Samyang Buldalk Mayo Review
Samyang Buldalk Mayo is yet another insanely creative adaptation of the Buldalk series released by Samyang. Putting the flavor of Hot Chicken Flavored Ramen to good use, Samyang, has created their own spicy vision of what mayonnaise is supposed to taste like in their own alternate reality.
I think this sauce raises more questions than it has answers about its flavor and being called, mayo. I feel like I’m standing on the edge of the particle horizon, between our shared reality and the spicy reality Samyang has created with this product. This forces me to ask myself some of the most profound questions I have ever had in this lifetime:
“What is mayonnaise?”
“At what point does mayo cease to be mayo?”
And… “Can Samyang’s Buldalk Mayo be in two states of flavor at the same time?”
Honestly, I’m still not sure if I have answers to these questions. Or, the correct answers at all. Maybe my flavor reality is unique and different from that of everyone else. I‘d better stop there before I run into an existential crisis... So, here is my honest opinion about this new, spicy concoction from Samyang.
I like the artwork and design of the label on this bottle. It’s simple. The label reminds me of a package of Hot Chicken Flavored Ramen. Functionally speaking, the symbols and information are clear and concise. I like how they included the Scoville Heat Units (SHU) and a reminder that this needs to be refrigerated after opening. Even without knowing Korean, it’s pretty obvious what needs to be done.
The quality of the packaging is, unfortunately, a letdown. While the plastic bottle is lightweight and likely a bit more environmentally friendly for shipping, it seems quite fragile. An even more problematic issue I found was with the label. You need to tear the actual label in order to get access to the squeeze top, which ended up looking like this:
Many people might shrug this off as not being of significance, but Buldalk Mayo really looks like “fancy sauce,” which is a commonly used cheap dressing alternative in the States. I worry what might happen if someone accidently fed this to a child, as the label also slipped completely off after this photo was taken. So, now you’re left with an unidentifiable sauce that looks like a mix of mayo and ketchup in the refrigerator. Not good… Samyang needs to put a little more effort into making sure this label stays intact.
Other than this, the bottle was soft and easy to squeeze. I also had full control over how much sauce I was using, which I thought was extremely important.
I have mixed feelings about the flavor of Samyang’s Buldalk Mayo. First of all, I’ll bet you’re wondering if this actually tastes like the sauce found in Hot Chicken Flavored Ramen?
Yes, it does taste similar to it.
Does it taste like mayo?..
Well… kind of?
It’s a hard flavor to describe to be honest. Personally, I think it tastes more creamy like the Carbonara version of Buldalk Bokkeum-Myeon. It has the consistency at least…
One thing I didn’t like about the flavor was that it has a bit of a metallic aftertaste. Although, I also taste metal along with bitterness when I eat any of the ramen found in the Buldalk series. Either my tongue is weird or it is super sensitive to the artificial spiciness, I guess...
Now, I’m not trying to say the flavor is bad, I’m just trying to actually describe it the best I can. I did enjoy the flavor and so did my wife. It’s just an entirely different flavor than the mayo you’re most likely thinking of. It is more Buldalk Carbonara and less of a savory mayo.
Buldalk Mayo comes in at an underwhelming 650 SHU (Scoville Heat Units), which is about 300 SHU less than a pepperoncini (Source: Masterclass). It’s good for a bit of a tingle, but not really for the hardcore spice-aficionados. I should note that this is significantly less spicy than the Original Hot Chicken Flavored Ramen. However, when used for a mayo or sauce, I think it finds a happy medium between flavor and spiciness. If it was scorching hot, I’m not sure I’d ever want to enjoy this mayo on a sandwich, deviled egg, or with some veggies. You wouldn’t be able to taste a thing!
Samyang’s Buldalk Mayo is a perfect balance between spiciness and flavor. It’s a sauce that remains quite useable that can be used for adding a spicy kick to a wide-variety of food applications. It tastes good enough and packs a decent amount of spiciness, too. Virtually any dish, sauce, or snack that incorporates mayo can be transformed into a fiery Buldalk adaptation, which I find really awesome. Some potential applications that I could think of are: ranch dressing, deviled eggs, tuna salad, and as a dipping sauce.
The packaging is a bit of a safety issue, but as long as people store and use this sauce responsibly, I doubt there will be any incidents.
So, why not let your imagination run wild with this sauce as you find new and exciting ways to incorporate it? It’s a perfect way to surprise your friends and family with a slap of heat from some Buldalk!
What crazy ideas do you have for using this mayo? And, what do you think about Samyang’s idea for creating a Buldalk flavored mayonnaise? Let me know in the comments below!
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.