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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.

#574: Maggi Tricky Tomato 2 Minute Noodles

Tricky tomato? Well, it shouldn’t be too tricky to make from the looks of the directions.

Click image to enlarge. Instant noodles from India! Mmmm coriander!

A single packet. I like the graphics on every inch of this packaging.

A very strong tomato smell came from this mound of seasoning…

Click image to enlarge. Finished with a couple eggs. I added a little Krazy Mixed Up Salt too.  So the noodles were standard instant noodles. The flavor was nice – not over salty; in fact, that Mixed Up Salt really helped. Had a rich and deep tomato flavor. Good stuff! 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. Get it here.

Short about instant noodle factory in Brazil.

More random home movies of Thanksgiving – always random people I don’t know…

#475: Gefen Oriental Style Ramen Noodles Vegetable Flavor

Here’s another of the kosher noodles sent to me by Michael M. of Staten Island, NY. This one’s vegetable – kind of a strange flavor. Carrot? Celery? Zucchini? Acorn squash? What kind of vegetable? It has to be something tasty… Well, let’s check it out.

A green leafy vegetable flavor it looks to be according the the packet design. Although the chicken flavor has a packet with a blue chicken on it and chickens aren’t usually blue so my reasoning could be flawed…

Some yellow powdered seasoning.

Click image to enlarge. Added two fried eggs. So Here it is all done. The noodles are decent – about what you’d expect from a domestic pack of instant noodles. The broth is nice – salty and savory. I think this would be just about perfect for a sick day as a comfort food. I liked it – was what I expected. 3.25 out of 5.0 stars. One thing to note – the vegetables are not what I expected. The ingredients list onion and shitake mushroom powder, but some of the other spices are awesome – cinnamon, star anise, fenugreek, red chili, cumin and coriander. A very nice collaboration of spices!

Convention footage about Gefen

#439: Little Cook Tom Yum Seafood Premium Noodle

So the idea of a seafood noodle soup with fake seafood has been kind of daunting for the past couple months. However, today was the day. I must fear no ramen! So, here we have some seafood tom yum from Thailand.

Nice earthy colors from left to right: dry seasoning powder, seasoned oil paste and finally chili powder.

Then we’ve got a retort pouch!

It’s full of fake seafood – looks like it’s made from tapioca and other things. There appear to be mushrooms in there too according to the ingredients.

Wow now that’s a crazy looking pile of packet contents. Should be interesting…

Click image to enlarge. Added a couple fried eggs. So here we are. The noodles are of a wider gauge – broad and flat and actually quite good. The broth is flavorful – spicy and lemonny. As for the fake seafood, it’s not bad. However the mushrooms are kind of funky – I had one larger piece that was almost the consistency of a carrot. So this was pretty good stuff I’ll admit and I’m kind of pleased I have two of them. Giving this one a 3.0 out of 5.0 stars. Get it here.

#437: Nongshim Big Bowl Spicy Noodle Soup With Kimchi Flavor

Honestly instead of Big Bowl I think these should be marketed as Huge Bowl, but honestly this is about what you would get if you bought a pack of Nongshim Kimchi noodles in a pack, except you would get better quality noodles there. These noodles are built for fast inflating and absorbency.

Only one packet – but like the bowl, it’s really really big.

So the veggies were already in the bowl and it looks like a decent amount of them. The seasoning is a nice reddish color – spicy usually red. The noodles look a little wide and I wonder how they shall taste.

Click image to enlarge. Finished product with a couple fried eggs with a touch of Lindberg-Snider Porterhouse and Roast Seasoning atop the eggs. Okay so the noodles first: lackluster. They were spongy. Kinda bummer. The broth was a smack in the mouth though – spicy goodness! The veggies were very generous which I liked. So my only complaint would be the noodle quality. I’m going to slap it with a 3.25 out of 5.0 stars. Get it here.

#429: Quickchow Instant Chicken Mami Chicken Flavor

So here’s some Quickchow from the Philippines. Mami just means noodle soup as far as I know. I like the little ‘Buy Pinoy’ logo on the lower right!

One shiny silver packet of powder seasoning.

Almost fluffy, isn’t it?

Click image to enlarge. I added two eggs while the noodles were cooking and a couple thinly sliced pieces of roasted turkey . So the noodles are much chewier and thicker than I expected. They make it a heartier meal. The broth is very nice – very much a chicken flavor. The turkey and egg went nicely with it to make it a really tasty breakfast. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.

Nothing says Merry Xmas like a 29 cent package of noodles!

Leonard Nimoy narrates ‘In Search Of…’ – about big stone heads!

#422: Vifon Mì Lẩu Thái Thai Style Instant Noodle

This one’s been sitting in the bottom of the ramen box for quite a while now. Wondered how they would be – spicy? Salty? Nasty? Thready? Well, let’s open them and find out!

Well for one thing its full of packets – and a fork! Fork update! As far as the packets go, going clockwise from the top left we have (according to the package) a Citronella & Gallingale packet, soup base, vegetables and seasoned oil.

Nice colors atop the noodle block. The block is made of fried pre-seasoned noodles that could be eaten by themselves as almost all of the wheat flour based noodles I’ve had from Thailand are.

Click image to enlarge. Added a couple lightly fried eggs. Very good stuff! The noodles and broth reminded me a bit of Tom Yum flavor, just not as strong. The noodles were tasty and the veggies were too. The soup was not greasy at all – in fact it was very light – not what I expected at all. I was tasty yet delicate. The eggs atop lent a broken yolk heartiness to the broth and some bulk. A fine breakfast. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

#390: Menraku Japanese Curry “Soba” Bowl

So we went to the brand new Bellevue Washington Uwajimaya a couple days ago and wow – pretty awesome! Got some nice bowl noodles to try – here’s one!

Packet left is powdered seasoning, right is vegetables and tofu.

I think that looks like it’s going to be really good! The curry smells awesome!

Click image to enlarge. Added two fried eggs. Wow – this is great! Kind of tastes like Golden Curry – the stuff you get in the little boxes? The broth is tasty as can be The noodles were a slightly weaker than I expected but not too bad. But the veggies and tofu were excellent – very nice! Giving this 4.0 out of 5.0 stars!

Curry soba in Tokyo – that stuff looks amazingly tasty!

Re-Review: Wei Lih Jah Jan Mien Instant Noodles With Fried Soybeans Paste

So I’ve gotten a couple comments about doing this stuff wrong and sure enough, I made it wrong. So I shall try this again!

So you cook the noodles in 2 cups [400cc] water for a few minutes. Drain them but save the water! So you have one bowl with hot noodles, one bowl with hot water.

Paste packet – for noodles and dry packet for soup!

Dry seasoning!

Paste looks like poop!

Click image to enlarge. So looks a lot different from the original review doesn’t it? So let’s start with the broth… Salty… Light… Almost like matzoh soup broth. Now the noodles… Okay a bit greasy… Chewy… Soy paste lends itself nicely – now back to the soup… And back to the noodles… And back to the soup. I’m seeing a pattern here! Some little hot pepper seeds going on! More soup! Wow this is pretty good! Kind of what I would imagine the Taiwanese equivalent to our mac’n’cheese would be; its so simple to make and it’s a very basic a tasty dish. It’s good! 3.75 out of 5.0 stars!

Couldn’t find a Wei Lih commercial… Please let me know if you know where one is I’d love to post it along with this.