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Review: The 11 Best Instant Noodles in Kenya

This post is curated toward finding the best instant noodles that are readily available in the Kenyan market, you will probably find most if not all in your nearest big supermarket, especially Carrefour where they are the cheapest

Also Read: Why Carrefour is the Cheapest Supermarket in Kenya.

Hello there, there’s a 75% chance that you are a K-pop Stan. There is also a 25% chance you are just an average person who loves good noodles (that are not the basic indomie). Either way, we shall coexist in this post

Generally, the best noodles are from Korea, 9 of 10 are (not the other Korea)

Let’s jump right into it, I have tried all of them so that you don’t have to

Kimchi is pickled cabbage with a spicy and sour taste

Ramyun Korean style is instant noodles and not Ramen

11. Nongshim Chapagetti

Chapagetti Original
Chapagetti Original

Price: KSh 325

Sounds like chapati and spaghetti made a baby,  aww I’m aww I’mm so happy for them!

Good in texture, chewy and thick but flavor-wise they are a little on the bland side. 

This is probably the most underwhelming instant noodle. 

The flavor notes are so flat I’m starting to think; maybe you aren’t supposed to prepare them according to package instructions

10. Jin Ramen

Jin Ramen Mild
Jin Ramen Mild

Price: KSh 347

Has a subtle sweetness to it, infact I find it a little sweeter than my liking packed with umami. 

Flavors unlike chapagetti, are punchy, but not punchy to your face; more like balanced well. The featured image is a mild version but I prefer the spicy version more

The mild version is for those who can’t handle spice or salt levels, or if you just want a simple dish. 

Jin Ramen is not that popular but it is one of my personal favorites and I serve it with soft-boiled marinated egg (This list is not ranked)

I would recommend Jin Ramen Mild, for those getting started on instant noodles

9. Samyang Red Hot Chicken

Samyang Red 2x Spicy
Samyang Red 2x Spicy

Price: KSh 350

Samyang sounded familiar, not because it sounds like Samsung (also a Korean brand), but Samyang Optics literally, a camera lens manufacturer from South Korea for; Canon, Nikon, and Fuji…Photography nerds get it

These noodles especially the 2x spicy version are not for you if you have a low spice tolerance. Even the regular ones are a bit spicy, even more than the red Shin ones. 

If the Shin Red hurts you, Samyang will make you pass out, and Shin Black will bury you.

8. Samyang Black

Samyang Black
Samyang Black

Price: KSh 350

These noodles are just plain amazing, so tasty, and just like all Samyang noodles the spice just explodes.. addition of cheese takes everything to the next level.

If you want a less or mid-spicy level, then don’t use the entire sauce in the packing, maybe use a small portion and mix it with water, then adjust accordingly to where it hits your spot

Serve with whatever you please on the side; crunchy vegetables, soft-boiled eggs, or omelets

7. Neoguri Ramyun Seafood

Neoguri Seafood
Neoguri Seafood

Price: KSh 288

If you love thick noodles and chapagetti is bland, Neoguri will be your next best option. They have seaweed in them that makes the overall flavor just heavenly, ESPECIALLY THE SOUP! yes, I had to shout about that

Since Neoguri is thick and chewy, it is the single noodle in this list that stays the longest without suddenly turning soggy from the soup

The spice level is not that intense or flat, just on par with Shin Red and Buldak. 

Neoguri flavor can be stretched further by the addition of milk (to replace a portion of water) or cheese slices

Yes, Neoguri is seafood-based but it doesn’t mean it stinks like fish or tastes fishy, just all balanced.

6. Buldak Black Hot Chicken

Buldak Black
Buldak Black

Price: KSh 332

Buldak Black Chicken is rubbery and chewy in texture when done in a good way, and has sweet notes to it, the liquid sauce has some sort of intense heat and pungent smell and it is all roses and flowers at the start

After like 30 seconds is when you start feeling the heat from your throat and it just spreads backward to your lips, have a drink nearby to cool everything.

BuldaK Black Chicken Noodles' Sauces
BuldaK Black Chicken Noodles’ Sauces

But on the spice side of things, say the 2x Buldak, it just slaps if you are a heat person, it is just tolerable enough, not top crazy not mid either. 

In general, you will taste more spice and heat here than the noodle flavor, probably one of my least favorites alongside chapagetti

5. Buldak Red Hot Chicken

Buldak 2x Spicy(Red)
Buldak 2x Spicy(Red)

Price: KSh 332

Can’t tell a difference from the black one, only that this is sweeter, more like sweet and spicy. This is even so obvious from the packaging that says “with added sugar”

The red is just a sweeter version of the black(but not less spicy)

4. Buldak Carbonara

Buldak Carbo (Carbonara) Cup
Buldak Carbo Cup

Price: KSh 332

The Buldak Carbonara is my personal favorite in the Buldak series. It’s actually the mildest in terms of spiciness among the Buldak varieties and offers the creamiest noodle experience in the entire list, thanks to the carbo seasoning pack included with the cup.

The powder pack in this version is all white and contains powdered cheese along with some dried herbs.

 The carbo pack has a sweet taste by itself, and when you try the powder individually, it has a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth quality.

