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Instant noodles are a popular snack/quick meal in Japan that requires relatively little effort to prepare. Instant noodles are sold precooked in a dried block, usually accompanied with flavoring salt and oils. Sometimes there are various dried foods that are cooked with the noodles when hot water is added. Instant noodles were invented by Taiwanese-Japanese Momofuku Ando of Nissin Foods. Launched in 1958 as Chikin Ramen, Nissin introduced Cup Noodles/Cup Ramen in 1971 using the same method to prepare, but in a polystyrene cup, providing portability and minimal clean up. According to a Japanese poll in 2000, it is believed that the Japanese consider instant noodles to be their best invention of the 20th century.
In the United States and many other parts of the world,
Instant Ramen is synonymous for instant noodles. However, in Japan there are many ways to enjoy instant noodles. Some include:
There are also other instant foods in Japan that are worth trying, like instant curry, rice, and miso soups!
Nori is a type of edible Japanese seaweed, popular in Japan.
Chazuke, bowl of rice in green tea poured on it. It's Japanese soul food!
Oden is a winter time Japanese favorite, similar to hot pot, comprised of many ingredients, and a light, soy-flavored dashi broth.
Tsukemono means pickled vegetables in Japanese. Surrounded by ocean, Japan developed its tsukemono culture in a unique way.