Ottogi Yeol Ramen Review
Just looking at this package might make you reel back in fear because of the menacing demon’s fingers of red chili peppers and the fiery logo. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth with Ottogi’s Yeol Ramen. These noodles bring the most perfectly balanced spiciness that might make you sweat, but leave you feeling refreshed after consuming an entire bowl. They aren’t hellishly spicy at all! I didn’t even spend the next day glued to the seat either! I’m seriously glad that didn’t happen, or else my bike ride with friends might have had me running frantically around the mountains in search of a place to not decimate my bibs. Ottogi Yeol Ramen is literally spice perfection dialed in to the T.
Oily, but delicious. Ottogi Yeol Ramen has a tasty flavor similar to most of the classic spicy instant noodles out there. It is very Shin Ramen-esque with its salty, spicy, and savory MSG flavor about it. It also utilizes red chili pepper powder for some flavor and punch. The only thing it’s really missing is a bit more generous amounts of the ingredients. The flakes are diverse, but there’s not a lot of them. I found some: spring onion, shards of mushrooms, two tiny slices of carrot, and maybe another one or two slices of red chili pepper. Ottogi definitely skimped on the flakes. Not happy…
The spiciness comes from Korean red chili peppers, but it’s not really all that spicy. These are maybe a mild-medium level of heat for myself. If you’re a bit weaker to the spice, then this might be a solid medium. It made my mouth tingle as the spiciness built with every bite. It was never uncomfortable. I did begin to sweat a little though. The heat will be borderline perfection for most humans.
These noodles definitely smell much spicier than they actually are… As I was cooking this ramen, I was coughing from the red chili pepper powder fumes as they released into the air. That’s only really happened with some of the offerings from Samyang before, so you would think that these noodles have a significant amount of spiciness to them. However, that’s definitely not the case. I could smell both the spiciness from the soup in combination with the noodles.
These noodles act like little sponges! They really absorbed the spicy broth well. However, the noodles did swell up pretty quickly, so don’t let this ramen sit for too long! These are basic ramen noodles, so don’t expect anything radical from the flavor. The cook on the noodles was fine too. They ended up soft, but fairly firm. I would reach for a cup of Yeol instead of a package if you like your noodles al dente. It’s difficult to control the timing when boiling ingredients together for a long time.
Ok. First, the good news. Ottogi’s Yeol Ramen is actually pretty tasty for just a plain ol’ classically flavored package of instant noodles. The spice level is exactly where I would want it to be as well. These noodles are spicy enough to release some stress after a hard day of work or studying, but not so hot to where you burn a hole through your stomach lining. Most people will find this level of spiciness just right, but this would definitely be lethal to children. This might be the most balanced spiciness of all the ramen.
What I don’t like is that the flavor is too much like Shin Ramen. We aren’t really breaking any new ground here at all. It’s kind of the same, but with a bit more spiciness to it. There also aren’t many flakes including in this ramen. It could use a boost similar to Shin Ramen Black. Minor complaints aside, Ottogi’s Yeol Ramen is a solid package of instant noodles. I definitely still recommend them, both for their flavor and perfect level of spiciness.
Does eating spicy food reduce your stress levels? Do you like to sweat out your stress? Let me know 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.