Remembering the Ramen King

Momofuku Ando's innovative noodle soups built Nissin into a giant whose products have sustained low-budget eaters for decades

Momofuku Ando's invention of the instant noodle had a classic discovery-by-accident moment. Just after World War II, Ando was a failed businessman experimenting at home with a newfangled idea for packaged ramen noodles. He remained an unsuccessful tinkerer until August, 1958, when he made a breakthrough while watching his wife deep-fry vegetables. Fried noodles, he realized, would turn hard yet be porous enough to soften quickly when dunked in boiling water.

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