Paldo Bibimmyeon Review (Cup Version)
Closely mimicking a traditional bowl of Bibimmyeon or cold noodles mixed with a spicy pepper paste, Paldo’s Bibimmyeon accurately portrays the sweet and spicy flavor combination that many of us enjoy. Eaten by both children and adults alike, Bibimmyeon, stands toe-to-toe with its noodle brethren, Naengmyeon, which is another popular style of ice-cold Korean noodles. This cup of instant noodles preserves its convenience by skipping the step of cooling the noodles, but still offers the same great flavor of the original.
The flavor of these noodles very much represents the Korean flavoring we’ve been seeing in things like potato chips, wings, and various other snacks these days. Paldo Bibimmyeon is sweet and spicy, culminating in a very pleasing flavor when in combination with the noodles. The instant version of the Gochujang (red pepper paste) sauce truly does taste like the flavor you would find in a Korean restaurant serving these noodles. Like the packaging suggests, adding in a hard-boiled egg or some finely chopped cucumber would bring back some of that traditional Bibimmyeon nostalgia and taste.
The overall sweetness of these noodles neutralizes much of the spiciness these noodles are packing. At first bite, these noodles are deliciously sweet. As you continue munching away bite by bite the heat gradually builds until that final, moderately spicy bite. Most people who can tolerate a bit of spiciness should have no problem eating these noodles.
Most of the instant ramen smell gets masked out by the sweet and spicy sauce. A well-mixed bowl of these noodles definitely smells predominantly sweet and does accurately represent the homemade version of these cold noodles.
The cooking time on these noodles is less than the other South Korean instant ramens, coming in at 3 minutes. This slight undercooking leaves a more al dente texture with the noodles being a bit more on the chewy-side. This definitely works to preserve the “cold noodle feel” that you would typically get with a restaurant quality serving of these noodles without the cold. The texture really pairs well with the sweet and spicy sauce.
Personally, I’m a big fan of cold noodles here in Korea. While these noodles might not be prepared cold in the cup version, they make up for this with convenience and a taste that’s still similar to a traditional bowl of Bibimmyeon. If you’re a fan of moderate heat that builds, I highly recommend Paldo’s Bibimmyeon.
Also, if you really want to try cold version of these noodles without booking a plane ticket to South Korea, you can try the packaged version of these instant noodles. It takes a bit longer to make them, but it’s more than worth the effort.
How about you guys? Do you enjoy heat that builds or heat that punches you right in the face? 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.