Is Soy Sauce Ramen Oriental?

Maruchan makes some of the best instant noodles in the world. This company makes many noodle flavors, but the most popular one is its Oriental instant packet. Still, many people noticed a change in the name and wondered – is Soy Sauce ramen Oriental, in fact? Let’s learn more about it.

Soy Sauce ramen is the same as Oriental, which was originally sold everywhere. Manufacturers who had instant noodles with this name changed it to reflect and represent the flavor profile more specifically, as the term “oriental” can signify many different tastes and ingredients. Additionally, the term is considered outdated, so a revamp was a smart choice.

Instant noodles up close

Is Soy Sauce Ramen Oriental?

Yes, the Soy Sauce ramen was originally Oriental. Maruchan decided to call it this way because, as they said, it better reflects the distinct flavor profile. They wished to create delicious and salty instant noodles, and they did, but the name deserved to be changed.

You can still buy these instant noodles everywhere; just look for the words “soy sauce” on the packets instead. Top Ramen might still have the word attached to the package, but it’s not called the same anymore.

For anyone confused about the change, don’t worry – your favorite noodle packet hasn’t been pulled from the market. Maruchan even has a special section on their FAQ page dedicated to explaining what had happened to the original flavor and packaging; this pack is so popular that manufacturers had to assure everyone that it wasn’t gone for good.

A person off-screen eating instant noodles

Why Did Manufacturers Change the Ramen’s Name?

Famous manufacturers like Maruchan ramen and brands like Top Ramen are just some of the companies that gave their signature instant noodles a new name – soy sauce flavor.

Maruchan wrote about this on their website, saying that they named it “soy sauce” to reflect the flavor profile of the packet better. The last name felt too broad, as all Asian countries have very different ways of cooking noodles.

Not only does the new name feel more natural and sound better overall, but the manufacturers have also cleverly avoided potential controversy, considering that the word is today deemed derogatory.

A man lovingly eating instant ramen

What Does the Word “Oriental” Represent?

It doesn’t matter if you enjoy real or instant noodles. They have a distinct taste that we can only associate with one part of the world – the Asian continent. However, Asia is vast and encompasses a lot of unique countries, nationalities, and cultures, which could lead us to wonder – what does the word actually represent?

East and Southeast Asian countries were, long ago, dubbed “The Orient,” and anything that came from there was called oriental. Countries that fall under the category are:

  • China,
  • Japan,
  • Indonesia,
  • Taiwan,
  • Malaysia,
  • The Philippines,
  • Thailand,
  • Vietnam,
  • Singapore,
  • Korea,
  • Cambodia,
  • Myanmar,
  • Mongolia,
  • Laos.

While the use of the word was once acceptable, it’s frowned upon today because it was primarily used by colonizing nations and is today deemed insulting and derogatory. Renaming the original pack was a good decision, by all accounts.

Which Flavors Are the Most Prominent in East and Southeast Asia?

Most Asian countries rely on the big four – salty, sweet, sour, and spicy – as the base for their dishes. Many can very often have all four profiles in one dish, making it a wonderful but unexpected match.

Here are the signature flavors and common ingredients used across some East and Southeast Asian countries that have the most popular cuisines in the world.

CountryCommon ingredientsFlavors
JapanNori, teriyaki, soy sauce, sesame oil, wasabi, ginger, daikon, mushrooms, pankoSalty and sour
ThailandCoriander, fish sauce, coconut milk, shrimp, peanuts, lemon grass, Thai basil, mint, sweet chiliSpicy and sweet
ChinaBean curd, eggs, shallots, soy sauce, Sichuan pepper, hoisin, star anise, oyster sauce, garlic, gingerSalty, sweet, and spicy
VietnamShrimp paste, fish sauce, cinnamon, basil, Vietnamese mint, rice noodles, rice paper, peanuts, papayaSweet and salty
IndonesiaTofu, chicken, eggs, sambal, coconut milk, noodles, broth, avocadoSalty and sometimes sweet
MalaysiaCoconut milk, shrimp paste, chilis, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, rice noodlesSweet and salty

Is Today’s Flavor the Same as the One We Loved?

The Oriental noodle pack was always the best ramen on Amazon, or at least the most popular one. When people realized it was out of the shops, they worried that perhaps the manufacturers’ completely took it out of production.

However, to many shoppers’ delight, the product wasn’t decommissioned – it was just going through a name and design change. For example, Top Ramen is now called “Soy Sauce,” but below that, the packet says “same oriental flavor.”

Despite this, some fans claim the taste isn’t completely the same. Manufacturers haven’t made changes to their formula, only the name, so this may just be a trick of the mind. Still, most people are pretty satisfied with the change and the taste.

You can try and decide for yourself if the taste is different from before, as well as if you like what they did to the packaging; I personally think it’s as delicious as ever.

A person stirring instant ramen in a white bowl

Soy Sauce Noodle Pack Is as Delicious and Hearty as Always

Instant noodles don’t cost a lot, they’re delicious, and can be prepared in more ways than one. I don’t mean cooking them in a microwave or on the stove (although both options are legit). I mean adding ingredients that could elevate a quick and easy packet into a gourmet-style dish.

That’s why the beloved soy sauce flavor will continue to be one of the most popular and beloved ramens – the unique taste is there, but it still gives us the option of enjoying it with other ingredients by our own recipe. Get your hands on a few packs of the fabulous dish on Amazon or the nearest shop, and start cooking!