Along with the carbo seasoning, the Buldak Carbonara also includes the standard Buldak sauce (found in the red packet, like the one labeled as number 6), but this version is relatively mild when it comes to heat.

The noodles themselves are on the thick side, have a rectangular cross-section, and are not rounded.

Buldak Carbo Sauce & Carbo Powder
Buldak Carbo Sauce & Carbo Powder

Now, preparing the Buldak Carbo according to the instructions on the packet can be a bit messy. The recommended 3 tablespoons of water is quite a lot and tends to make the noodles overly soggy, resulting in a soup-like mixture in the end. 

For a better overall experience, it’s advisable to add less water, around 1 tablespoon, after draining the excess when adding the carbo powder. 

This will make the preparation process easier and improve the overall chewy texture of the noodles.

3. Shin Ramyun Red Noodle Soup

Red Shin Ramyun
Red Shin Ramyun

Price: Ksh 273

If there is a G.O.A.T  in the noodles world, it is not Messi but Shin noodles

Shin Ramyun has a better, richer, and more balanced flavor compared to Jin Ramen which is the closest contender. It is a little on the saltier side tho. 

In terms of heat they both bow down to Buldak noodles which are way spicier, but the Shin tastes way better if flavor is your buying point

This being the most famous and common noodle, it is obviously the one that started it all for me. It is actually one of the best and most loved, more like a gold standard. When you say Korean noodles this is the first one to ring my mind.

Just prepare it according to the package instructions and add chopped spring onion leaves to liven everything up, add a soft-boiled egg, a stick of butter, and kimchi on the side if you feel extra fancy or authentic. 

Shin Ramyun has a cup version that is easier to prepare by just adding water to the marked level and covering it.

2. Shin Black

Shin Black Noodles
Shin Black Noodles

Once you go, Shin Black, there is no going back to the Red

It has a bone marrow flavor, so it makes the best soup or broth. It the bomb spice-wise like the spice got another layer of spice in it (if that makes sense)

Shin Black’s spice is so hot and good that it will de-congest your sinuses, forget Rob or Menthol-Plus, that is how spicy this bad boy is. It will literally steam your face.

I don’t know which is right, peppery or spicy…I would say the Shin Black is spicy while the classic Shin Red is peppery

 It however costs more than the standard red, almost twice as much. That is too expensive and not worth it for me, especially for regular consumption. These are like special ones especially if I have had a long day.

1. Indomie Mi Goreng

Indomie Mi Goreng
Indomie Mi Goreng

Price: KSh 250

This is not your average Indomie, mi goreng is fried noodles from Indonesia. This means they have a distinct flavor from the classic chicken or beef. 

They are a little sweeter and more flavorful, I don’t mind it just take note. Their seasoning and spices are in sauce form and not powdered like the classic common versions. 

The sauce packets have soy sauce, chili sauce, and sesame oil, the sesame oil especially makes everything just better. 

There are crushed aromatics like ginger, and garlic that stretch the flavors even wider

Since these are fried noodles, they are prepared differently. The sauces and spices should be mixed in the bowl you will serve in, and not added to your noodles while cooking

Read: Preparing Indomie Mi Goreng Noodles


Sweetest Noodles: Jin Ramen(Mild)

Spicy Noodles: Shin Black, Buldak Noodles(All)

Non-Soggy Noodles: Neoguri Seafood

Best for Beginners: Jin Ramen(Mild),  Shin Ramyun (Red)

Best Creamy Noodles: Buldak Carbonara

Best for soup (broth): Shin Ramyun Black or Red


Are Instant noodles healthy? Yes, despite the high sodium content and lack of proteins everything else is perfect. Keep in mind these are processed foods thus consume them in moderation, say twice a week

What is the difference between noodles and instant noodles? they are the same thing except the instant ones are pre-cooked in the factory and dried thus they cook faster at home compared to fresh noodles

How are instant noodles made? Wheat flour, salt, and water are kneaded to form a dough, that is stretched out and cut into noodle strings which are then steamed to (precook) and dried for packaging as a solid block

Benefits of Instant noodles: Generally cheap and convenient to prepare, ideal for busy schedules and lifestyles.

Negative effects of Instant noodles: Some brands have high-fat content, especially the cheap deep-fried ones. As mentioned sodium levels are high, and the noodles on themselves are not a balanced diet, you need protein, vitamins, and fiber intake to supplement them as a dish.

Is indomie healthy to eat? Yes but in moderation and accompanied by proteins eg fried egg, and vegetables or fruits for vitamins and fiber

Should you add salt to instant noodles? No, they are already pre-salted so you shouldn’t add any more, the sodium content is already too high

What is better, spaghetti (pasta) or instant noodles? Both are processed from wheat, spaghetti is Italian while noodles are Asian. Pasta is more versatile and comes in hundreds of shapes and thicknesses, served with sauces while noodles are served in soups and broth. So spaghetti is a type of noodle( and a type of pasta)

Why was indomie banned in Kenya? It was suspected to contain aflatoxins which were later proved otherwise

Where is indomie from? Indomie is an Indonesian brand, mi goreng listed is from Indonesia. The other common flavors in Kenya are produced by Indomie Kenya a noodle factory in Mombasa

What are the indomie flavors in Kenya? Chicken is the most common, then Beef, and the newest addition is Supa Mojo

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