REVIEW: Limited Edition Nissin Everything Bagel Cup Noodles

Everything bagels are my second favorite bagel flavor, so of course, I fell in love with Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning and still use it almost daily. Since 2017, Everything seasoning has been a popular food trend and, as with most food trends, companies have tried to find ways to work it into their products. For 2024, Nissin Cup Noodles released a limited edition Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese flavored ramen as a follow-up to last year’s Breakfast ramen.

Announced as a limited edition flavor, it incorporates the spices (onion, garlic, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds) plus cream cheese flavor. Including caraway seeds gave me pause as they’re not commonly found in most Everything-seasoned items. I associate them more with rye bread, but I was curious to see how they would impact the overall flavor of the item.

After opening it, I went to fill it and encountered a unique issue: the noodles and powder had become a brick that the water couldn’t penetrate. A few (gentle) stabs to the noodles broke them up enough to let me fill the cup to the proper water level. After four minutes of cooking and one minute of standing, it was ready to be eaten.

Mixing it, the smell of “everything seasoning” was present but not overwhelming, and the sauce was smooth. It was still rather hot, but I didn’t want to wait too much longer, as I worried the seasoning would become soggy. My first few bites were surprisingly good. The seasoning still had a bit of crunch, the sauce was creamy, and the overall flavor was balanced.

The caraway was the strongest and the first ingredient I noticed. The mild anise (licorice) flavor stood out initially, but then the other Everything elements came through (garlic, onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds) to mellow the initial taste. The sauce had no familiar cream cheese flavor, but that didn’t negatively impact the overall taste. The sauce’s creaminess sold the idea of “cream cheese” enough for me.

Everything seasoning has been the darling of the food trend world for a while now. Unfortunately, it has sort of gone the path of bacon and been more gimmick than gourmet. Thankfully, this item actually delivers a delicious interpretation of an Everything seasoned bagel. It won’t replace my usual morning breakfast, but I’ll keep a few cups around when I want to shake it up.

Purchased Price: $1.18
Size: 2.96 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 container) 390 calories, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, <5 milligrams of cholesterol, 1150 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Nissin Breakfast Cup Noodles

“Have a backup…” a friend advised when I told them about my plan to pack Nissin Breakfast Cup Noodles for lunch (or, considering their namesake, more like brunch). When they realized I wasn’t joking, they added, “Maybe buy some Alka-Seltzer and Pepto Bismol too.” But life is short, and how many chances does one get to try noodles that taste like pancakes with maple syrup, sausage, and egg? That being said, I did bring a backup lunch just in case, but to my utter shock and delight, I didn’t need it.

The design on the cup offered a sunny start. The bright blue backdrop and vibrant cartoony illustration of a heaping helping of syrup-soaked pancakes, with a side of fluffy scrambled eggs and plump breakfast sausage doesn’t resemble what’s inside at all, but it’s still lovely!

What you get after peeling off the lid, pouring water up to the fill line on the inside of the cup, and doing an excited/happy/”oh gosh, what have I gotten myself into” dance in front of the microwave for four minutes, is a pile of greyish-yellow noodles in a pool of greyish-orange broth, topped with pea-sized bits of greyish-brown sausage and egg that’s… actually a regular (if slightly fluorescent) shade of yellow. (Your mileage may vary, but my cup had SIGNIFICANTLY more egg than sausage.) Don’t let the murky appearance fool you, though: there’s a wonderful taste in store.

The first word that came to my mind to describe the broth was “mellow.” I was expecting it to be saltier, but this stuff was straight-up sweet: maple-y, a bit malty, and all in all, surprisingly so hearty that I almost forgot that it had been created by simply combining dry, seasoned noodles and tap water.

The handful of sausage pieces were certainly not the most beautiful specimens in terms of appearance or texture (they could be described as both “gristly” and “grisly”). But they did a nice job adding a burst of flavor—savory, again with a strong streak of maple, plus an interesting peppery aftertaste.

As for the fluffy but dense eggs, despite their abundant quantity, they didn’t really have much flavor on their own, thoroughly overpowered by the broth. Once more, their defining characteristic was mapleness!

The stars of the show, the noodles, were similar. They were warm and comforting, but I got the feeling that their sweet-and-a-lil-zesty flavor came more from the broth and toppings rather than the soft, gummy strings themselves. (Fun fact — and added bonus, if you’re anything like me — it also smelled exactly like Post’s Waffle Crisp cereal.)

