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Jan 5, 2007 09:34 PM

momofuku ando, inventor of instant noodles 1910-2007

It is with a heavily clogged heart that I come to you today with news of the passing of Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen. The 96 year-old founder and chairman of Nissin developed a fever and was en route via ambulance to a Kansai-area hospital when he died of a heart attack at 6:40 pm Japan time.

Born Wu Bai-Fu, Ando was a Taiwanese immigrant to Japan who in 1958 perfected a flash-frying method by which he could create cakes of dried noodles. “Chicken Ramen” was at first an expensive, luxury food item, but innovations in manufacturing soon brought prices down. The first ever instant ramen became a ubiquitous and popular snack food during Japan’s lean, post-war years. In 1964 Ando founded the Instant Food Industry Association, which established standards for instant noodle quality.

The chairman of the International Ramen Manufacturer’s Association had been working in a reduced role within Nissin right up until the time of his death, having recently developed “Space Ram” - ramen for astronauts headed into space. The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka is named in his honor.

Reincarnate well, my good man. I’ll have a nice green salad in your honor.

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    1. re: grocerytrekker

      Thanks for posting this news. Anyone ever visit the museum?

    2. The funeral took only four minutes!

      No, but I've been to the railroad & salt museum in Tokyo, the sushi museum in Shimeji.

      1. i totally wanted to go, this last time i was in japan. the museum is quite a ways out from central osaka if i remember correctly, and alas i couldn't make it out there. next time for sure!

        1. Awwww. :( He helped me live through my graduate school years. I used to munch on raw ramen noodles.

          I know. (It's gross!) But I still love ramen "fried rice" and ramen corn chowder, two of my poor grad school favorites.

          1 Reply
          1. re: IndyGirl

            uncooked instant ramen is actually a pretty popular snack food for many. you can season the package and then smash it up, or if you have access to a japanese supermarket, try the Baby Star varieties - they're basically dried instant noodles packaged for snacking.

          2. Some people sprinkle crunchy ramens over a salad. My daughters, college age, eat them dry out of the package discarding the flavor packet of course.
            May he rest in peace!!