Tag Archives: momofuku ando

#3135: Nissin Chikin Ramen Mini Donburi – Japan

#3135: Nissin Chikin Ramen Mini Donburi - Japan

Today we have a Zenpop.JP variety – so what’s Zenpop? They’re a subscription service for all things Japanese! Definitely, check them out. By the way, use coupon code RAMENRATER to get $2 off! Here’s what they had to say about this one -“Chikin Ramen is the very first instant noodles in the world. It was invented by Momofuku Ando in 1958, and it is said that instant noodle is one of the greatest invention in 20th century. We definitely think so! This year is the 60th anniversary of Chikin Ramen, so enjoy the classic instant noodle to celebrate it!”

For my 2000th review, I tried the standard sized version. Let’ check out this tiny one!

Nissin Chikin Ramen Mini Donburi – Japan

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains chicken. To prepare, add boiling water to fill line. Cover for 3 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3135: Nissin Chikin Ramen Mini Donburi - Japan

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

#3135: Nissin Chikin Ramen Mini Donburi - Japan

The little noodle block.

#3135: Nissin Chikin Ramen Mini Donburi - Japan

A freeze dried ingredients block!

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion and sesame seeds. The noodles are soft and thin. The broth interacts with them very well and has a sesame chicken kind of taste to it. Bits of egg and chicken are throughout – thin and wispy. Brings me back. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  JAN bar code 49698541.

#3135: Nissin Chikin Ramen Mini Donburi - Japan

Nissin Chicken Ramen bowl 85g ~ 12 pieces

Watch me whip this up on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

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!

#2797: Nissin Chikin Ramen Shoyu Flavor

 #2797: Nissin Chikin Ramen Shoyu Flavor

Here’s one I found up in Canada that I was going to show during the Momofuku Ando Day #7 video, but it was already running way too long and so I skipped it. This looks to be a regular chikin ramen with soy sauce flavor – let’s look inside and see what we have here.

Nissin Chikin Ramen Shoyu Flavor – Japan

 #2797: Nissin Chikin Ramen Shoyu Flavor

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Unsure whether it contains meat. To prepare, add 230ml to a skillet and bring to boil. Add noodle block and and sachet cook until water is absorbed. Finally, stir and enjoy!

 #2797: Nissin Chikin Ramen Shoyu Flavor

The holy dream in all it’s glory; the chikin ramen noodle block.

 #2797: Nissin Chikin Ramen Shoyu Flavor

A seasoning sachet.

 #2797: Nissin Chikin Ramen Shoyu Flavor


Finished (click to enlarge). Added egg. This really reminds me of my childhood. Noodles are light and flavorful without being a salt explosion. Classic, simple, and distinguished. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code  4902105104583.

 #2797: Nissin Chikin Ramen Shoyu Flavor

Nissin Chicken Ramen Noodle 85gx5pcs

A 50th anniversary TV spot for chikin ramen – this is year is the 60th anniversary of the birht of the instant noodle

The Ramen Rater’s Seventh Annual Momofuku Ando Day

Momofuku Ando The Ramen Rater's Seventh Annual Momofuku Ando Day

Seven years ago I first heard about Momofuku Ando Day. I was curious about it and very happy it existed – so much so that I decided that since I devote so much time to instant noodles and reviewing them, I ought to pay homage to their creator.

The Ramen Rater’s Seventh Annual Momofuku Ando Day

Today has a special meaning to me. I grew up in a place where the exotic seemed very much out of reach. In the end, the instant noodle saved me from what I considered the mundane and boring. Flavors and images from far flung places around the world at a low price. Mr. Ando’s invention has allowed me to try something new every day, had the added side effect of visiting places I’d never thought I’d see, and enjoy learning about other cultures. I salute you, Mr. Ando and your invention out of necessity. The instant noodle was born out of the hope to feed people and it has done that – especially in times of crisis and disaster. A fine legacy to leave the world.

Here’s lots of info from Wikipedia including invention timeline and early life.

Early life and education

Ando was born Go Pek-Hok (Chinese吳百福Pe̍h-ōe-jīGô͘ Pek-hok) in 1910 into a wealthy Taiwanese family in Kagi-chō (Japanese嘉義廳, modern-day Chiayi County), Japanese-era Taiwan, and raised by his grandparents within the city walls of Tainan-chō (臺南廳Tainan) following the deaths of his parents.[1] His grandparents owned a small textiles store, which inspired him, at the age of 22, to start his own textiles company, using 190,000 yen, in Eiraku-chō (永樂町), Daitōtei, Taihoku (Taipei).

