The Definitive Ranking Of The Best Ramen Noodle Flavors

The Definitive College Ranking Of 16 Ramen Noodle Flavors

I ate all of these for you!

Ramen noodles are the staple food of the modern American college student. They're cheap, filling and widely available, and as such, they have become a sort of cultural icon. Every kid who has set foot on a college campus in the last twenty years knows what ramen noodles taste like.

This is why I am here to provide you with a service. For too long the debate has raged on: “What's the best ramen flavor? What should I spend my hard-earned 25 cents on?" The little round head on the plastic packaging smiles at you from all angles. It's a desperate smile. He's imploring you -- make a decision, quickly. But there are so many choices lined up on the shelf. You have been standing in the aisle for what feels like multiple millennia; your friends, who were kind enough to take you out to the supermarket with them, are starting to really hate you. Everything around you is crumbling as you are absolutely unable to make up your mind.

I am presenting to you a way out of this situation, in the form of a definitive ranking, top to bottom, of every Maruchan ramen flavor, so that nobody has to spend this long in the ramen aisle ever again.

(Disclaimer: this is just an opinion, and I know opinions can be both wrong and scary, but know that if you give them no power they cannot hurt you. I am just a ramen enthusiast trying to help the poor soul lost in the aisle.)

16. Sriracha Chicken

sriracha chicken ramen

Alright, so, I'm a huge sriracha fan (I own that one shirt and everything), and when I saw this product on the shelves, I thought this flavor would make perfect sense. It's chicken with a kick, so to speak. The flavor packet provided is the foulest smelling thing I have experienced in quite a while. It just smells like straight up poison. So after going through that, I pull out my bowl and go to town. What do I find? This stuff has not even the slightest hint of sriracha flavor! It just tastes like a thing of chicken-flavored ramen that has gone kinda stale. Gross.

15. Lime Chili / Lime Chili Shrimp (tie)

lime chili shrimp ramen

I know a lot of people who are going to be mad at me, so let me preface this: I really don't like lime-flavored anything. There are very few things I like that have lime in them and that's why I have to rank these two so low. It does have a solid kick to it, but the lime taste really puts me off of it.

13. Shrimp

shrimp ramen

Serious question: why is this one of the most readily available flavors of ramen? I don't understand how something like this sells to anyone. It is just gross, artificial fish flavoring steeped in hot water. I just don't get it. The broth, while sufficiently salty, reeks of fish and even the sheer heat of it cannot mask the taste. I totally get why mom never let us keep this flavor around the house.

12. Picante Beef / Picante Chicken (tie)

picante beef ramen

I've only had these once and I was left entirely underwhelmed. Not very “Picante" at all.

10. Chicken Mushroom / Chicken Tortilla / Creamy Chicken

Creamy chicken ramen

Maruchan absolutely loves their twists on chicken flavored ramen. They're like the Fast and Furious sequels of ramen. There's too many of them, and they keep getting more and more ridiculous. Maybe it's because American audiences (i.e. me and you) eat that stuff up. That being said, these three are pretty alright as far as flavors go. I was incredibly skeptical of Creamy Chicken, because creamy is not an adjective I necessarily look for in ramen, but I found myself pleasantly surprised. Chicken Mushroom is good, too, but it has really stiff competition.

7. Chili

chili ramen

Finally, a ramen with some kick. There's not much else going for it flavor-wise, but if you like heat, then this is probably your best bet, barring doing some ramen-doctoring of your own.

6. Chicken

chicken ramen

Everyone loves Chicken because it's a staple, but for me, it's simply average. It tastes like chicken, but it doesn't “aspire to anything great" to use my movie critic voice. It is and always will be there for you. Clean, simple chicken ramen.

5. Roast Beef

roast beef ramen

Roast Beef is the sequel to Beef that gives the fans what they want, but deep down, they know it's not as good as the original. Roasting the beef gives you more of that juicy broth you love, but something is missing in those spices. Still a good flavor, though.

4. Oriental

oriental ramen

Oriental Ramen tastes like what ramen should taste like all the time -- loaded with soy sauce, salty, savory and delicious. I add soy sauce to most of my ramen, but Oriental doesn't really need it because it already has that soy flavor packed in really well.

3. Beef

beef ramen

The staple. The classic. Number one in the hearts and minds of millions. The thick beef flavor overwhelms your taste buds (alright, let's be real here -- it's just packaged ramen. But still, this is some solid ramen.).

2. Roast Chicken

roast chicken ramen

If Roast Beef is the sequel that satisfies, Roast Chicken is the sequel that manages to surpass the original, like "Toy Story 2" or "Aliens." It takes it in a whole new direction, fleshes out the characters you know and love even more and gives you and your taste buds an experience that you wish you could relive again and again.

