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.