Tag Archives: momofuku

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.

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!

The Ramen Rater’s 3rd Annual Momofuku Ando Day

Momofuku Ando (安藤 百福) – (March 5, 1910 – January 5, 2007)

Today is January 19th, 2014 – and you know what that means? Momofuku Ando Day! In 1958, Momofuku Ando invented the very first instant noodles and started Nissin Foods. I do a special video every year to commemorate the occasion (see below). First, here’s what the Nissin Foods USA website has to say about the man:

Nissin founder, Momofuku Ando, has always instilled a sense of commitment and quality in Nissin products. Today, Nissin’s corporate philosophy inspires this same commitment to taste, convenience, and quality. 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.

Today, there are hundreds of instant noodle manufacturers in the world, creating new varieties of every flavor imaginable!

You may be wondering: why January 19th? Here’s what Wikipedia had to say about Momofuku Ando Day:

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 billions, 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.

Personally, I think Momofuku Ando Day should be on the 19th. Why? Well, it’s easier to remember and just seems more respectful to be honest. Any way you slice it, his invention changed the world we live in and he definitely should get recognition!

Here’s my annual Momofuku Ando Day video! This year, I demonstrate the recipe my mom used to make me when I was a kid and ultimately the reason I started reviewing instant noodles.

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!

Experiment: Making Fancy Gourmet Ramen

Today I watched “Mind Of A Chef,” a PBS show (here’s a link so you can watch it – it’s amazing!) . It has David Chang, who is really great to listen to and watch cook – and ramen is something he definitely has a passion for. Feeling kindred in this respect, I decided to use some of the things I saw in the show to make myself some dinner. I had some leftover frozen Yamachan ramen noodles. I thought these would be a good start, then I used the following.

Base
Swanson 33% Less Sodium chicken broth
Dash Kikkoman light soy sauce
3 small shitake mushrooms (frozen, then boiled for 3 minutes and removed)
black pepper
1 tbsp butter
sweet onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
splash of hite (Korean beer)

Noodles
1 leftover pack from Meet The Manufacturer: Yamachan

Addons
panko and Spade L Ranch Chicken Rub coated chicken breast (baked)
removed shitake mushrooms that have set in a bath of soy sauce for 15 minutes
egg hard boiled for 8 minutes with broth

kizami shoga (pickled ginger)

Here are some pictures of my process:


The chicken was the easy part. I was really stoked to find the missin bag of panko I had stashed in the cupboard.


From what I knew and the little I had watched at that point of the show, I figured I was on a good track – hopefully.


The noodles – I know these are good…

The upshot: don’t do this. There is definitely too much of a good thing. While I like eggs and Dua Belibis and all these other things, there came a BIG problem. The shitake mushroom was violent salty. The egg idea was born from seeing Chang using this awesome low temp slow cooker for eggs and whatnot and my egg ended up mostly staying in the shell. The broth did turn out quite alright actually – liked that a lot. I think simmerring the shitake in it for a few minutes really gave it a nice flavor, although it would’ve made more sense to use a pork broth like in the video. The chicken was awesome – some of the best chicken I think I’ve made – juice, tender and tasty with the panko and seasoning. The noodles also were exceedingly good. I think this was a case of logic that doesn’t work. Say you have two cell phones. The same charger will work for both, right? No, not likely. This was a bowl of incorrect dongles. I think I’ll leave this to Mr. Chang for now – maybe with a little more research I’ll give it another try. Glad I was the only one who was eating!I should say though this was a lot of fun and I did learn something – boiling shitake mushrooms in a broth really makes the broth taste interesting…

#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.

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.

#28: Nissin Chikin Instant Ramen Noodles


Nissin: ORIGINAL – 1958
Stars: *****
Notes: This is where ramen noodles all began. In fact, this is what
really got me into noodles. A long long time ago, I was able to get
Nissin brand ‘Roasted Ramen’ noodles at the normal supermarket.
For ages I tried to find it again, but finally found it at the local
oriental grocery. This stuff is awesome – it’s got the seasoning in the
noodles. You can also eat this stuff uncooked – like potato chips,
or sprinkle it on salad etc. This is a score – try it!