Thanks to Groupon, I’ve had the chance to try the legendary Buldak Bokkeum Myun Korean Instant Noodles, also known as “Fire Noodles” for being the spiciest Korean instant noodle out there.
Produced by Samyang, it comes in the packet and cup variety and doesn’t come cheap. Groupon was offering 10 packets for RM45 and a quick check on Amazon showed that they were selling it for $12.73 for 5 packs, excluding shipping.
Because it is a dry noodle, you get 2 packs of seasoning – a seasoning sauce and a pack of seaweed and sesame seed mixture.
While cutting the seasoning sauce packet, some sauce got on my finger and almost immediately, there was a slight tingling sensation, probably a sign of what was to come.
The noodles itself is quite large. It’s probably 1 1/2 the size of a regular Maggi instant noodle. Mine was slightly undercooked. Cook it for probably 4-5 minutes or do a texture test to get to the texture you want.
My dad ate the noodles before me so his was cooked better and he commented that the noodles are springy and nice. Yes, it was very spicy but he didn’t find it particularly appealing.
My first mouthful was ‘Mmmm sweet. Mmmm seaweed taste’ before half a minute passed and it became ‘Holy crap this is spicy’. My tolerance for spiciness is slightly above average. Even if you can eat cili padi in soy sauce without wincing, this will still hit you hard. There’s a lot of sauce to go around as you can see, so you can vary the amount to your liking.
The sauce is slightly sweet and reminds me of gochujang, the spicy bean paste commonly used in Korean cooking. The seaweed added a nice briny and earthy taste to the noodles. I was surprised that the taste was still evident despite the heat. The sesame seeds, unlike the seaweed, did not have a fragrance until you bite into them as they were not roasted.
I would definitely recommend adding meat, vegetables or a runny sunny side up to soak up some of the heat. I tried to finish all of it without drinking any water but failed halfway through. I had one glass of water while eating the noodles and one glass after. At the end, I had 1 1/2 mouthfuls of noodle left which I had to pass to my dad because I was on fire by then. However, the burning of the chilli doesn’t last long. After that 2nd glass of water, the spiciness subsided.
Do try this for the heck of it. I’d say that it’s still a tasty pack of noodles, depending on your tolerance.