Tag Archives: ando

Instant Ramen Noodles Turn 60

Instant Ramen Noodles Turn 60

On August 25th, 1958, Momofuku Ando’s mission of creating the instant noodle was complete. Today we mark the 60th anniversary of the birth of its invention.

Here’s a cooking video I made – the 50th installment of my series Instant Noodle Recipe Time. It’s funny; twice I hit landmarks on my birthday – review 1000 and 2000 both fell – quite unintentionally – on my birthday. This time, my 50th episode falls on the series’ namesake’s birthday.

Instant Ramen Noodles Turn 60

Here you are (click to enlarge). Feel free to comment below and wish instant noodles as happy 60th birthday!

The Ramen Rater’s 5th Annual Momofuku Ando Day: #1911: Nissin Emergency Chikin Ramen

Every January 19th for the past 5 years, I’ve done a special post in homage of Momofuku Ando. Who was he? Just the guy who invented instant noodles in 1958. If it weren’t for him, my world would be a whole lot different – and many other people’s as well. Actually, I should thank Mr. Ando’s wife as well – the story is that he was attempting to make an easily prepared, shelf stable instant noodle, but couldn’t figure out how. He tried many different techniques, but it was when he saw his wife making tempura in the kitchen one night that it dawned on him – fry the cooked noodles. This leaves holes in the noodles and extrudes the water. Not only that, the oil keeps the noodles shelf stable for a long time. His vision of a way to create and easy way to feed the masses has been a huge success and considered one of the great innovations of the 20th century. I think he deserves a day in his honor, and that day is today, January 19th.

I did a review video especially for today – Nissin Emergency Chikin Ramen – hope you enjoy! Here’s the regular review below.

So I got this can of instant ’emergency’ noodles from doing an interview for Courrier Japon magazine a few years back.

Under the plastic lid is this little disc.

Under the lid (click to enlarge).

Detail of the side of the cam (click to enlarge).

The can contains two emergency servings and includes two of everything.

Here’s the side panels of the cup (click to enlarge). Contains egg and chicken. To prepare, add a noodle block and contents of a seasoning and garnish sachet. Add boiling water to fill line. Let sit for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

Two included forks.

A noodle block.

A seasoning/garnish sachet.

Pieces of chicken, egg and spring onion.

A dessicant sachet – not to be used for human consumption.

Finished (click to enlarge). The three minutes were ample time for the noodles to hydrate, and they were very good – just like the pack version I grew up with. The broth is kind of a soy chicken kind of thing – salty and tasty. The big win here is the decently sized pieces of egg and chicken (both of which actually had a good consistency, texture and quality). The spring onion was very nice too – everything jibed together nicely. Excellent! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  JAN bar code 4902105213360.

A book I’ve wanted to get my hands on for years – Momofuku Ando Speaks

My wife’s favorite Nissin Chikin Ramen TV commercial.

Momofuku Ando Day! #964: Nissin Raoh Backfat Rich Soy Sauce Flavor

SPECIAL: Momofuku Ando’s 105th Birthday Google Doodles and more explained here

2015 The Ramen Rater’s Momofuku Ando Day here!

Today marks the second annual The Ramen Rater’s Momofuku Ando Day! Who was Momofuku Ando? Well, if it weren’t for him, myself, tens of thousands of college students and millions and millions of people around the world would be hungry today. Momofuku Ando invented not only the instant noodle in 1958, but also the Cup Noodle which was introduced in 1971. The company he founded, Nissin Foods, still exists today and produces flavors of instant noodles for many countries in the world. Here in the US, Top Ramen and Cup Noodles are prevalent while in Japan more local flavors like Shoyu (soy sauce) or Shio (salt) can be found. In the Philippines, there are flavors like Bulalo and Sotanghon, and in India Curry and Masala are available. Here’s a short piece about Mr. Ando and the invention of instant noodles from Nissin’s website. I should also mention there will be a special Show Your Noodles to see today as well!

The folks at Nissin Foods USa sent me a big box of samples a couple weeks ago and inside was this little gem from Japan. I have seen this before online but never anywhere in the USA. This is called Raoh and it is one of Nissin’s more premium Japanese products. In honor of Momofuku Ando day, I have done up a video review that you can see below.

Here’s the special Momofuku Ando Day celebratory video! Check it out then look below for more!

Here are the details from the side panels (click image to enlarge).

The veggie packet.

