The Reason Buldak Fire Noodles Have Been Recalled In Denmark

Mild Danish classics like flødeboller marshmallow cookies and creamy cheese danishes do not necessarily indicate a low spice tolerance nationwide. But this hasn't deterred health officials in Denmark from pulling three Buldak instant ramen flavors from shelves across the country. The reason why? They're simply too spicy (yes, really).

The recalled trio includes the Buldak Hot Chicken Ramen 3x Spicy (13,000 SHU), Buldak Hot Chicken Ramen 2x Spicy (10,000 SHU), and Hot Chicken Stew. For the record, Buldak Chicken 2x spicy noodles came in first place in our ranking of spiciest instant noodles. According to an official statement by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration released on June 11, these flavors contain such intense capsaicin spiciness that they have the potential to be dangerous to consumers. The statement even mentioned that the spiciness was so extreme that it could cause "acute poisoning" for some consumers, particularly children.

The quality of the actual ramen is not under attack. Still, the Administration is calling for stores to pull Buldak from shelves immediately and for folks who have purchased the product to throw it out. Needless to say, Danish Buldak fans aren't stoked about the recall. As Copenhagen college student Jakob Krogh Schultz told news outlet The Korea Times, "I'm still left wondering if there isn't another way we can keep the product in Denmark while not allowing kids to buy it, like we do with energy drinks and alcohol."

Buldak spicy noodles are facing the heat in Northern Europe

It might seem like a lot of hype, but the ramen's legendary spiciness has inspired a tidal wave of internet content. Videos of foodies making Buldak's carbonara ramen accrued hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok earlier this year. Before that, the "fire noodle challenge" featuring Buldak went viral on YouTube, as folks sweated through bowls of the spicy noodle soup. 

Thanks to chili pepper powder, red pepper powder, red pepper seed oil, garlic, decolorized chili extract, paprika extract, and black pepper powder, Buldak delivers building layers of capsaicin burn. The heat intensifies with every bite from sweet to sweaty and lingers after you've swallowed. The original Buldak flavor clocks in at roughly 8,706 SHU on the Scoville Scale (SHU). For reference, a jalapeño pepper totes 2,500-8,000 SHU.

Buldak, the word for "fire chicken" in Korean, was launched in 2012 by Samyang Foods, the country's first instant noodle manufacturer. Today, Samyang exports Buldak noodles to an estimated 80 countries around the world. As Samyang Foods told the BBC, "The products are being exported globally. But this is the first time they have been recalled for the above reason." The company also told the outlet that it plans to "closely look into the local regulations."