Our exploration of the Instant Ramen Museum continues. After creating our own packages of instant ramen from scratch in the Chicken Ramen Factory, we continue the fun in the Cup Noodles Factory. This is where you can create your own custom cup noodle flavours, starting with the soup base followed by whatever ingredients you’d like on top.
Episode 19.2: https://youtu.be/V5inD4J9a6o
The meticulous attention to detail continues in the Cup Noodle Factory. You first purchase an empty cup from what else, a vending machine. The cost of the cup is ￥300 and is the only charge for the whole experience of creating a custom cup noodle. Right after purchasing the cup we’re ushered to a hand sanitizing station, we did just handle money to purchase our cup.
With cups in properly sanitized hands it’s off to the marker stations, where we’ll put our artistic side to use decorating our cups. I’m not sure I have an artistic side, as demonstrated by my cup, but Nicole on the other hand, who graduating from art school, made short work of a pleasing design. She had the ingenious idea of incorporating details about our trip into her design, such as our names and year of our visit. I on the other hand barely managed to write out the flavour combination I intended to create at the next step.
The forth step, if I’m counting accurately, is where the magic happens. The moment I have been waiting for. Selecting the flavours that would become my custom cup noodle. As witnessed in previous videos, I’m rather fond of Nissins Cheese Curry Cup Noodles, and I have been dreaming of ways to improve on this variation. Once the theatrics of getting the noodles in the cup are over the first selection to make is the soup flavour. My choice was already made, curry. Nicole selected a spicy tomato soup base. I was so tunnel visioned on my mission I didn’t even notice the other options available. Soup base in, we’re next given the task of selecting four toppings from their array of options. Again, I knew what I wanted and didn’t really take notice of most of the available toppings. I obviously selected cheese to start. I had an inkling that shrimp and curry would go well together, that was selection number two. They had an option I had never considered, but Nicole chose and it sounded tempting. Roasted garlic slices. That seemed like a worthy addition and would go well with the strong curry soup base. My last choice was maybe slightly unconventional and I chose it last to ensure nothing was lost in translation. Another hit of cheese. Yes, more cheese. That look on your face, it’s the same one the lady following my orders gave me. It was either a “Are you sure you want to do that?” or “You are a genius, why haven’t I thought of that before” look. Obviously I prefer to think it was the latter, but we’ll never know. Whatever it was, she graciously dumped another scope of cheese into my cup noodles.
As she tipped the finished cup noodles towards me, exposing the inspired combination I had concocted I felt a strong sense of accomplishment wash over me. I’d done it; travelled to Japan, made my way to Osaka, found the Instant Ramen Museum and created the cup noodles of my dreams. Satisfied I continued the shuffle down the line, watching the next person slap on the lid and seal my cup. Whoa, what am I saying, there was no slapping of any lid. She meticulously placed the lid, lining up the pull tab perfectly to the front of the cup and then sealed it up. Shrink wrapping was the final step, my cup noodles travelling through a special sort of oven which shrinks the wrap. And at last I had my creation in my hands. Only about 4 months to go before we actually eat our cup noodles. But lucky for you, this episode contains all that tasty fun.
Custom cup noodles in hand, we made our way to the tasting room to select a special bowl of instant ramen to try. Turns out we selected the number one favourite choice, a flavour from Hokkaido. Seemed fitting as we were there weeks prior. It was fun buying our instant ramen from a vending machine and filling it up with hot water from another sort of vending machine. This flavour was fishy, an integral component was the little red salmon roe we saw often in Hokkaido. It was good, but hard to concentrate on this bowl when I had Double Cheese Curry Shrimp™ on the brain.
Segue way to 4 months into the future, back at home in Canada and finally ready to taste our creations. I won’t spoil that fun for you, check out this episode to see the creation of the cup noodles followed by the devouring of said cup noodles.
And stayed tuned for part 3 of this episode. We make a late day visit to Osaka Castle, how stunning it was in the setting sun.
There were several locations featured in this episode
- The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum Osaka – A really fun museum where you can learn the details of how instant ramen was invented, how it’s made and get some insights into the manufacturing process used today.
Thanks for watching/reading!