Ah, the human race. We’ve invented the wheel, the printing press, and nuclear power. We have discovered microscopic organisms, cured smallpox, and even landed on the moon. So the next advancement of the human race, a big discovery in food science, could save millions from starvation. It could turn previously indigestible foods into staple crops. It could make the blandest foods tasty without the nasty side effects of obesity, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes. But no, the brilliant food scientists have instead opted to create a delicious but deadly instant noodle concoction that is spicier than ever before. Korean spicy ramen has existed for years. Scientists have been trying to find the perfect mix of flavor and flame (emphasis on the flame). But now, they’ve created a new player for the next spicy ramen challenge: Haek Buldak Bokkeummyeon (핵불닭볶음면). Prepare your wills, everyone.
Buldak Bokkeummyeon – The Original Spicy Korean Ramen Challenge
First, if you aren’t aware, this is a package of Buldak Bokkeummyeon (불닭볶음면). This package of noodles was known for the first incarnation of the spicy ramen challenge.
Some people, including those who have stomached hot pepper challenges or have eaten things such as the Vancouver Bobby Wings (a chicken wing with enough spice to require you to sign a waiver before eating it), do not flinch when shown this. But others will get a heart attack if they see this package. I mean, come on, this thing has the bright red, white, and black warning coloration on it. Humans are known to be afraid of things such as skunks, poisonous frogs, and snakes. If you can’t do spice, this red, white, and black could send you running in a panic.
Here’s a video of a group of friends trying to eat the original package.
And remember, that was regular buldak bokkeummyeon. This is nothing compared to the straight out of hell Haek Buldak Bokkeummyeon.
Haek Buldak Bokkeummyeon – EXTRA Spicy Korean Ramen
When the food scientists caught wind of people saying that the challenge was “too easy”, they had to start over. Their brand was at stake. To become a laughing stock in the world of spicy Korean ramen? Unacceptable. It would be worse than wearing sweatpants on a Monday. So they decided to rebuild it. They had the technology. Now, it was labeled as 2x Spicy. A warning for some of us. A challenge for others.
Now, when they said 2x Spicy, we thought it was a gimmick. Could it really be twice as hot as the original? It turns out that it can. If you look at the back of the package, it lists the Scoville Scale. The regular package of Korean fire noodles is rated at 4705 on the Scoville Scale. The 2x Spicy version?
8706 Scoville Heat Units.
Yes, this can’t really compare to the Carolina Reaper, but it’s pretty tough to swallow. Or so it’s advertised.
Haek Buldak Bokkeummyeon Review
Seeing as there was a bunch of internet hype and of course, good marketing on the spicy ramen, we had to try it. So we followed the instructions. If only they had the instructions presented by The Wiggles.
- Cook the ramen
- Drain most of the water
- Add the sauce
- Add the flakes (sesame seeds, seaweed flakes, etc.)
You knew you were in for trouble when you opened the sauce packet. The sauce was a dark, intimidating red. Not the happy red you got in your crayon set for coloring strawberries or valentines cards. It was the red of the devil.
The result is a noodle soup with a sickly red color. You could see the oil from the chili peppers. The smell? An interesting mix of fear and excitement. It actually smelled nicely of other instant ramens that we scarfed down during our college days. But you knew what was coming.
How was it, do you ask? Spoiler alert for those still wanting to try!