I've already written about the best instant noodles not in bowls, but here's a list of the winners that are packaged and sold in bowls. You'll find winners from Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, and beyond. Do you have a favorite brand or flavor?
10. Japan: TableMark Soup Noodle, Soybean Paste Flavor
It's not very often that an instant noodle comes with a lot of vegetables in the dry packets. This one, however, does, which was nice. Also has great soy flavor. Perfectly fine on its own. Full review here.
9. Japan: Myojo Ramen-Desse-Shio Soup Noodles
It's like eating candy. The noodles are very thin and of high quality. The broth had a nice saltiness ("shio" means salt) and a good sesame flavor from the oil. I think some chicken, pork or beef would go great in this. Full review here.
8. Vietnam: Vifon Korean Style Instant Noodle, Kim Chi Flavor
This one has four seasoning packets as well as a fork included! It also has some interestingly fluffy, but not spongy, noodles. The spicy broth and the little bits of garlic made it a very memorable bowl. Great with a couple of fried eggs. Full review here.
7. Japan: Nissin Gozen Kitsune Udon
Wider udon noodles and a nice chunk of fried tofu. When I had this, I added some fried shallots, eggs and kizami shoga (pickled ginger) and it was magnificent. Full review here.
6. Thailand: Sunlee, Crab Flavor
I didn't expect much from these at first, but was happily surprised. The noodles are nice and the slightly spicy crab flavor broth was perfect. Add a couple fried eggs on top—the soft yolk intermingles favorably with the broth. Full review here.
5. USA: Nong Shim Bowl Noodle Soup, Spicy Seafood Flavor
Good noodles with a nice depth and spiciness to the broth and a bit of flair from the veggies. Even some corn and some naruto in there! Excellent with a couple of fried eggs and with some leftover seafood pancakes from a local Korean BBQ (if you had them lying around like me). Full review here.
Japan: Maruchan Instant Oriental Noodles Akai Kitsune Udon
Flat, broad noodles with a very ample piece of fried tofu make this a delectable bowl. The tofu comes out as wonderfully sweet and salty. Great on its own or perhaps try with some extra veggies or fish. Full review here.
3. Singapore: Tat Hui Koka Instant Rice Noodles, Laksa Singapura Flavor
These are the only rice noodles on this list, and they're really good. Excellent flavors including the only powdered coconut packet I've ever seen out there. Best in its unadulterated form. Full review here.
2. Japan: Menraku Japanese Ramen "Shio" Authentic Ramen Soup
This was one of the first instant ramen Shio varieties I tried; from there, I was hooked. Salt is used as a flavoring, not a flavor enhancer. Combined with nice veggies like seaweed, cabbage and corn, this one also goes really well with a couple fried eggs on top. Full review here.
1. Japan: Maruchan Midori No Tanuki Instant Soba Bowl
Tanuki, a raccoon-dog who brings good fortune, can be found in front of many ramen shops in the form of a small statue, as well as this little green package. Inside the bowl there's a round disk of tempura, and it's actually really good. Along with excellent buckwheat noodles and a fine broth, add nothing as it's just perfect. Midori, by the way, means green in Japanese. Full review here.