Ramen is a very popular Asian dish around the world, especially instant ramen noodles, which seem to be the everyday special in college dorms everywhere. It has many flavors and many varieties, but it’s mostly served in a meat broth and uses various toppings. Fresh ramen noodles are the best, but some beg to differ – to date, China is by far the biggest instant ramen noodles consumer, with approximately 40 billion servings a year. Here are some other facts you should know if you about this dish.
‘Ramen’ is actually the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word ‘lamein’ which means ‘Chinese noodles’. The true origin of this dish has not been officially confirmed, though, with some saying it’s Chinese, and others claim it was invented in Japan in the 20th century. Guess we’ll never know!
Ramen may be a budget-friendly dinner option nowadays, but it wasn’t always like that. In fact, when instant noodles were first introduced into Japanese grocery stores, they were actually six times more expensive than fresh noodles. They used to be a luxury item, imagine that!
Speaking of instant noodles, they were actually invented by Momofuku Ando of the company Nissin Foods in Japan in 1958. At the time, the product was called Chicken Ramen and was created for the purpose of providing people with food during the economic instability that followed after the Second World War.
Instant ramen made it to space in 2005. Momofuku Ano invented a vacuum-sealed package, with smaller noodles thicker broth so the ramen can be enjoyed in zero-gravity conditions. The Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi was the first one who had the honor to try these space-friendly noodles, and it was on the Discovery space shuttle. Sounds delicious!
There is a cup noodles museum in Osaka, Japan, to showcase the history of ramen and how its inventor came to the idea to create what is now one of the most popular dishes in the world. There is a model factory where visitors can make their own unique noodle concoctions, and there is even an interactive theater in the shape of cup noodles.
Hopefully this post will inspire you to choose some ramen noodles for your next meal or even make them yourself. Instant ramen noodles are made very quickly on the stove, especially if you use a pressure cooker like the ones from Appliances Reviewed. You can upgrade them in many ways like adding spring onions, sriracha, boiled eggs or soy sauce, the possibilities are endless!