Most kids grew up eating Cup Noodles or another form of instant ramen, likely because they're quick, cheap, and easy to make. But there are major historical differences between ramen and instant noodles you likely didn't know about. Here's what you should know about ramen vs instant noodles.

History of Ramen

Tessie Grace Sumampong-Apique

Ramen's history is complex and strange. Ramen has become one of Japan's primary comfort foods. It became popular thanks to Chinese cooks in a Tokyo restaurant serving shina soba (Shina meaning China and soba meaning buckwheat noodles). Over the years, shina soba became one of Japan's most popular Chinese dishes. 

Ramen has evolved over the years by becoming to one of America's classic Asian delicacies. There are many ways to style Ramen by changing creating soup like Miso, Tonkotsu, Shoyu, etc. Popular ramen toppings include pork, green onions, eggs, seaweed, and many more.

History of Instant Ramen

pasta, macaroni, spaghetti
Caroline Liu

Momofuku Ando created instant ramen after WWII to help feed the survivors of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ando realized that ramen was a comfort food and was driven to create a type of ramen people didn't have to wait in line to get. In 1958, his first ramen creation "Chikin Ramen" was a huge hit because it was delicious, cheap, and easy to make.

Nothing makes you feel more nostalgic than making instant ramen. If you're not the best cook, putting hot water in a ramen is a piece of cake. Ramen became my knight in shining armor in college, thanks to how delicious and cheap it is.

While ramen and instant noodles are very different dishes, they have a shared history. They are two of the same and will continue to spread comfort to everyone globally who enjoy ramen.