In 1933, Ando traveled to Osaka where he established a clothing company while studying economics at Ritsumeikan University.[1]


Founding Nissin

After World War II, Japan lost Taiwan as its territory and Ando as a Taiwanese had to choose between becoming a citizen of the Republic of China (Taiwan) or remaining a Japanese subject. Ando chose the former in order to keep his ancestral properties in Taiwan (since all Japanese nationals had to forfeit their properties in Taiwan). However, Ando remained in Japan.

He was convicted of tax evasion in 1948 and served two years in jail. In his biography, Ando said he had provided scholarships for students, which at the time was a form of tax evasion. After he lost his company due to a chain reaction bankruptcy, Ando founded what was to become Nissin in IkedaOsaka, Japan, starting off as a small family-run company producing salt.

Invention of Chicken Ramen

Momofuku Ando The Ramen Rater's Seventh Annual Momofuku Ando Day


A recreation of Ando’s Workshop at the Momofuku Andō Instant Ramen Museum.

With Japan still suffering from a shortage of food in the post-war era, the Ministry of Health tried to encourage people to eat bread made from wheat flour that was supplied by the United States. Ando wondered why bread was recommended instead of noodles, which were more familiar to the Japanese. The Ministry’s response was that noodle companies were too small and unstable to satisfy supply needs, so Ando decided to develop the production of noodles by himself. The experience convinced him that “Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat.”[2]

On August 25, 1958, at the age of 48, and after months of trial and error experimentation to perfect his flash-frying method, Ando marketed the first package of precooked instant noodles. The original chicken flavor is called Chikin Ramen. It was originally considered a luxury item with a price of ¥35,[3] around six times that of traditional udon and soba noodles at the time. As of 2016, Chicken Ramen is still sold in Japan and now retails for around ¥120, or approximately one third the price of the cheapest bowl of noodles in a Japanese restaurant.

Cup o’ Noodles invention

Momofuku Ando The Ramen Rater's Seventh Annual Momofuku Ando Day


Nissin Cup Noodles (1971 ~)

According to The Financial Times, Ando’s invention of Cup Noodles in 1971, at the age of 61, helped spark the popularity of instant noodles overseas. He had observed that Americans ate noodles by breaking the noodles in half, putting them into a cup, and pouring hot water over the noodles. They also ate them with a fork instead of chopsticks. Ando was inspired, and felt that a Styrofoam cup—with a narrower bottom than the top—would be the ideal vessel for holding noodles and keeping them warm. Eating the noodles would then be as easy as opening the lid, adding hot water and waiting. This simplicity, efficiency and low price of Cup Noodles went on to transform Nissin’s fortunes.[4]

Ando began the sales of his most famous product, Cup Noodle (カップヌードル Kappu Nūdoru), on September 18, 1971 with the idea of providing a waterproof polystyrene container.[5] As prices dropped, instant ramen soon became a booming business. Worldwide demand reached 98 billion servings in 2009.[6]

Industry memberships

In 1964, seeking a way to promote the instant noodle industry, Ando founded the Instant Food Industry Association, which set guidelines for fair competition and product quality, introducing several industry standards such as the inclusion of production dates on packaging and the “fill to” line. He was also the chairman of the International Ramen Manufacturers’ Association.

Personal life and death

Momofuku Ando The Ramen Rater's Seventh Annual Momofuku Ando Day


Silver statue of Momofuku Ando

In 1966, Ando naturalized through marriage and became a Japanese citizen. “Momofuku” is the Japanese reading of his Taiwanese given name (百福Pek-hok), while Andō (安藤) is the last name of his Japanese wife.

Ando died of heart failure on January 5, 2007 at a hospital in IkedaOsaka Prefecture at the age of 96.[2]

Ando was survived by his wife Masako, two sons and a daughter. Ando claimed that the secret of his long life was playing golf and eating Chicken ramen almost every day. He was said to have eaten instant ramen until the day he died.[7][8]


Momofuku Ando was repeatedly honored with medals by the Japanese government and the emperor, including The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, Second Class, in 2002 which is the second most prestigious Japanese decoration for Japanese civilians.

Medal of Honor with Blue Ribbon (1977)

Order of the Sacred Treasure, Second Class, Gold and Silver Star (1982)

Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon (1983)

Director-General of the Science and Technology Agency “Distinguished Service Award” (1992)

Order of the Rising Sun, Second Class, Gold and Silver Star (2002)

Foreign decoration

Order of the Direkgunabhorn of Thailand, Fourth Class, (2001)[9]

Order of precedence

Senior fourth rank (2007, posthumous)of the say


The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum is named after him.

