5-Word Ramen Reviews With Lisa Nguyen (Viral Ice Cream Bowl Included)
The content creator’s takes on the recipes are even hotter than the dishes themselves.
Of all the corners of TikTok, FoodTok is, arguably, the most inventive. As viral cooking commentator @tanaradoublechocolate always says, “Everybody’s so creative.” There’s so much inspo to glean, so many hacks to consider, and so many recipes to review (or simply laugh about and/or cringe over). One particular subcategory that’s constantly taking over the FYP for foodies is #RamenTok. With more than 55 million views and counting, ramen recipes continue to gain popularity, even in the hotter months. No one knows that better than YouTube Shorts creator slash social media noodle queen Lisa Nguyen.
The Kansas-City-based “professional amateur cook,” who’s amassed more than 3 billion views on YouTube and 3.1 million followers on TikTok for sharing her easy-to-DIY recipes (as well as failed attempts), started eating more than her fair share of the traditional Asian dishes amid restaurant closures during the 2020 lockdowns. “I was eating instant ramen a lot, which is great because it’s cheap,” she tells Elite Daily. “So many people were also providing their suggestions.” That’s when she decided to experiment. As Nguyen can well attest, “the internet loves instant ramen,” so she began documenting her noodle-filled journey, which includes a 30-day instant ramen challenge — where she tries a different recipe every day for a month — at the end of each year, further skyrocketing her own popularity.
After building up her spice tolerance over years of kicking her recipes up a notch, Nguyen teamed up with Google Maps — ahead of Japan’s Ramen Day (July 11), no less — to hit up some of the spiciest ramen spots in NYC for the ultimate food tour, taking Elite Daily on the ride to talk about all things related to her delectable and comforting fave. Below, you’ll find the foodie’s five-word (or less) reviews of five of her most-viewed creations.
Baked Potato Ramen
This meal is loaded with tasty ingredients, including charcuterie meat, a baked potato, and sour cream, plus a generous serving of cream carbonara spicy chicken ramen. The “cheesy goodness” is so good, Nguyen says it’s one of the top 10 tastiest things she’s ever made.
Lisa’s review: “Creamy, spicy deliriousness.”
Spicy Cheesy Ramen
The creamy and spicy vibes continue with this dish that combines Spam, cream cheese, an egg yolk, green onions, and Kraft singles with spicy ramen. According to Nguyen, there’s “quite a kick at the end,” so it should be a major yes for experimental flavor fans.
Lisa’s review: “10 out of 10.”
Build Your Own Ramen
Who says you can’t have ramen first thing in the morning? In one of her most popular videos, Nguyen put together a BYO ramen station for her and her besties, laying out breakfast items like bacon, sausage, smoked salmon, fried eggs, and frozen chicken and cabbage dumplings, along with a mix of mild and spicy ramens to choose from. The cherry on top? The accompanying mimosa and coffee station. #brunchgoals
Lisa’s review: “Must do with friends.”
Fried Ramen Buns
Combining ramen, eggs, and ground meat is nothing new. Packing all of that in a bun? It may sound next-level — but it’s definitely not without its challenges. In a series of trial and error, Nguyen took a set of ramen buns and attempted to steam them, bake them, fry them... then fry them again. “You have the end product in your head. ‘It’s going to be perfect; you’re not going to have any problems,’” she says. “But then you get into cooking and you’re like, ‘Well, that didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to.’”
Lisa’s review: “Work in progress.”
Ramen Ice Cream
After a restaurant in Osaka, Japan, went viral for its innovative combo of ramen noodles and ice cream, viewers challenged Nguyen to put it to the taste-test — and people had plenty to say about the results, especially considering she had to mix the ingredients (ramen, spicy miso paste, an egg, and vanilla ice cream with a sugar cone) in her car. “Absolutely no,” replied one user. “If I ever did that I would cry,” responded another. Nguyen admits she “got a lot of hate [comments],” but she didn’t hate the creamy, sweet, and savory concoction.
Lisa’s review: “It was worth a try.”