(From the Top Ramen Package)
The ramen package gives this short biography.
Momofuku Ando invented instant ramen in 1958, when he created “Chicken Ramen” in Japan. He went on to create THE ORIGINAL Top Ramen for the U. S. in 1970.Ando was born Gô͘ Pek-hok, 吳百福, in Japanese occupied Taiwan in 1910. He travelled to Osaka for business and education and when Taiwan was liberated from the Japanese empire in 1945 took Japanese citizenship. The Wikipedia tells the story this way:
With Japan still suffering from a shortage of food in the post-war era, the Ministry of Health tried to encourage people to eat bread made from wheat flour that was supplied by the United States. Ando wondered why bread was recommended instead of noodles, which were more familiar to the Japanese. The Ministry's response was that noodle companies were too small and unstable to satisfy supply needs, so Ando decided to develop the production of noodles by himself. The experience convinced him that "Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat."Ando's breakthrough was the discovery that deep frying the noodles drove the water out of the noodles leaving them porous so the noodles could be resuscitated quickly. It is said that he observed his wife cooking tempura and realized that the batter of the tempura was essentially the same as noodles, wheat flour and water. Ask Magazine gives the following recipe for instant ramen:
How to make instant ramen:
1. Make ramen noodles.
2. Steam cook.
3. Dunk in hot oil.
4. Dry and wrap.
A children's book by Andrea Wang and Kana Urbanowicz tells the Momofuku Ando story charmingly: