Ramen became popular in China and Japan in the 1860s where many people ate the noodles in restaurants. In 1958, Momofuku Ando took this idea to the next level when he invented instant chicken ramen. He worked every day to create a product that was affordable and convenient, and he worked for an entire year with only four hours of sleep each night. He began by making ramen at home in his shed. His ramen noodles were ready in just two minutes by adding one simple ingredient: boiling water. The boiling water would pass through the holes in the dried noodles making them soft again. It was magic ramen!

Momofuku Ando worked to always improve his product and he created flavoring powder to add to his instant noodles. In 1971, Momofuku Ando made his original ramen turn into instant ramen by serving the ramen in a Styrofoam cup. The cup included other ingredients such a shrimp, pork, egg, and vegetables. He named this product CUPNOODLES.

In 2005, Momofuku Ando invented Space Ramen, which was three bite size noodle cakes with soup and condiments, all stored in an airtight container that could be eaten in space.

Nowadays, you can find ramen throughout the world with many different varieties. The CUP NOODLES MUSEUM in Japan honors the life’s work of Momofuku and how he never gave up.


One hundred billion servings of instant noodles are consumed every year around the world.

A Japanese chef preparing Ramen