Be it starving college student or terrible cook, many have the inventor of instant ramen noodles to thank for revolutionizing “just add hot water and stir” cuisine.
“People can only be content when there is enough food,” said Momofuku Ando, the creator of ramen instant noodles. On Thursday, March 5, Ando would have celebrated his 105th birthday, had he not passed away in January 2007. Ando, who was born in Taiwan in 1910, addressed post-World War II Japan’s desperate hunger issue. People would wait hours for a bowl of soup, and the sight inspired Ando to come up with a better solution.
But bringing the solution to reality wasn’t an easy task.
It was in 1957 when Ando started to experiment with making ramen, according to USA Today.
In 1958, he learned that flash-frying ramen noodles in tempura oil created tiny holes in the noodles, allowing them to cook almost instantly, and the discovery brought Ando one step closer to achieving his goal of ending hunger.
In 1971, Ando invented the Cup Noodles to go along with his initial idea, and it took off. Competitors such as Maruchan built off the idea.
Nowadays, college students and adults in their 20’s are coming up with their own spin on instant noodles, using them in recipes like Thai Shrimp Noodle Soup and Pepperoni Ramen Pizza. There are even two museum’s dedicated to Ando in Japan, and Texas has celebrated Momofuku Ando Day every year since his death.
Recipe for Ramen Noodle Soup
For full cooking instructions, see the recipe on FoodNetwork.com
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 8 thin slices ginger
- 1 pound sliced bacon
- 4 pounds chicken wings
- 12 dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed
- 12 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
- 1/4 cup sake or dry sherry
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
- 8 3 -to-5-ounce packages dry or vacuum-packed ramen noodles (flavor packets discarded)
For cooking instructions, see the recipe on FoodNetwork.com