Nissin's Cup Noodles got a recipe makeover, but is it any good?
For the first time in its 45 years of existence, Cup Noodles — that fried, dried, neon yellow soup from your childhood (and current office break room) — has been given a makeover.
Now, usually when someone makes a change to something nostalgic, I get up in arms. Must everything change? But in the case of food, companies have recently been making changes to make our favorite childhood foods if not outright healthy then at least a little healthier. General Mills got rid of artificial colors in its cereals, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell have removed several artificial flavors, and McDonald's is moving toward using only cage-free eggs. Customers clearly want higher-quality foods, and brands are finally listening.
That's the case with Nissin. It has reduced the sodium (from 1,430 milligrams to 1,070 milligrams), swapped MSG for hydrolyzed vegetable protein and removed artificial flavors from Cup Noodles in favor of things like green cabbage juice. I'm sure Gwyneth "I would rather die than let my kids eat Cup-a-Soup" Paltrow would be happy about this latest development, but for the rest of us lowbrow, freeze-dried noodle slurpers, one question remains: Does it still taste any good?
Luckily some SheKnows staff members had a chance to try the new Cup Noodles recipe, and reviews were mostly positive.
"We set up a little taste test — old vs. new. I tried the new version first, and um, whoa! Instantly noticed a difference. The original recipe always made me feel like I was just slurping down a big, hot pile of MSG. But this new recipe? Let me tell ya, the broth was way less salty (in a good way), and there seemed to be a lot more natural herb flavors. Ten points to you, Cup Noodles!"
—Kenzie Mastroe, branded content editor
"I liked the new version a lot. The sodium wasn't as overpowering, the taste didn't linger forever in my mouth, and the herbs — I think it was parsley — really stood out. I still wouldn't call it 'healthy,' though."
—Colleen Stinchcombe, Experts editor
"I didn't taste a huge difference, but it was less salty, and that's the best part. My heart didn't even start beating faster after."
—Crystal Brown, director of content operations
Entertainment editor Kristine Cannon didn't notice much of a difference, but that's because she only tried the noodles without the broth. "Maybe my taste buds are just jacked, LOL."
So the overall consensus seems to be that it tastes a little more natural and a little less salty than the original, but generally about the same. A delicious Cup Noodles that doesn't turn my teeth yellow and give my tongue sodium burn but still tastes like my childhood comfort food? I am so there.
Before you go, check out our 50 one-pot recipes: