Taiwanese websites have been swirling with a new food fad that has taken the nation by storm. We’re not sure exactly where it started, but it probably had something to do with two people shouting, “Hey! You got your pudding in my ramen!” and “Hey! You got your ramen in my pudding!” And thus pudding ramen was born.
As the news hit the shores of Japan, we felt this was a combination that needed to be tested. It turns out that pudding ramen is not only tasty, it’s really cheap and easy too. Well played, Taiwan!
Actually “pudding” is a bit of a misnomer. This recipe uses a desert known by many names such as flan or crème caramel depending on the region. In Japan it’s called purin which is meant to be a pronunciation of “pudding” and the food itself is a combination of custard and some caramel served slightly chilled in every convenience store or supermarket in Japan. Today we chose Pucchin brand purin by Glico.
For the instant ramen, the Japanese standard Cup Noodles were chosen. This was a bit of a risk since many of the websites recommended their own pork ramen. Nevertheless, the father of Cup Noodles, Momofuku Ando, was born Taiwanese so perhaps some of that essence lives on in this product… or not, I dunno. This isn’t rocket science, it’s RocketNews24 science gosh darnit!
First I boiled a pot of water on a gas range because I work in 1962.
I had picked up a big-sized Cup Noodle, because the regular sized didn’t look like it could hold the pudding. However, after opening the lid it looked as if there still wouldn’t be enough room. In the end I was sure not to fill the cup with water up to the recommended line to leave some space.
After waiting the usual three minutes it was time to get the pudding out. In some of the demonstration videos the pudding is added before the hot water but I opted to add it afterwards.
Luckily everything fit and because I used less water there was no danger of splashing as the pudding flopped into the cup after a little cajoling. The salt and vanilla were already intermingling as I gazed at my bizarrely delicious looking meal.
The idea is to mash in the pudding so that it melts into the broth giving it a sweet creaminess. I broke up the gelatinous mass, but large clumps of custard seemed to linger. Unable to wait any longer I dug in and grabbed a mass of unblended pudding and noodles.
It was really weird. In addition to the contrasting salty and sweet tastes there was also a big temperature difference between the two foods that was interesting… And actually not all that bad of a taste sensation.
I went in for a few more curious bites before the pudding melded with the soup. It took about another three to five minutes for that to happen.
Chowing down on the noodles was a pleasant experience. There was a nice blend of salty and sweet and the hot noodles and cool pudding balanced out to a comfortably warm temperature. Basically it was like a creamy version of Cup Noodles, not mind-blowingly delicious but a decent ramen experience nonetheless.
All in all, I’d give it 17 out of 22 stars. It was really easy to make, pretty tasty, and very affordable at 314 yen (US$3) all together. I think if the pudding was slightly smaller the balance would have been bett… oh wait a minute. What’s this?
It appears I have a good-sized cup of milky ramen broth with chunks of shrimp and pork still floating inside!
That was a nice touch to the whole pudding ramen experience. I have to imagine that someone somewhere has made a ramen milkshake in the annals of human history, but in the odd event that it hasn’t happened yet someone in the milkshake industry better get on it right now!
After slurping the whole thing down I felt really satisfied with my incredibly rich drink. I was expecting a rather intense tummy ache from such a blend, but it wasn’t so bad actually. It was on par with eating half a bag of Oreos, and I figure this could easily be corrected by slightly lowering the amount of pudding used.
Overall, the pudding ramen experience was a good one. If you want to try it yourself, it might take a little trial and error to get the best blend. I’d recommend a little less pudding than what you’ve seen here and you should be golden. You also might want to try a pork-based soup as most people in Taiwan have done. That may lend itself better to the custard and caramel.
If you think you know of the ideal pudding and ramen combination, give us a shout in the comments below. There’s definitely something to these super-cheap creamy soups.
▼ Reader Teddy Ben in Malaysia gives a pudding/ramen combo a try and sums it up perfectly: “Didn’t taste as weird as it was.”