If the popularity of instant ramen makes you think of ramen noodles as just a “cheap” or “quick” pasta, you’re going to miss out on a tasty dish with an interesting history.
Instant noodles came to us from Japan, but China first introduced Japan to the noodle in the early twentieth century.
Ramen bowls served at Chinese-run noodle shops earned their status as a comfort food staple in Japan.
Instant Noodles In A Flash
In 1958, Momofuku Ando, a Tawainese-Japanese inventor created instant noodles (1, 2). At the time, Japan was still struggling with the aftermath of World War II, and resources were scarce.
He perfected the art of flash frying the noodle. This method of preservation allowed for hot water to be added at a later time, to finish cooking the noodle.
Ando’s creation made ramen noodles easier to purchase, and prepare, in this time of scarcity.
The popularity of instant noodles propelled the product well beyond the country’s borders, and in 1973, Cup O’ Noodles became the first instant noodles sold in American stores.
Two Tips For Enjoying Ramen Noodles At Home
So how do you enjoy a bowl of ramen noodles at home?
My first tip is this.
Stay away from instant ramen noodles.
These small packages of dried noodles that cook in less time than it takes to boil water are filled with sodium, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
Yes, though you may have relied on instant ramen as a college student or other time in your life when finances were thin, your health is not worth the trade-off.
Opt instead to make your own broth and use dried ramen noodles purchased in the Asian aisle, packaged like spaghetti.
Add whatever vegetables suits your fancy to the broth.
Slurp, Eat, And Enjoy
My second tip is this.
Traditional ramen is enjoyed with your face dipped close to the bowl to take in the aroma, with just the right amount of slurping to cool the noodle as you take it in.
Slurp, eat, and enjoy!