Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ramen Noodle Inventor Dies...and the Hoards Mourned

You might not know his name, but generations of college students, late-night munchers, programmers and night-shifters have benefitted from his work.

Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen noodles, died at age 96 Friday in Osaka, Japan.

Mr. Ando invented the quick, cheap meal to help remedy the post-war food scarcity found in his native Japan. His company, Nissin Food Products, now produces over 15 flavors of Top Ramen and Cup Noodles, selling 46.3 billion packs and cups worldwide in 2006. Mr. Ando's ramen restaurant can still be found on Times Square, so if you're ever in New York....

As a poor student and then an even poorer I-got-a-liberal-arts-degree-please-help-me graduate (when I figured out the real value of that degree, I started raking in the dough), I lived on ramen noodles. Here are a few of my favorite recipes (don't laugh):

  • Ramen noodles straight-up,
  • Noodles with ketchup and spices (the poor girl's spaghetti sauce),
  • Noodles with ketchup and bacon bits (imitation for me and the real stuff for my brother Rodney who shared an apartment with me right after I graduated),
  • Tuna and peas with noodles,
  • Steamed veggies with noodles,
  • Scrambled egg with noodles, and when I had gotten a pretty good check that week,
  • Noodles with real spaghetti sauce,
  • Of course. we can't leave this topic without some recipes straight from Nissan Foods (I really need people to see the Salmon Ramen with Fresh Vegetables recipe -- juillienned veggies and all)

Now, you would think that the very idea of putting any of those combinations in my mouth would have me shiver in revulsion, but there's something comforting about the thought of ramen noodles -- a 3 minute meal that costs a few pennies a spoonful. In fact, I'm going to keep a package or two in my briefcase for emergencies.

OK, now it's your turn. What are your favorite ramen noodle recipes. Give 'em over! Cause I know you've got them.


Anonymous said...

That brought back some memories.

Believe it or not long before I started doing the late night programming for some of the design work I have done over the years, I use to live off of Ramen Noodles when I did recon for the Navy. Of all the options that I had for easy to fix food that could keep me going for days, Ramen noodles, tuna and some wheat crackers where always in with my gear.