This novelty really surprised me. Not only was I not expecting Nissin Breakfast Cup Noodles to genuinely taste like breakfast, but I was also not expecting it to genuinely taste good, and it delivered tremendously on both counts. I am slightly befuddled, slightly disturbed, and totally pleased to tell you that if you enjoy noodles, breakfast, convenient packaging, or the terrifying-yet-thrilling anticipation of a food that doesn’t taste how you think it will, you really should try this. Seriously!

Purchased Price: $9.32 (I bought online from a third-party seller, but the retail price is meant to be just $1.18)
Size: 2.93 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 container) 380 calories, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1020 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 10 grams of sugar (including 9 grams of added sugar), and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Cup

What is Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles?

Cup Noodles has added sweet ingredients to its traditional mixture of ramen noodles and savory seasoning. Just add water, microwave the cup, and you’ll have a quick lunch where brown sugar, powdered pumpkin, and spices join garlic powder and onion powder. It is exclusive to Walmart.

How is it?

I can taste both the sweet and savory elements. As far as pumpkin spice foods go, it’s not gross, but it’s also not delicious. It’s just kind of odd. I was going to rate it 6 out of 10.

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Top

But then I realized it’s not just a pumpkin spice product; it’s a Cup Noodles product. I asked myself, “Would I enjoy eating this for lunch multiple times during November?” And the answer is a definite yes! So I rate it 7 out of 10. The ramen noodles tie everything together, just like they’re supposed to.

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Noodles

The savoriness and sweetness are about equal. But I’d say the sweetness is stronger than the spices, which are stronger than the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Whipped Cream

The package says, “For an even more satisfying Pumpkin Spice experience, try topping with whipped cream after microwaving.” So I did, and I really enjoyed it! So much so that I might try whipped cream on savory instant ramen sometime.

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Broth

Anything else you need to know?

I recommend trying Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles, but you might have a hard time finding it. When I looked on Walmart’s website, the closest store that had it in stock was sixteen miles away. Of course, I made the trip, but I only found one in the entire store. It was evidently misplaced, and I could not find where it was supposed to be. I asked a worker, and he didn’t know either, even when he scanned it.


Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Lid

The mixture of sweet and savory is a little weird, but I’ll definitely buy more Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles if I can ever find it again.

Purchased Price: $0.88
Size: 2.75 oz. cup
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 package) 360 calories, 14 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 960 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of sugar including 3 grams of added sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Nissin Choice Ramen Savory Herb Chicken

If you’ve ever experienced any financially lean years, you’ve most likely eaten enough ramen to have it circle the globe several times over. During this time, lunch was not a matter of what bistro to hit up, but what flavor packets to mix together. You know, for that exotic taste of the orient. You probably also never took a moment to make light of the fact that you were your heftiest during these “lean” years; your brain being too bogged down by the tremendous amount of fat in your head to appreciate concepts like irony and humor.

This is never a good time in anyone’s life, but Nissin’s new Choice brand of ramen noodles promises to help you get you through these years looking slim and feeling like a worthwhile contributor to society. At around two for a dollar, they’re still affordable, though not in that “buy ’em by the ration crate” sort of way that regular ramen can be when it’s on sale. The package boasts lower fat, less sodium, and a fancy-sounding “Savory Herb Chicken” flavor that is meant to distinguish it from lesser ramen.

The back of the package reveals that their secret is in a new air-drying technology that means that the noodles are not deep fried. From my tried and true formula of “Food + Deep Fry = Good x 2 (type of coating),” I figured that these noodles would not be as tasty. The noodles are no longer a two-layered brick, but rather a disc that conforms more easily to the perimeter of your pot. I garnished with green onions and a sprig of cilantro for a half-assed presentation that made me feel like I actually cooked something.

My first impression was that the noodles were about as good as I could expect packaged ramen to be − not gummy, not too soft, and with just the right amount of firmness. The soup, however, was a different story. With just 25% less sodium than the notoriously salty regular ramen, you would expect the flavor to be just right. The soup turned out to be bland and muted with no hint of herbs in it whatsoever.