Looks like some nice stuff – green onion I recognize but not sure about the other things.

Dry powder packet.

Looks like soup base powder.

Liquid soup pack.

Has a nice scent.

Check this out – a slice of pork! This is awesome – definitely something you won’t find here in the US.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, green onions and hard boiled egg. The noodles were very nice – perfect chewiness and consistency. Reminds me of fresh ramen noodle varieties. The broth is strong and has a nice thickness. The broth is definitely rich. Has a deep soy flavor and nicely thicker than normal instant noodle broths. The slice of pork? It re-hydrates exceptionally well with a nice consistency and some fat – very decadent for an instant bowl of ramen I’d say. The veggies did well too – a decent amount. All in all, this is amazing stuff. I’d love to try all of the varieties of Raoh, that’s for sure. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars easy. Thanks to Scott A. over at Nissin Foods USA for sending this along with the other samples – awesome! UPC bar code 4902105214077

A tour around the Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama, Japan. I would love to go here someday. Here’s the official website and hours/price:

Name: CUPNOODLES MUSEUM (formal name: Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum)  Address: 2-3-4 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001 Japan  Telephone: General information: 045-345-0918 / Chicken Ramen Factory reservations: 045-345-0825 (Reception hours: 10:00-18:00, holidays excluded)  Museum hours: 10:00-18:00 (last admission 17:00)  Holidays: Tuesdays (when Tuesday is a holiday, closed the following day), year end / new year holidays  Admission: Adults: 500 yen (tax included) / high school age children and younger admitted free  *Some facilities within the museum require separate admission. *Museum admission fee and facility usage fees are subject to change.

Last year’s Momofuku Ando Day video – Top Ramen Chicken Flavor!

#783: Nissin Cup Noodles Salsa Picante Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup

This one was taking a little punishment in the noodle hamper, so I decided it better see the light of day and become ingested.

Here’s the info from the outer packaging (click image to enlarge).

The lid.

Everything is in the cup – no packets or anything.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added a little chicken lunch meat and a couple slices of Fresno pepper. Noodles were pretty standard ‘nothing to write home about,’ but they are rather historic fare. The broth has tones of cumin and chili powder. Not bad. The veggies were okay – marginal at best. All in all, not too shabby. 3.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 070662031032 – get it here.

Here you go – enjoy this if you have to.

I still think Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s better, but this has some promise on the J-Pop scene.

Re-Review: Meet The Manufacturer – Nissin Top Ramen Beef Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup

Last time I had a bowl of Beef Top Ramen was way back at review #221! That seems like forever ago! Well, it’s Meet The Manufacturer: Nissin week and I couldn’t go without reviewing some Top Ramen, right? Decided I’d go with beef. Here we go!

Here’s the back of the packaging (click image to enlarge). This was single pack for sale at the local grocery store – a fraction of a dollar.

Here’s the noodle block. From this, 101 Things To Do With Ramen Noodles, The Ramen Book and scores of other ‘do this with that’ books have come to pass.

Hey – what happened? The last time I saw a flavor packet from there it looked entirely different.

The dry powder seasoning.

Finished (click image to enlarge). I added some roast beef lunch meat, some Bird’s Eye Stor Fry veggies, an egg which I boiled with the noodles, a little Ajishima Kim Chi furikake and a little bit of Sushinori. I’ve always liked these noodles – they have a nice consistency and are the same every time. The broth has a nice, mellow salty beef flavor. Good stuff – especially to add things too – I like it! 3.75 out of 5.0 stars! UPC barcode 070662010020 – get it here.

Back in the day when we first found out about this stuff!

Another really old one!

#700: Meet The Manufacturer – Nissin Chikin Ramen (Local)

Here we go – this is the original instant noodle. This is what Momofuku Ando first sold in Japan! This is the real deal. Here’s a link to my post on Momofuku Ando Day!

My wife got me this five pack of Chikin Ramen for my birthday from Japan on eBay – unfortunately, the shipper wrapped it in newspaper and a plastic bag – the packs were all damaged in the extreme and only one had enough of the form to use for review.

See, this little dimple in the middle is what it;s all about. You’ll see what I mean.

Here’s the front of the individual pack.

This is the back of the big 5-pack bag (click image to enlarge). So what you do is put everything in a bowl, drop an uncooked egg on top, add 450cc water and cover for 3 minutes.

Here’s the back of the individual packs (click image to enlarge).

