Nongshim Kalbimmyeon Instant Noodles Review

An unopened package of Nongshim Kalbimmyeon
Photo by Author

Nongshim Kalbimmyeon is a mashup of South Korean Kalguksu and Bibimmyeon, which makes it the perfect combination for a summery day’s snack. For those of you that might not have any experience with these two types of noodles, allow me to explain.

Kalguksu is, at least traditionally, a seasonal bowl of noodles eaten in summer. It incorporates thick noodles that are made by using wheat flour bathed in broth.

Similarly to Kalguksu, Bibimmyeon is often enjoyed in summer, but has radically different flavors. Bibimmyeon uses a red pepper paste (gochujang) that has a slightly spicy flavor. It also uses noodles that are quite a bit thinner than the ones found in Kalguksu.

Like I mentioned above, Nongshim brought out the particle accelerator and collided these two different types of noodles together to create something unique. Combining these noodles has created a sweet and spicy set of cold noodles with a strong kimchi flavor that I think is perfect for a snack on a warm day.

Flavor:

There is a strong kimchi flavor that comes out in these noodles. It’s actually a surprisingly fresh flavor that is a little sour and not too salty. These noodles strike a nice balance between the kimchi and the sweetness of the red pepper paste. This creates an overall flavor that is sweet, sour, and slightly salty. It really does make me reminisce about eating cold noodles on a sweltering hot summers day.

Spiciness:

Despite the use of red pepper paste (gochujang), these noodles are not all that spicy. I would comfortably place these noodles somewhere in the medium heat range. It’s more of a tongue spiciness that doesn’t really build all that much.

Smell:

I can definitely sense the kimchi in these noodles. They smell like a combination of fried kimchi and noodles. It’s a very appetizing smell if you’re a fan of kimchi.

Texture:

Surprisingly, the noodles came out al dente, despite being boiled for 5 minutes! The noodles are much thicker in diameter than typical instant ramen noodles. They resemble kalguksu noodles (a bit redundant there!). The texture of the noodles works well with the texture of the sauce. The noodles turned out fairly cold and luckily not warm, because they needed to be rinsed. I would make sure your tap water is fairly chilly before rinsing these though! Another added bonus to the overall texture was the addition of kimchi. The kimchi gave the bowl of noodles a more satisfying texture.

Overall Impression:

These noodles will make you happy if you enjoy the flavor of kimchi or more specifically the fried version of kimchi. In general though, these noodles are well-balanced. They aren’t overtly strong in any flavor, so no surprises here! These will definitely be going into my rotation of noodles to consume during the summer months. It’s fairly hot and humid outside now in South Korea, so this is the perfect moment to enjoy these noodles.

That’s it for the review! I would love to hear what you think. Do you think you would like to have cold noodles on a warm summer’s day? Have you ever tried cold noodles before? Also, do you have any suggestions about the content I have been posting? I’m looking for some feedback. Let me know down in the comments.

If you’re interested in hearing more about instant ramen, check out my on-going series, Noodle Story: An Exploration of Korean Instant Noodles, here on Medium.

Note: This article may contain affiliate links.

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Foodie, Cyclist, Educator… Living the expat life in Busan, South Korea — Check out Burger n' Kimchi on YouTube for a glimpse of South Korean Food!