1. Pork

pork ramen

My mouth is salivating as I type this. I need to find more Pork ramen to complete my Pork ramen basement for when Doomsday comes. I will live and have lived off of Pork ramen for weeks at a time. It's the perfect ramen to dress up. Throw in some sesame oil and some soy sauce, some chives and maybe an egg. Ugh. This is ramen you can take home to Mom and Dad. This is ramen at its most complete. Maru-chan, that little round face on the plastic packaging, smiles because he knows that he has achieved perfection.

Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: NYT Cooking

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12 Starbucks Iced Drinks You NEED In Your Life This Summer

Must-try beverages brought to you by your local barista.

Be kind to your baristas, they can make you some pretty great drinks. With the temperature rising and the days getting longer, it's approaching the time to find your summer staple to keep you cool (and caffeinated) over the next few months.

Starbucks offers a wide variety of cold beverages that really hit the spot during the summer months, from espresso drinks to fraps, smoothies, teas and refreshers. As a Starbucks barista, I've had the opportunity to taste most drinks on the menu and receive feedback from customers on the do's and don'ts of cold beverages.

While this is not an exhaustive list, I pulled together some of my favorites to give you, the "Ultimate Starbucks Iced Beverage Bucket List for 2017" that you MUST try this season:

1. Pink Drink

Three words: Basic white girl. If you want a photogenic drink that tastes like a Starburst and makes baristas happy, the Pink Drink is for you. It's a pretty simple beverage... this Strawberry Acai Refresher combined with Coconutmilk is sure to satisfy your hipster needs.

2. Iced White Mocha

This sinfully sweet iced espresso drink is not only one of the most popular beverages on the menu, but sure to wake you up at any time of day. Jazz it up by asking for half white chocolate, half mocha sauce, topped with a mocha drizzle, and you've got yourself an Iced Tuxedo Mocha!

3. Doubleshot on Ice

If nothing else, this quick pick-me-up looks classy while giving you the energy boost you need to get through the day. With two shots of espresso, a bit of milk and classic syrup, this drink is easy to enjoy in little time... it's like a caffeine I.V.!

4. Iced Caramel Machiatto

Surprise, surprise... Caramel Machiattos are actually made with vanilla syrup. Nonetheless, these espresso-topped beverages are absolutely delicious at any time of year, but summer calls for ice! Want to change things up? Ask your barista to make it with half vanilla syrup, half toffee nut syrup to make an Iced Salted Caramel Machiatto!

5. Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher

A sister to the Pink Drink, the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher is a fruit juice-blackberry combo that makes for a pretty chilled beverage to enjoy on the go. The caffeine content is minimal, making it a great option for any time of day.

6. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Cold Brew is basically Starbucks' version of a smoother-tasting iced coffee with more caffeine. The Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew is a standard drink topped with vanilla-flavored heavy cream to create a sweet taste and a marbled appearance in the beverage. Want something with flavor, but not in the mood for vanilla? Try the Toasted Coconut Cold Brew!

7. Mango Black Tea Lemonade

The Mango Black Tea Lemonade is one of the most popular drinks on the menu. Iced Teavana tea mixed with mango syrup and lemonade makes for the perfect combination

8. Iced Chai Tea Latte

Iced Chais - sound so sophisticated, yet so simple to make. If you order this drink, there is a 10/10 chance that your barista will love you for it. Milk mixed with a sweet and spicy chai syrup makes for a classy drink that can be enjoyed at any time of day.

9. Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto

The identifying characteristic that makes a macchiato, well, a macchiato is that the espresso shots are poured on top of the milk and flavoring. Starbucks' Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto is a combination of cinnamon dolce syrup and almondmilk topped with espresso shots, a caramel drizzle and a cinnamon dolce topping to create a delicious dairy-free option in the macchiato family.

10. Sunset Refresher

This secret menu drink is fairly simple to make with a cool lime base, lemonade, lime slices, and ice topped with black tea. When finished, the drink will have an ombré appearance that makes it totally picture-worthy!

11. Iced Caffè Americano

Calling all espresso lovers: Americanos are a Starbucks signature. The drink itself is pretty simple - espresso and water topped with ice, but if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can mix things up with a flavored syrup. This drink is sure to wake you right up, no matter the time of day.

12. Strawberry Lemonade

Want something cold but not feeling coffee or a frap? Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is definitely worth a try! While this drink is not on the menu, most baristas are happy to make it upon request. Just ask for a combination of strawberry flavoring, lemonade, and ice blended together for a slushie-like beverage!

Cover Image Credit: FoodBeast

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...


In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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