Here’s our poor specimen (this was the nicest one out of all five packs – all the others were mostly like the pulverized bits on the underneath of this one) there’s no seasoning packets – it’s all infused into the noodles.

I decided in honor of this ‘Meet The Manufacturer’ week and being review #700, I thought I’d make a video showing how I made this stuff.

The finished product (click image to enlarge). It seems like this would be about as hum-drum and normal as you can get, but quite honestly, there’s really nothing else that I’ve tried that’s like it. I’ve had some noodles that are pre-seasoned and tasted somewhat similar, but they don’t come out like this. The noodles have a very light, almost ‘springy’ texture to them. They bulk up when steeping and you end up with a pretty decent portion. The broth is thin; like I said, all the seasoning is in the noodles themselves. The flavor is kind of like a chicken sesame. I think calling them ‘Roasted Ramen’ when they were available in the US for a short time was an apt title. These are a work of art and a testament to Momofuku Ando‘s ingenuity. With the egg, it’s a good, filling meal. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars!!! UPC barcode 4902105001103 .

Chikin Ramn commercial.

Making of a Chikin Ramen commercial.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview with Nissin Foods USA – Makers of Top Ramen, Cup Noodles & More


Welcome to the second installment in the ‘Meet The Manufacturer’ series! This one’s with Nissin, makers of the ever-popular Top Ramen, Cup Noodles and the like. They sent a nice package of different instant varieties to sample – most of them new to me. The following interview is with Senior Marketing Manager, Linda Chung, facilitated by Senior Marketing Coordinator Scott Akazaki.

TRR: Nissin was the first instant noodles I had ever tried in my life – I am thrilled and thoroughly appreciate the chance to do this interview with you – thank you!

To start, can you give a little background on how the company was founded and a little about its history in Japan?

NISSIN: Mr. Ando began the company as part of a humble family operation back in 1948. Faced with sparse food sources after World War II, Mr. Ando realized that a quality, convenient ramen product would help to feed the masses. His goal was to create a satisfying ramen that could be eaten anywhere, anytime. In 1958, Nissin introduced “Chicken Ramen”, the first instant ramen. Ironically, it was considered a luxury item, since Japanese grocery stores sold fresh Japanese noodles (udon) at one-sixth the cost of Mr. Ando’s new food concept.
Still, Mr. Ando was convinced that his revolutionary new method of preparation would sell. The concept seemed simple enough. All users would have to do is simply remove the ramen from its package, place it in a bowl, add boiling water, cover the bowl, and wait three minutes. The conservative Japanese food industry, however, rejected the product as a novelty with no future. They had never been so wrong.
Soon, Chicken Ramen was selling beyond even Mr. Ando’s wildest expectations. Before you could say “instant”, more than ten companies were rushing to put their own versions out on the market. By the end of 1958, grocery shelves were crowded with this new staple for the Japanese kitchen. From this point on, Nissin Foods began introduction of a long list of successful and innovative ramen products.

TRR: For those who might not be familiar with all of them, what lines of instant noodle products to you offer in the United States?

NISSIN: We are constantly pushing the boundaries of instant ramen as it should be with our new products – the latest is Big Cup Noodles (It features shorter, wider noodles in a paper cup). Other products include:

Cup Noodles
Top Ramen
Souper Meal
Chow Mein
Chow Noodles
Bowl Noodles Rich & Savory
Bowl Noodles Hot & Spicy
Ramen Bowl (just launched)
Spoon it (just launched)

TRR: When and why was there a need for Nissin Foods in the United States?

NISSIN: Nissin Foods introduced Top Ramen into the U.S. in 1970. Mr. Ando saw an opportunity to introduce a new type of noodle soup product to the states. As he showed his products to grocery store buyers, he realized that no one in the US had ramen sized bowls. This insight, combined with getting served coffee in a Styrofoam cup on a business trip flight, was the genesis of Cup Noodles.

TRR: I know that the varieties available in Japan and the product line in the United States differ quite a bit. Why is that?

NISSIN: This is based on developing tastes that are suitable for a specific region of the globe. This was especially true in the 1970’s when the concept of instant ramen was foreign, we didn’t want to compound this with Asian flavors.

TRR: How do you determine when it is time to retire a flavor of Top Ramen and how do you go about determining a new one to offer?

NISSIN: This decision is based primarily on what the customer wants. We tend to let them “vote” with their wallets.

