YouUs Teumsae Ramen Review
I feel like I’m going to be saying this on repeat in this article, but YouUs Teumsae Ramen has a unique red chili pepper flavor that separates this cup of ramen noodles from the competition. Whatever place or planet this red chili pepper powder came from, probably wasn’t South Korea. Korean red chili pepper powder often has a mild and earthy flavor to it. The flavor of the powder in this version of Teumsae Ramen is deep and rich, almost like baker’s chocolate. However, other than this, I don’t really feel that this cup of noodles really brings anything else special. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it does taste like most other classic, spicy cup of instant noodles out there. If I keep talking, I’m going to run out of things to say about this cup of noodles, so voilà here’s my review of YouUs Teumsae Ramen!
The red chili pepper powder is strong with this one! There’s a deeper and richer flavor to the red chili pepper powder compared to other noodles. The aftertaste is also an intense experience of both black pepper and what I believe to be Vietnamese red chili pepper powder. YouUs Teumsae Ramen is also well-balanced in terms of flavor and spiciness. The broth is a bit salty and savory, but it does taste pretty much the same as most classic cups of instant noodles. The only difference being the red chili flavor. I would have liked there to be a wider variety of ingredients or at least more of them. This is unusual for me to say about a YouUs cup of instant noodles, because they usually score highly on this point. You will be able to identify this ingredients. They aren’t completely chopped into microscopic bits. I managed to find: tiny nuggets of beef or something like it, shreds of laver, pieces of egg, some spring onion, and tiny shards of red chilis. I know… I know… that’s a decent list of ingredients, but I just wanted something a little more!
YouUs Teumsae Ramen makes good use of what I believe to be Vietnamese red chili pepper powder plus a handful of black pepper. Despite being a rather classically flavored cup of instant noodles, Teumsae Ramen has a unique tasting spiciness to it. It has a familiar flavor of spiciness with an unfamiliar twist. The red chili pepper powder has a deep and rich taste that is entirely different from the Korean red chili pepper flavor profile. The best way I can describe the deep flavor is that this is the dark chocolate of red chili pepper flavor. These noodles are mouth hot for sure, but they aren’t too intense. I would rate this spiciness a solid medium or possibly a little less, but I’m not exactly a virgin to heat. What I like best though, is that the spice doesn’t linger or taste chemical or alkaline with a metallic flavor. This is all natural spiciness from mother nature herself.
These noodles literally had “Smell-O-Cloak!” Even when I stuck my nose closely to the Martian red surface of these noodles, I couldn’t smell a single hint of spiciness. This was odd, because these noodles aren’t exactly a slouch when it comes to heat. The aroma of the red chili base is entirely disguised by the sweet and buttery smell of ramen noodles. Not only this, but the broth is barely detectable as well. I’m not sure what kind of black magic YouUs is using in these noodles, but they sure are deviant!
One thing I really liked about this cup of ramen was the noodles. For some reason, I usually prefer the texture and consistency of thin noodles. Teumsae Ramen was one of those classic cups of noodles with spicy broth that benefitted greatly from using thin strands of basic ramen noodles over your average sized ones. The noodles picked up the spicy and savory broth exceptionally well, but did fall prey to swelling because of this. The texture of these noodles was notably soft as well. You will probably want to eat these noodles quickly once you make them, because my noodles didn’t last long.
YouUs Teumsae Ramen has a likeable, classic flavor, despite not really being a classic cup of instant noodles at all. The flavor is simple, yet tasty with its rich red chili base. It has the characteristic of a well-balanced spiciness that has an enjoyable natural flavor to it. It’s not all good though. There’s at best an average amount of ingredients in this cup of noodles. YouUs wasn’t being very generous, which is surprisingly at odds with their other offerings. It’s also important to mention that these noodles don’t do anything all that different. They taste like most other classic ramen on the market, so there’s nothing too refreshing about the flavor, other than the richness of the red chili pepper powder. Overall, I would say that YouUs has a solid offering here and definitely deserves your attention if you’re into other classically flavored cups of noodles.
What does a classically flavored cup of instant noodles taste like to you? Can you describe the flavor profile? Which ingredients are key to a classic cup? 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.