Korean food is very diverse in flavor while sticking to its classic ingredients. Something you will find in many dishes, including ddeokbokki, instant ramen, sundubu jjigae, and anything using gochujang; is different variations of red peppers. These peppers are what helps to make these foods spicy, but what do you do in a world full of spice when you have a sensitive tongue? Not everyone likes powering through the pepper and many people simply can’t handle it. That's okay! If you're looking to try a Korean ramen but just don’t want the burn, we are here to help. Here are a few of the different types just for you!
- Ottogi Cheese Ramen (오뚜기 보들보들 치즈라면)
Don’t let the cheese flavor scare you off. While it might sound odd, adding cheese to spicy foods is a tasty combination. This ramen comes with a soup packet, a cheese powder, and a vegetable packet that has dried fish cakes mixed in. While it does have a bit of a kick of spice, it isn’t hot. This is a recommendation to those who like that hint of a bite. If you like idol endorsements, Nichkhun from 2PM has advertised for this ramen in the past.
- Ottogi Cheese Bokki (오뚜기 치즈 볶이)
Another cheesy flavor from Ottogi but with no spice, recommended especially for those who don’t want any heat. The flavor packet is just cheese, a taste many people compare to macaroni and cheese packages but with a different noodle. Don’t forget to drain the water from this one.
- Paldo Jjajangmyeon (팔도 짜장면)
Though not exactly a ramen, it is a tasty instant noodle choice with no spice. Jjajangmyeon is a mixture of noodles with sweet bean sauce and can include meat, vegetables, and whatever you like. This noodle is a good recommendation for those looking for something on the sweeter side but still savory. The package comes with the noodles, a sauce packet, and dehydrated cabbage.
- SUM x EMART EXO Jjajangmyeon
Another take on instant jjajangmyeon, but with a huge idol endorsement. This collaboration between SM Entertainment and popular retail chain E-Mart is quite popular with EXO’s fans and accompanies other food and drink items that the companies produced with other SM artists. It is tasty and mild, and if you’re a fan of the boys, it’ll make you very happy!
- Nongshim Chapagetti (농심 짜파게티)
An interesting but tasty choice, chapagetti is a crossover between chajang (a black bean paste) and spaghetti. The noodle is similar to the traditional western pasta while sticking to the Korean instant noodle. The bowl also comes with the sauce and a mixed vegetable packet.
- Ottogi Beef Seaweed Soup (오뚜기 쇠고기 미역국 라면)
When hearing the name, you wouldn’t think this is a ramen. While typically you wouldn’t find noodles in a seaweed soup, this instant soup includes them. Seaweed soup is a traditional birthday meal, and isn’t spicy unless you add to it yourself. The package comes with beef as its protein. You can find this ramen in individual packets and bowls.
- Ottogi Snack Ramen (오뚜기 스낵면)
This ramen is quite popular in Korea. The flavor packet makes a light broth with bits of mushroom and seaweed. It’s a nice, classic ramen with lots of flavor and no spice. If you’re looking for more celebrity approval, actor Song Joong-ki of Arthdal Chronicles made a commercial many years ago for Snack Ramen.
- Nongshim Soon Veggie Noodle Soup (농심 순라면)
To all our vegan friends, this one is for you! This ramen has light spice and lots of flavor. The package comes with a soup powder and vegetable packet with plenty of greens and mushrooms and even corn. Look for the green cup. It’s not as well-known as its red counterpart, but it’s an amazing alternative for non-meat eaters and mild taste buds.
- Ottogi Jin Ramen Mild (오뚜기 진라면 순한맛)
One of the most popular instant ramens is Jin Ramen. You can find it in mild and spicy flavors, with the red package for spicy and blue for mild. It does have a light spice to it, but definitely not as strong as the other flavor. It has a nice beef flavor to go with the vegetables. This is a classic that we strongly recommend as long as you like a bit of spice.
We know it can feel rough trying to find something mild when it seems like all people talk about are the “fire foods.” Everyone has their preferences. Some like it hot and some like it milder. There’s something for everyone to try so you are never missing out. What are some of your favorite takes on traditionally spicy foods?
Written by Chey Olexa