Friday, January 9, 2015

Nissin Cup Noodles Museum: The Chicken Ramen Factory

For our 100th post, and first post of 2015, we wanted to do something special. Most people know about the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, but don't know about a second ramen museum located not too far away: the Nissin Cup Noodles Museum.

Nissin is the biggest instant noodle company in the world, and there are many exhibitions to see or learn about the history of instant ramen and its pioneering inventor, Momofuku Ando.

When you walk into the lobby area (yes, there's a lobby), you're greeted by a giant paper mache version of a Nissin Cup Noodles. Even the nutritional facts are recreated!

Once inside, you can see all sorts of exhibits. Especially cool is this one, where you can see all the packaging and styles of instant ramen since its creation in 1958!

The biggest draw for us was the ability to create your own Cup Noodles, where you can choose the toppings and decorate your cup. However, we had a special purpose on this day: to make our own Chicken Ramen from scratch! We luckily had the last two tickets to the Chicken Ramen Factory available.

The cooking room was packed with parents and their children. We were told to put on a cute bandana and apron while the guide explained the history, ingredients, and process of cooking Nissin Chicken Ramen. We were then divided into small groups to make our batches.

Hearts and I worked as a pair. You first mix the dough until it gets hard (this takes a while). After the dough is formed, you flatten it and put it through the noodle slicer. We felt like ramen shop owners! Finally, the noodles are dried and placed into a small cylinder for frying.

Once the noodles are formed, they're fried right in front of you. You can watch them cooking in the kitchen on a monitor, or through a viewing glass.

It was like watching my own child grow up...and then get deep-fried before my very eyes.

While waiting for the ramen to cool, you draw pictures on your instant ramen bags (we had to smack some kids around who were hoarding the colored markers). Finally, we stuffed our ramen into the packs and were told to get out.

Starving for ramen at this point, we needed a quick fix. Luckily, the Ramen Museum has a full ramen courtyard, with shops of noodle styles from all over the world. But we weren't in mood for anything fancy; just a bowl of the good ol' Nissin flavors we spent nearly an hour laboring over.

Chicken Ramen with cheese or egg (200yen)

I wasn't expecting such an interactive experience, but I was so excited making my ramen that I completely lost track of time. The Nissin Museum really encourages your creativity in the spirit of Momofuku Ando, the mad ramen scientist himself. And you leave with an original Chicken Ramen!

Momofuku Ando, bronzed

Yokohama, Naka-ku, Shinko 2-3-4
Closest stn: Yokohama

Open from 10am-6pm (Reservations for the Chicken Ramen Factory is highly recommended, closed Tuesdays)

For info, see:

Hearts and Lum

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