In 2015Google placed a doodle on its main web page commemorating his birthday on March 5.[10]

The name of the Momofuku restaurants in the United States alludes to Momofuku Ando.[11]


The Ramen Rater’s 6th Annual Momofuku Ando Day

The Ramen Rater's Sixth Annual Momofuku Ando Day

Every year, I celebrate the life and innovative achievements of Momofuku Ando, the inventor of the instant noodle. This year, I thought it’d be neat to show different varieties of Cup Noodles, a global brand that celebrated its 45th anniversary last year.

Cup Noodle (or Cup Noodles) were realized while Mr. Ando was travelling. He noticed businessmen adding chunks of instant noodles to their coffee cups, filled with boiling water. This concept reaches a new level by creating noodle blocks that go into the cup and are elevated slightly. Boiling water is introduced and the space above and below the block allow the boiling water to reach all surfaces of the noodle, making them prepare evenly.

In this video, I take a look at six different Cup Noodles varieties from around the world as well as a recipe for yakisoba using Nissin Yakisoba from Japan.

Nissin Yakisoba – Japan

Nissin Yakisoba with Chashu Pork + Mayonnaise

Finished (click to enlarge). So I made the yakisoba using the standard instruction. Second, I also added some chashu pork and karashi mayonnaise.

To get the mayo to look like this here’s what I do. I take a sandwich baggie and add mayonnaise to one end. On the other, poke three holes in the corner. Squeeze the mayo at one end over to the other. I usually give it a squeeze over the sink to make sure which side it will squirt out of. This saves an epic mess. Finally, I just go back and forth over the noodles and chashu and end up with this effect. Actually, its kind of like a piping gun – this way you can just chuck the baggie in the trash. Specifically its very convenient. Also, if you have any yakisoba that comes with a sachet of mayo, you could poke a push pin in the end.

Happy Momofuku Ando Day to everyone! A great day to thank the man who brought one of our favorite foods into the world!

Meet The Manufacturer: #2000: Nissin Chikin Ramen Donburi

Well folks, here we are. Review #2000! I recommend that you all start by reading the interview I conducted with Nissin Japan before proceeding.

I created a special video to accompany this post – check it out!

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains chicken products. To prepare, open lid and add 410ml boiling water. Cover and let steep for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

The seasoned noodle block.

A large freeze dried block of egg and spring onion.

Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles hydrated perfectly and are the exact gauge and texture I remember having as a child. They’re salty and have a sesame chicken flavor. The egg block really expanded nicely – scrambled egg and spring onion are everywhere and in great quantity – no measly portion here. The broth is very tasty, again withe the sesame chicken taste. This was a bowl I’ve been wanting to try for many years and this is the perfect 2000th review. A taste of my childhood. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4902105002605.

Nissin Chiken Ramen bowl 85g ~ 12 pieces

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’s 105th Birthday

March 5th, 2015 would have been Momofuku Ando’s 105th birthday! Google has honored the inventor of the instant noodle by putting up these alternate logos – I will explain them below.

This is a animation of the birth of the instant noodle. Ando spent hours and days and weeks trying to figure out how to make the instant noodle. He watched his wife making tempura one day and it hit him; frying. When you fry a cooked noodle, it extrudes the water and leaves tiny holes. When re-introduced to hot water, they spring back to life!

To be honest, I was a little unclear on this one at first. It has been said that after research, it was found that 1 minute wasn’t enough time to get the appetite going and 5 minutes too long. 3 minutes is the ipso-facto standard steeping time for instant noodles.

In 1971, the Nissin Cup Noodle was born. Ando saw businessmen on a flight putting chunks of instant noodle in foam cups usually used for coffee with some hot water. He decided a product made this way would be convenient for people. The research began. The noodle block is suspended in the cup midway to allow hot water to permeate the noodles above and below!

Outer space?! Yep! Ando’s crowning achievement was ‘Space Ram’ – an instant noodle astronauts could enjoy in outer space.

If you’d like to see some special reviews, check out Nissin Chikin Ramen – it’s exactly the same as it was when released in 1958. I also did a special video review of the Nissin Emergency Cup Noodle this year for The Ramen Rater’s 4th Annual Momofuku Ando Day! Happy Birthday Mr. Ando – you changed my life!

4th Annual Momofuku Ando Day: Good Cook Instant Noodle Maker

My sister got me this for Christmas (thanks, Sue!). She called when she was at a grocery store and asked if I wanted it and of course since it has to do with instant noodles, I said yes. Let’s check it out!

As part of Momofuku Ando Day, I thought doing a review of this thing would be interesting. Check out the video, and more pictures below.

