August 25th Is Instant Ramen Launch Anniversary! Celebrate with Echigo Rice Lager!23 Aug 2021
August 25th Is Instant Ramen Release Anniversary!
August 25th marks the 63rd anniversary of the market debut of instant ramen. The noodles were first marketed on 25 August 1958 by Ando's company, Nissin, under the brand name Chikin Ramen.
The company's founder, Momofuku Ando (1910-2007), came up with the idea of frying the noodles in oil using the instantaneous oil-heat drying method, and succeeded in commercializing the product after meeting five requirements: it had to be delicious, easy to store, inexpensive, and safe to eat. Initially, due to its price and novelty, Chikin Ramen was considered a luxury item, as Japanese grocery stores typically sold fresh noodles for one-sixth their price. At the time when a bowl of udon cost 6 yen, a bag of Chikin Ramen (85g) was 35 yen, but it soon became an explosive hit because it was so easy to prepare: just pour boiling water over it and eat it in three minutes.
In Ikeda City, Osaka Prefecture, where Ando was born, there is the CupNoodles Museum Osaka Ikeda (formerly known as the Instant Ramen Invention Museum). The museum has an instant ramen workshop allowing visitors to make their own "fresh" instant noodles (fresh as in just made). Worth a visit if you're in Japan!
Celebrate with Japanese Rice Lager
Speaking of instant ramen, it is hard to avoid mentioning beer. In Japan, the bond between ramen and craft beer is unbreakable. People enjoy a beer with a bowl of ramen for lunch, or drink beer at an izakaya followed up with some ramen to finish off. And what could be better than a bowl of instant ramen with the beer from the very pioneers of Japanese craft beer scene?
Echigo Beer was the first to open a brewpub and brew the first domestic craft beer in Japan after the laws were amended to significantly lower the minimum production volume required to obtain a beer manufacturing license. Their flagship rice lager is made with Koshihikari rice, a short grain rice regarded as the best quality and flavor in all of Japan. Echigo Koshihikari Beer is a rice style lager with a pale golden color that comes out of the bottle, and a strong head that quickly fades. It has a slightly acidic tang to the regular lager flavour, but it is not too overpowering. Perfect balance with instant ramen!