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March 11, 2021

How can Instant Noodles be Made?

 How can an instant noodle maker think of creating instant noodles so that the food becomes popular all over the world?

If in this country, every household definitely has instant noodles. Instant noodles are most popularly associated among boarding students in the country.

Roughly, about 290 million people eat instant noodles worldwide every day. Have this great instant noodle handle so that the food can be eaten in outer space. Even astronauts also said they like to eat instant noodles in space.

Have you ever thought, how can humans think of creating instant noodles?

In 1958, instant noodles were created to help those suffering from hunger in Japan. Even instant noodles are described as delicious, cheap and easy to serve.

So how can a 48-year-old man from Japan who is ignorant about noodles, create a multibillion dollar industry?

The man, Momoku Ando, ​​before creating instant noodles, he used to do various jobs such as selling cloth, charcoal and opening schools.

The story of Ando is always exaggerated and becomes a myth from time to time. So much so, Ando has his own story in children’s fairy tale books as well as anime short films about his origins titled Samurai Noodles.

If you want to know how instant noodles can be widespread, we need a ‘throwback’ around 1940 in Japan.

After the Second World War, the Japanese people faced famine and crops were also affected for decades.

Back then, many people lined up to eat noodles or better known as ramen at roadside stalls. Following strict food ration laws and a ban on selling street food, many unrecognized food outlets are growing like ‘mushrooms growing after rain’.

People also had to get vegetables from the black market.

At the time, Japan was heavily dependent on wheat provided by the United States (US) during the country’s occupation of Japan.

Ramen and gyoza (dumplings) are made from wheat flour and used as food for the purpose of increasing stamina because they are high in calories and filling. But back then, wheat provided by the US was only specifically for making bread.

Ando at that time wondered why the government did not want to use the surplus wheat flour to make noodles because noodles are a staple food in Japan.

He tells ‘if you want to change your diet, it means you have thrown away your traditions and culture’. Ando believes that if Japanese people adapt to eating bread, it is like they are adapting to Western culture.

Ando thinks making ramen is easier and easier to prepare. Instant noodles will also be a solution to the problem of hunger in Japan.

However, Ando's idea was flatly rejected by the Japanese government at the time. So Ando decided to produce his own instant noodles without help from the government.

However, to produce instant noodles is not easy, moreover Ando does not have any experience in making noodles but he is determined to produce delicious instant noodles.

After a year of experimenting, Ando finally managed to produce his own instant noodles.

According to a story featured in the Samurai Noodles anime, Ando saw his wife frying tempura. From there, Ando thought the frying method was the key to instant noodles.

This frying can remove the moisture of the noodles and as well as can be stored for a long time and can then be rehydrated with hot water.

What’s great about Ando’s discovery is that it wasn’t produced by accident. Most food finds such as Coca Cola, potato chips and ice cream cones were created accidentally but instant noodles were meticulously produced by Ando.

In 1958, Ando produced a chicken flavored instant noodle known as Chickin Ramen and changed its company name to Nissin. He also opened a sales booth in Tokyo to give people a chance to taste his products.

At first, Ando sold instant noodles 5 times the price of raw noodles but because the food was simple and delicious, people were attracted.

People also call Ando instant noodles as ‘magic ramen’ because they can be eaten in just a few minutes.

After the end of World War II for many years, the Japanese economy began to grow and crops also improved. That factor causes more wheat to be produced.

The situation at that time was in Ando's favor. Chickin Ramen sold 13 million units in its first year of sales. That number increased by billions of units over a decade.

Due to the popular instant noodles produced by Ando company, many other companies also produce instant noodles.

In 1968, an estimated 3.5 billion instant noodles were sold in Japan.

But Ando didn't stop there. When he was 61 years old, Ando thought of making instant noodles in cup form in 1971.

Like Chickin Ramen, its sales are so well received that instant noodles from Nissin cannot meet the huge demand even though they produce 650 thousand cups of instant noodles every day.

Cup instant noodles sold more than packaged instant noodles in 1989. Today, sales of cup instant noodles are twice as high as sales of packaged instant noodles in Japan.

Today alone, hundreds of instant noodle flavors have been introduced in Japan but instant noodles are not only popular in the country of the Rising Sun but also in other countries.

China is the largest market for instant noodles and statistics show the country’s people eat more than 40 billion servings every year.

Each individual in South Korea eats 75 servings of instant noodles each year.

In the US, Nissin's Top Ramen instant noodles were introduced in 1972. Six years later, The Washington Post newspaper said instant noodles were now replacing television as Japan's hottest export to the US.

The New York Times, meanwhile, reports that the increase in US people's appetite for ramen is undeniable.

Ando retired at the age of 95 and the Nissin company reportedly earned more than 450 billion yen in 2019. The Nissin company is now taken over by Ando's son Koki.

Despite his success, Ando has never forgotten his original purpose of creating instant noodles, which is to help end hunger.

In 1997, Ando established the world instant noodle association which aims to boost the instant noodle industry and provide emergency assistance. Since its inception, the organization has helped donate hundreds of thousands of instant noodle dishes.