There has been a lot of hub bub about instant noodle cups and their tendencey to tip over and burn people. My thought is that this is a flawed argument. You know the contents are hot, and you should be careful – and definitely don’t put one in front of a small child! A couple thoughts behind this device deal with this, and also the correct way to make a instant noodle cup. You’re not supposed to put these cups directly into the microwave, but fill them with boiling water and steep them like tea. Rarely will you find one that says that it’s okay to microwave. To use this product, add water to the fill line, microwave 2-4 minutes, open up a cup of instant noodles and remove the paper lid. Add the hot water you just microwaved to the fill line (discard leftover water) and then put the noodle cup into the device. Cover with the supplied lid and wait three minutes. Remove lid, stir, and enjoy!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Impressions: I found that when pouring the hot water into the noodle cup, I spilled some. Now, realize that I didn’t remove the paper lid as it mentions, although I don’t know if that’s the only reason I spilled (other than being a clumsy oaf). The noodles steeped just fine in this thing. After 3 minutes, noodles were hot and hydrated well. I ate the rest of them after I did the video and had put all my video making junk away; about ten minutes. The noodles were still hot – very hot. Some may look at this as a negative or positive, depending on the side of the field you’re on. Staying hot for a long period is mostly the foam’s job and it does it’s job well. So, you could enjoy some, set it down, have more in a few etc. Great for when you’re busy. Some may find this as a negative, since they want to enjoy it quickly and don’t want to wait for it to cool. Looks like you have to blow on your noodles to cool them. Another idea would be to drop in an ice cube or a little cold water to even things out perhaps. Now, this makes it so you don’t have a way to microwave your noodles directly in the microwave, which is a good thing. But for those who really like to do this although not the way you’re supposed to, you could dump the contents of the noodle cup into the thing and then fill to the line and microwave. It is possible though that it could boil over – not sure. Also, without the foam, the noodles will lose the heat quicker as it dissipates. As for the design, it works well in most respects. This thing isn’t going to tip over with a good knock, and the handle is a nice addition. On either side there are little divets that are for sipping the soup. I found them to be of a good size, although some people with bigger mouths might find them cumbersome. Also I found on the last slurp of soup, it tended to dribble and go between the cup and device. Long story short, it does what it’s supposed to do just fine; water heats in the microwave in it and it hold the cup like a can cozy. I would still caution parents from serving these to small children, even in this device and use a bowl and let the noodles sit a couple minutes. For a kitchen gadget, I’d give this 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 076753101820.

Get an Instant Noodle Maker by Good Cook here.

Nissin Foods USA Samples For Momofuku Ando Day Review

Got a box the other day. I’d been talking with Nissin Foods USA about the photo contest and other things and they wanted to send some samples for one of today’s reviews involving Cup Noodles.

Here’s what’s under the lid! Oooh!

Perfect just what I needed!

Spicy Chicken Chow Mein!

Finally, an autographed poster from the folks at Nissin Foods USA! Awesome! Thanks to Scott A. and everyone else there!

4th Annual Momofuku Ando Day: #1567: Nissin Emergency Cup Noodle

Having an emergency? Well then, hunker down in your shelter and boil some water! This is a fine dinner for two of Nissin Cup Noodle in a neat metal can, sealed for long life.

Here’s a special video review, specially made for Momofuku Ando Day! The regular style review continues below.

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

Detail of the lid (click image to enlarge).

The first thing you see when you open the can are two of these Cup Noodle cups. They are foam with a cardboard insert on the bottom.

Detail from the side of the cup (click image to enlarge). Contains egg, pork and shrimp. To prepare Cup Noodle, add noodle block and seasoning sachet to cup and add 330ml boiling water. Let steep for 3 minutes, stir and enjoy!

Next we find two seasoning sachets – very large and full.

Scrabled egg, pork pieces and shrimp along with seasoning and green onion in the mix.

Next, we find two wrapped noodle blocks.

Between them, we find a packet of dessicant/oxygen absorber/silica gel. This is not edible and not a seasoning. Do not eat!

Here’s what the unwrapped noodle block looks like. They both look to be in extremely good condition, considering their trip from Japan in the mail and being in a metal can.

Finally, a pair of folding forks at the bottom of the can.

Finished (click image to enlarge). The noodles are thin and perfectly hydrated. The have a flatness to them in shape. Not a lot of chewiness but they’re nice nonetheless. The broth is a salty and soy flavored affair which is alright, but not amazing. The highlight of this cup is the added garnish; the scrambled egg pieces are of decent size, the shrimp hydrated perfect and have a nice texture and flavor, and the pork pieces are very good. Bits of green onion were present here and there as well. I would definitely eat this during a chaotic event or when just hungry. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4902105215722.


Nissin Cup Noodle 77g × 20 – While these aren’t in a can, these are the same thing.