TRR: I commonly am asked if I am worried about sodium levels in all the different instant noodles from around the world I review. How would you recommend people balance their enjoyment of instant noodles and keeping them as part of a healthy meal?

NISSIN: You’ve already answered the question. It’s all about balance. Our products are ideal when you are looking for something fast, convenient and portable (and tastes good).

TRR: Often, I hear about people microwaving Cup Noodles. Is this the correct method of their preparation? Is it recommended to do so?

NISSIN: Cup Noodles was designed for optimum eating experience with boiling water.

TRR: When I was very young, my mother introduced me to Nissin Roasted Ramen, which was a close resemblance to Nissin Chikin Ramen, the first product produced in Japan in 1958 by Nissin. After Roasted Ramen was discontinued, I found an Asian grocery in Seattle and found Chikin Ramen – but it’s been decades since I’ve seen Chikin Ramen available anywhere. Any chance you’ll bring Roasted Ramen or something like it back?

NISSIN: That is up to our parent company in Japan. There are some government regulations about importing items that contain a certain amount of meat/chicken. This is especially true after the Mad Cow scare a few years back.

TRR: I recently discovered you new line of Ramen Bowls. With flavors like Kimchi and Hot & Spicy, are these meant to compete with similar Korean products?

NISSIN: We are trying to offer our consumers an authentic Asian experience.

TRR: I’ve noticed many instant noodle manufacturers are located in Southern California. Aside from the fact that it never rains there, why was this the spot you picked for your factory?

NISSIN: I’ll have to get back to you on that one. It may be because of the established Asian population that was here in the 1970’s. This was the natural first consumer base for our products – first/second generation Japanese who missed this type of ramen noodles.

TRR: How many packs and cups of Top Ramen and Cup Noodles are made every year?

NISSIN: 3.9 billion instant ramen products (including Nissin) have been consumed in the US in 2010. See the link below for more information.

http://instantnoodles.org/noodles/expanding-market.html

TRR: Can you tell my readers about any new and exciting products to look for in the near future?

NISSIN: We are launching new flavors for our Big Cup Noodles line: Roast Chicken and Spicy Chicken.

TRR: Finally, when you enjoy instant noodles, what kind do you like and what do you add (if anything) to them to make them your own?

NISSIN: What’s my favorite Nissin product? It’s like asking someone to pick their favorite child! Chow Mein is my favorite Nissin product. Stir fried noodles without the hassle of cooking or getting takeout. If I am eating instant ramen, it’s primarily due to time constraint so, I enjoy it as-is.

TRR: Again, thank you very much for this opportunity to do this interview! Thank you for making such a great product so many enjoy and have a great day!

Well, there you have it! Thanks again to the folks at Nissin USA for the samples and the interview! This was a lot of fun and I’m sure folks will be interested in seeing the new products I’ll be reviewing in the next week or so!

Happy Momofuku Ando Day!!!

Well, today’s the day! The first Ramen Rater Momofuku Ando Day! I hope people out there are enjoying noodles today! Been a great day here – had some good noodles (which you’ll see shortly in the video) and was featured on the Seattle Weekly’s blog! Today I decided to review the closest thing I had to the 1958 Nissin Chikin noodles – the first instant noodles that were produced ever. I went with Nissin’s Top Ramen Chicken flavor; kind of the great grandchild of the Nissin Chikin! So sit back, relax, and check out the video. Happy Momofuku Ando Day!

The Ramen Rater: Momofuku Ando Day January 19th, 2012

SPECIAL: Momofuku Ando’s 105th Birthday Google Doodles and more explained here

2015 The Ramen Rater’s Momofuku Ando Day here!

Today I was looking through a Wikipedia entry all about the creator of instant noodles, Momofuku Ando. Much to my surprise, I noticed that there is a day commemorating him called Momofuku Ando Day! What’s strange about this is that it was founded by some healthcare workers – at a  Dallas, Texas hospital!

What’s not so strange about this is why a day exists to honor the man.

