Momofuku Ando’s Instant Noodles Revolutionized At-Home Cooking

As part of It’s Nice That‘s Design Legacies series, Lucy Bourton takes readers on a deep dive into instant ramen’s origin story. First conjured up by Momofuku Ando during the food shortages following the Second World War in Japan, instant noodles drastically altered cooking and dining at home—an especially remarkable feat when one considers Momofuku had no prior culinary experience. When he lost his job in 1957 and found himself worrying about foot shortages once more, Momofuku set about developing his idea further. He embarked on a year of trial and error using regular home equipment, and then in a shed he converted into a test kitchen. When it came to market in 1958, the noodles were “an instant hit, adopting the nickname ‘magic ramen’ due to its convenience.” Momofuku passed away in 2007, aged 96, but now his determined and creative attitude is “distilled in the Cup Noodles museums in Japan.” Read more about the recipe, development, cup design and beyond at It’s Nice That.

Image courtesy + copyright © Cup Noodles Museum, 2021