As I blogged about before, instant ramen is my "secret food" -- the thing I'll eat (despite my foodie ways) when no one else is around. I love them all, but I've recently discovered the dirty secret of instant ramen: the Asian varieties are way, way better.
Specifically, what I'm talking about here are the versions meant for Asian audiences and particularly for people in Asia. Case in point: Nissan Cup Noodles (the original instant ramen in a cup) are available in Japan as well as the US. However, the Japanese version is far tastier than its American counterpart. I compared the Japanese seafood cup to the American shrimp cup (this was the closest I could get to an apples-to-apples comparison). The broth in the American version had that familiar salty ramen soup taste; by contrast, the Japanese version actually tasted like seafood. The Japanese version had slices of octopus, more veggies, and more eggs too vs. the dried shrimp and sprinkling of other stuff in the American version. Even Michael (7) tasted the difference.
Since this discovery, I've been buying all kinds of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese noodles at the shops around us; they're all much yummier than the stuff at Safeway and not tons more expensive. Some even have foil pouches with meat (which actually taste good, if you can get over the idea). A few include a spork or other utensil too, which makes tons of sense.
If you like instant ramen (and let's be honest, who doesn't) you should definitely give the real thing a try.