brand: Shirakiku/Sanukiya udon
Preparation type: hot water
If you fancy: bust out the deep fryer because tempura veggies to shrimp go great with udon. If you don’t deep fry, try thinly cut strips of beef to green onions, fish cake, and curry go extremely well with udon.
Size: 7.79oz
Pricing: $2.98-$3.29

Udon is so easy to make that I don’t think I ever buy the basic dashi sort, and I typically go for the curry udon which beats eating a Cup’o’Noodles.
They didn’t skimp with the dehydrated green onions.


This one can be a life changer for noobs because yakisoba in instant form isn’t that far off from the real thing.

Type of nooodle: wheat flour noodle (not actually soba)
Type of broth/flavors: brothless but doused with yakisoba sauce.
Brand: Myojo/Ippei-Chan Yakisoba
Preparation type: hot water
If you fancy: add sautéed veggies such as onions, cabbage, and bean sprouts although most veggies work for yakisoba. As for meats, my go to is pork belly. Additional condiments and add-ons include beni shoga (pickled ginger), ao nori (green seaweed flakes), and more Kewpie (Japanese mayo).
Size: 4.8oz
Pricing: $2.38-$3.79

This can feel like the Cadillac of noodles when done up with additional ingredients.
The basics of the package minus the mayo and ao nori (green seaweed).
The first pic is how you’d eat it in prison, but this pic is how it would eat it if you’re on the outside living large.

These 5 Instant Noodles Should Taste Like Freedom (Now Get Back to Your Cubicle/Cell).

Well that is a total of five Japanese and one Korean instant noodle, and if you thought these were any good, wait till you find out what the rest of Asia has to offer. Not to mention how cheap and tasty Thai instant noodles (sweet, sour, salty, spicy) can be…. without having to rely on anybody’s prison pocket to smuggle it in.

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