Momofuku Ando was born into a rich Taiwanese family in 1910. His parents died when he was young and he spent most of his youth in the care of his grandparents who ran a textile business.He started his own textile business in Taiwan during the 30’s. After World War II, he moved to Japan and took the Japanese name Momofuku Ando (his birthname was Chinese – Wu Pai-fu).
Things didn’t go so well for him in Japan – after becoming a Japanese citizen, he was sent to jail for two years for tax evasion. His business was lost.
After jail, he didn’t give up. He started a new business in Osaka, Japan that produced salt.
Times were hard in Japan after World War II. The Japanese were told by their government that they should eat bread made from wheat flour that was supplied by the United States. Noodles wre the standard fare of Japanese folks and Ando saw an opportunity here. Why wouldn’t they want to eat noodles instead of bread? The government insisted that the companies that made noodles were too small to supply everyone.Ando decided that he would try to fill the demand. He is quoted as saying, “Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat.”
After a lot of hard work, 1958 proved a good year with the first instant noodles to be invented. Simply called Chikin ramen, they were a little pricy when they came out. After a bit of time, they came down in price. Now they’re considered to be one of the cheapest foods you can get.

The holiday? Well, the folks at that hospital thought that such a motto, “Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat” was great – they found Momofuku Ando’s contribution of a cheap, easily prepared footstuff for the people of the world was deserving of recognition. So on that day, they would conduct fundraisers and donation drives for those without food and in need.

I think that’s pretty awesome – a Taiwanese guy whose parents die goes into the textile business in the footsteps of his grandparents, moves to Japan, is jailed, finds freedom again and begins a company that becomes synonymous with a full belly everywhere in the world and get a commemorative day from a Texas hospital!

It didn’t say why January 19th was the magic  Momofuku Ando Day’s date – here’;s what it does say:

  Momofuku Ando Day was established January 2007 at a small hospital in Dallas, Texas. Recognizing the genius life of the man whose product has fed millions, a group of healthcare workers first celebrated the day on January 19, 2007. Each participating employee brought several packages of favorite ramen flavors to a banquet table from which employees could sample. The second year, January 2008, participating employees developed unique dishes using ramen as the prime ingredient. The Day also kicked off the “It Starts With Me” campaign promoting charitable giving and customer service. Unfortunately, the hospital was corporately closed in June 2008. In January 2009, several of the transferred employees continued Momofuku Ando Day by sharing it with their new coworkers at a sister facility. Understanding that ramen has been a staple food for victims of disaster and the poverty-stricken, as well as for college students and those wanting a quick meal, Momofuku Ando Day became an endeavor to help feed those in need by fundraising for charitable organizations, or simply calling attention to poverty or hunger through ramen or food donations to local food banks and free meal kitchens. The day has since been celebrated the second Friday of January to allow Mr. Ando due recognition. (Wikipedia)

I think January 19th, 2012 should be celebrated as Momofuku Ando Day. If I had some Chikin ramen I’d review it, so I think I’ll have to do something a little less authentic. But yeah – MOMOFUKU ANDO DAY 2012! Sounds like a plan. Spread the word! Eat some instant noodles and be charitable towards your fellow being!!!

Here are some links:

Momofuku Ando – Wikipedia | Link

Momofuku Ando Japan Times Obituary | Link

Momofuku Ando’s Mew York Times Obituary | Link

The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum In Osaka, Japan
English | Japanese


A video about the Momofuku Ando museum in Japan.


The Cup Noodle museum. I don’t know but I would be way more excited than this guy is!


This is pretty bizarre.


David Chang runs the Momofuku restaurant.

#265: Nissin Cup Noodles Chicken Flavor

Yeah okay I know… After 264 reviews I’m finally getting to the Nissin Chicken Cup Noodles. Let’s get to it.

So here’s the inner lid – I accidentally busted the top of it – got a little rough…

Here’s the indoors of the chicken cup noodles. Very good looking – lots of veggies.

Click image to enlarge. And finally, the finished product. The noodles weren’t bad and the broth was good  but the highlight here was the veggies and bits of chicken like stuff. I liked it – giving this one a 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. Get it here.

#221: Nissin Top Ramen Beef Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup

Yep – surprising isn’t it? When you see that I’ve reviewed well over 200 unique packs of instant noodles to think that I haven’t done beef flavored Top Ramen yet. So here we go!

The single packet.

The powdered soup base.

The finished product (click image to enlarge). I added two eggs while boiling by the way, as has been my style lately. So the noodles are Sufficiently chewy and thick. The broth is nice and tasty. The eggs added a richness to everything. I wish it had some veggies but this is the cheap stuff. I mean, this is at times ten cents, and I remember when I was younger seeing sales on Top Ramen for 20/$1. Not too bad at all as this stuff is really quite good. This one gets 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. Get it here. UPC bar code 070662010020.