As delicious as Japanese cuisines are, fans of the spicy often find the hotness lacking from the food in this country. When foods and snacks are advertised as “extremely spicy”, most of the time it gives nothing more than a tinkle on the tongue for those used to the peppers. Not to mention, Japan tends to use only chilli pepper and miss out on the tastes offered by other species of peppers.
However, I’ve found that Japan does produce some super spicy cup noodles that do the job right. When I’m missing the burn on my tongue, these are what I make and get my fill at home nowadays. Let me introduce to you my personal 3 Best Extremely Spicy Cup Noodles in Japan:
3. Extreme Spicy Fried Noodles (Kekikara yakisoba)
The instant yakisoba is a popular line in Japanese cup noodles. This spicy version of the soup-less noodles by Peyangu skips the watery stuff and coats the noodles with the hot sauce evenly. It achieves delivering the spiciness with every single bite, while somehow maintaining the deliciousness it is that the standard Peyangu yakisoba has.
Because of the lack of ingredients, eating just the yakisoba is not satisfying as a meal (though it satisfies spiciness I was looking for), so I often have a riceball or fried food to go along with it. Adding mayonnaise into it will tone down the hotness a bit, but making the noodles creamier and even more delicious. Those who like yakisoba must give this a try.
2. Chilli Pepper Noodles (Toukarashimen)
The Toukarashimen series by Nissin takes an innovative approach of making the noodles themselves spicy, rather than the soup. They added grinded chilli pepper powder into the process of making the noodles. The punch comes with every bite of the long curly goodness.
In addition, they have branched out the soup to different international flavours, such as the Jamaican Jerk Chicken flavour and the Chinese Mapo-Tofu flavour, each going up to around 900 scoville. Personally, my tongue was already so numb from the noodles that the soup left little impression on me. One thing to note is that this cup noodle is surprisingly manageable after it cools down, so eat it while it’s hot. Nevertheless, the genuine idea of making the noodles spicy achieves the spicy purpose perfectly, and it’s one of the most exciting cup noodles I’ve ever tasted.
1. Spicy Spicy Fish Cup Noodle (Kara-Gara-Sakana)
The Kara-Gara-Sakana(辛辛魚) by Sugakiya is a limited-time ramen that was trending on the internet for being way too spicy for the average person. The spicy shoyu-tonkotsu based soup has an incredibly attractive aroma, but the noodle also comes with a packet of a mixture of fish powder and chilli pepper powder. As demonstrated on the photo, you sprinkle it to create a little hill, then spread all the hellish redness across the bowl of noodles.
The result is a bowl of delicious burning fireball that makes your sweat from your nose upon the first bite, but fulfilling the gap of spiciness in your Japanese diet that you’ve been longing for. Disregarding the spiciness, the fish + pork-bone soup tastes really delicious too. My favourite way to enjoy this cup noodle is to add some boiled vegetables into the noodles, as well as to prepare some rice for mixing into the soup after the noodles are gone. This way, the spicy happiness (and sweatiness) gets to extend beyond just the noodles without wasting the soup, and I get a full meal out of it. This remains my top pick for extremely spicy cup noodles and I challenge myself to it whenever it’s in the market.
By no means am I good at enduring spiciness, but as someone living in Japan for a long time, I do miss the hotness once in a while. These cup noodles are considered challenges on top of enjoyment. They definitely aren’t for the faint of heart, tongue, or stomach. There are other time-limited items on the market once in a while, but these 3 remain the top in terms of both spiciness and taste after the many I’ve tested.
Next time you see one of these in a supermarket or convenient store in Japan, give one a try and see how well you stand against these extreme cup noodles!