Instant Lunch vs Cup Noodles

Ramen noodles are one of those things that has so many versions of I could make a site just about them, and in fact there are a bunch out there. But I chose two that are regularly found in average American  grocery stores and mini marts.
It’s funny how these were a snack in highschool and a meal in college.  I have not paid Ramen a visit in a long time so one night I sat down with Ethan, Sarah and Marc and we evaluated.

Instant Lunch:
As all four of us tasted this we noticed that the noodles were pretty flavorless, like cardboard.  The broth was pretty decent but the vegetables were duds.  Sarah said the corn wasn’t “corny” tasting and she didn’t like the mushy peas.  I never really expect much of the vegetables in these things, only that they at least resemble what they once were, and they barely did that.  We all agreed that the broth just didn’t make up for the bland, paper-flavored noodles.

Cup Noodles:
This unsurprisingly looked similar to Instant Lunch but we found the broth was not as salty.  The noodles looked deceivingly underdone but had a great texture and a nice buttery taste.  The vegetables in this were not quite as sad and held up to the re-hydration better. We all agreed that the noodles are what make these and found ourselves enjoying this more.

Wrap up:
I wanted to like Instant Lunch more because I’ve always like their packaging.  The colors, font and design are so pleasant. And their logo looks like my brother-in-law, Zac.  But Cup Noodles really were the better noodle of the two and since it’s the main ingredient (besides sodium) I agreed with everyone that Cup Noodles won this round.

Instant Lunch or Cup Noodles?

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23 thoughts on “Instant Lunch vs Cup Noodles

  1. I’ve never been a cup Noodle person – simply because I’m not a veggie person either :). I do like regular ramen noodles, though – want to know a good way to prepare them that is quick and yummy? Pour the packet into a bowl and cover with water. Microwave 3 minutes. Dump ALL THE WATER out (yes, I know, sounds weird, just trust me). Add in the packet and a good scoop of butter and mix. MUCH yummier than the stovetop directions!

  2. Noodle cups are super bland.
    I prefer ramen noodles.
    And I agree with Randi on the ramen noodles (except the butter part)
    I’ve found that draining all the water out and adding the flavor packet last rather than adding it into the water while it cooks makes for a much better tasting meal.

  3. “And their logo looks like my brother-in-law, Zac.”
    Great evaluation! I prefer Cup Noodles as well. I actually don’t notice a difference between the vegetables (ha, or “vegetables”) in the two, but I do like the noodles in Cup Noodles better–I don’t notice a difference in the taste, but I like that the Cup Noodles noodles are wider. Also, I agree that the broth in Instant Lunch tastes too salty, but I actually find the Cup Noodles packaging better. It just looks so classic!

  4. I don’t think either is sold around here,and besides,the kind we usually buy are just cook and eat. No fancy cup or anything. Put the noodles in a bowl when they’re done cooking and eat. I’ll see if any sort of ramen noodles in a cup are available here,but I doubt it. ?

  5. I’ve never liked either of these. I’ve always liked Ramen. Buy some cans of Vegetable Soup and mix it in with your ramen thats cooking and its a perfect mix. Poor mans dinner!

  6. Oh sorry they both have MSG but Maruchan has more spices celery onion and turmeric vs better noodles and overall smoother soup in cup of noodles

  7. I grew up eating Instant Lunch, but, I’ve found I like Cup Noodles better. The broth isn’t as salty and the noodles have a better flavor and texture. The veggies are better, too. Plus, Cup Noodles are cheaper. I buy them for 39¢ at Winn Dixie, whereas Instant Lunch is 59¢ or more. Instant Lunch has more varieties, but, they all have way too much sodium.
    Cup Noodles wins, hands down!

  8. I like both but think Instant Lunch tastes better. I’ll do a taste test, though, just to be sure. Compare the two. I like the Instant Lunch font and packaging, too. It’s very retro, which I absolutely love. So’s the Cup Noodles font and packaging. I think the packaging for both products was designed well. They’re classic in how they look, like the Campbell’s chicken noodle soup can.

  9. I like both very well. Maruchan is much cheaper than Cup Noodles here in Detroit Metro where I live ($.29 vs $.59). I like the fact that Maruchan has flavors that cater to the latino palate. For example: Chicken Tortilla and Spicy Chipotle Chicken. When I used to live in Honduras, ramen cups were a perfect late night snack. They’d sell them at the gas stations and we’d top them with jalapeños and a dollop of sour cream. Delicious. I have noticed that the Cup Noodles noodles tend to be wider but really haven’t noticed an appreciable difference in taste between the two brands. I do miss the Cup Noodles flavors they sell in Japan. You can get curry flavor that turns out rich and creamy with chunks of potato or creamy seafood-another delicious option. Both are also sold in larger sized portuons in Japan. Therr’s actually a Cup Noodles museum in Yokohama, Japan where you can see all of the flavors and packaging they’ve ever produced and they’ll make you a souvenir cup in any flavor you want with pretty wrapping to take home. So, Cup Noodles is kind of a big deal and an international instant noodle phenomenon. Maruchan is my go-to for cheap, delicious Latin-flavored slurping pleasure. Either way, I really don’t think you can go wrong.

  10. eating instant lunch right now, cup of noodles were on sale so i grabbed 2 of those to try..i wished i grabbed 1 lol..the wife likes it tho..pepper and once in awhile tabasco when i wanna live on the edge ? i like the taste much better then cup of soup

  11. Just finished a chicken flavor Nissin Cup Noodles and Maruchan Instant Lunch rapid-fire one after another while training for the underground competitive ramen noodle eating championships. I must say I liked the flavor of the Cup Noodles better and will get those from now on. The Maruchan packaging did say it was partially produced by genetic engineering so it’s possible a giant fire breathing ramen noodle will rise from the sea one day to terrorize us all. As a 3 pack-a-day man for some time it is with regret I went down the TBHQ preservative rabbit-hole that ultimately led to the flatulent super powers of Bombardier Beetles. I suspect there are ramen aficionados out there walking around with a bleach white anus and have no idea (see hydroxyquinone).

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