Choice ramen could be a great product if the soup base had any flavor whatsoever. I would pair the surprisingly tasty noodles with a regular ramen packet, but that would sort of defeat the purpose of “lower sodium” and thus the appeal of “healthy” ramen. Damn you, soup packet, why must you go and embarrass my poached egg in such a way? Head back to the factory and come back with a healthy version of MSG.

(Nutritional Facts – Half package – 140 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 480mg sodium, 28 gram of carbs, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of protein, and 10% iron)

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to Amy for suggesting the Nissin Choice Ramen. Ace’s blood pressure would also like to thank Amy.)

Item: Nissin Choice Ramen Savory Herb Chicken
Price: 49 cents
Purchased at: Northgate Market
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Healthier version of one of the unhealthiest items on the open market. Affordable, though not stupidly cheap like regular ramen. Noodles maintain a nice, reasonably firm texture as you’re eating.
Cons: Not a lot of flavor in the flavor packet at all. Noodle to soup ratio is a little too high for my liking. Healthier, but not exactly health food.

REVIEW: Nissin Homestyle Chicken Flavor Cup Noodles Premium

Cup Noodles is pretty much the lowest common denominator when it comes to food and it is so cheap that I believe it is the one thing you can steal from a store and not get punished for it. With it being on the bottommost level of the food chart with Wonder Bread and O’Douls non-alcoholic beer, the only way for it to go is up, and it has, albeit just a little, with the Nissin Homestyle Chicken Flavor Cup Noodles Premium.

You see that word “premium?” Not many goods can have it attached to them. It’s reserved for products that are the finest of the fine, the distinct of the distinctive, and the overpriced of the overpriced. Only things like beer, condoms, wines, chocolates, coffee, hookers, diapers, beef jerky, crackers, maple syrups, teas, nuts, toothpastes, personal lubricants, cake mixes, liquor, water, canned fish, vitamins, band-aids, doggie treats, canned poultry, macaroni & cheese, brownie mixes, shampoos, conditioners, honey, breads, muffin mixes, and dozens more can have the label of “premium” affixed to them.

What puts the “premium” in the Nissin Homestyle Chicken Flavor Cup Noodles Premium? Nissin thinks it’s the chicken-flavored powder and freeze-dried chicken meat that gives it its “homestyle chicken flavor.”

I will wait while you throw up a little in your mouth after hearing “freeze-dried chicken meat.”

Yes, freeze-drying food is usually reserved for astronauts and cereal marshmallows, but the Noodle Nancies at Nissin have created a way to have freeze-dried poultry in a well-insulated, environmentally-unfriendly styrofoam cup. I guess it goes well with the freeze-dried vegetables in it.

While Nissin believes one thing, I personally believe what makes it “premium” is not the freeze-dried chicken meat, it’s the font used to make the word “premium.” If graphic design has taught us anything, it’s that script fonts instantly make things high-class. Having a bikini baby oil wrestling match? Turn something crass into something with class by using script fonts on the promotional posters and flyers. Would you believe something is “premium” if they spelled it in serif or sans serif fonts? I think not.

The premium you’re going to pay to have the pleasure of consuming this slightly higher quality cup of noodles is going to be around 20 to 30 cents more. Surprisingly, the freeze-dried chicken kind of tastes like the chicken in Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup, which is either a good thing, if you’re Nissin, or a bad thing, if you’re Campbell’s. The broth has a natural chicken flavor with a bit of onion and it even looks more natural than the yellow stuff you get with the regular chicken flavored Cup Noodles. Despite that naturalness, I kind of prefer the original version, since the idea of freeze-dried chicken kind of freaks me out and the whole thing smells funny.

If you want to spend a little bit more on your Cup Noodles for those special occasions, and still want an amount of sodium that can kill small rodents, the Nissin Homestyle Chicken Flavor Cup Noodles Premium is perfect for you.

Or you could just steal it.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 container – 310 calories, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 1180 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 8 grams of protein, 20% Vitamin A, 4% Calcium, 20% Iron, and 85 cents less loose change to jingle.)

Item: Nissin Homestyle Chicken Flavor Cup Noodles Premium
Price: 85 cents
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: More natural chicken flavor than regular chicken flavored Cup Noodles. 3 minutes to prepare, less if you prefer your noodles al dente. Zero trans fat.
Cons: Freeze-dried chicken. Smells funny. Mmm…over 1,000 milligrams of sodium. A little bit more expensive. As unhealthy as regular Cup Noodles. Throwing up a little in your mouth.