Just add hot water and wait three minutes, then voilà! You’ve got a quick, hot, portable meal. No other food product was as revolutionary as cup type noodles which was invented by Japanese entrepreneur, Momofuku Ando.
Since the time Nissin Cup Noodle was released, the brand kept developing and inspired so many other competitors that it is now hard to figure out which you should buy in a store. Even at a small convenience store, it takes minutes just taking a look at all that are available. But do not worry; here is a list of best sellers that will tell you a lot about what is delicious and most popular.
#1. Nissin Cup Noodles
Photo Credit: Guilhem Vellut@flickr
Nissin Cup Noodle has been the front runner in the market and keeps inspiring hungry generations with cutting edge commercials. The current television commercial now on air star Beat Takeshi, a world famous film director and the biggest comedian in Japan, with the spicy slogan “Crazy Makes the Future”. With signature springy noodles and rich tasty soup, it has gained an international popularity with variety of flavors and sizes. Soy-sauce, curry and seafood have been all time top stars in Japan since the launch of the brand. Shio (salt), chili-tomato, and red seafood were added when the tastes rose in popularity. Different flavors are rolled out in markets outside of Japan to fit regional tastes, and some of them are now imported back in Japan including Tom Yam Seafood and Singapore Laksa.
#2. Nissin Gyoretsu no Dekiru Mise no Ramen
“Nissin Gyoretsu no Dekiru Mise no Ramen (Ramen Shops That Make People Line Up)” is the brand name and the concept. Gyoretsu Ramen boldly aims to reproduce the refined taste of ramen that attracts lines of ramen lovers, and it has succeeded, even in reproducing pork-bone broth, which is seemingly the most delicate flavor of all. The brand includes three varieties of ramen, each from one region in Japan. “Tokyo Tokuno Gyokai Tonkotsu (super rich broth of pork-bone and seafood)” perfectly recreated the rich flavor of famous shops of seafood and pork broth with medium thin noodles and toppings including a big chunky piece of roast pork.
#3. Sapporo Ichiban Cup Star
Cup Star is one of the most famous long seller in Japan born in the 1970’s. As a slightly cheaper alternative to Nissin Cup Noodle, it attracted many generations of consumers, as an after-school snack for kids or as a quick brunch for busy workers. Cup Star is a brand of Sanyo foods which is the producer of the best-selling package type instant noodles: “Sapporo Ichiban”. Cup Star’s soup is soy sauce base and it has fragrant vegetables. Noodles are flavored with soy sauce to enhance the taste of the ramen as a whole. Colorful ingredients appeal strongly to the consumer’s appetite with roasted pork dice, fluffy big pieces of scrambled eggs, shrimp and green onion.
Photo Credit: Maruchan.co.jp
Gotsumori is the boldest challenger that has achieved the maximum cost performance. Gotsumori, literally meaning “very large serving” is exactly the brand concept of this large cup of noodles and it is around 100 yen! Gotsumori has unusual flavors. Among all, the soy sauce has been honored as a mega hit at online ranking websites since the brand’s renewal in February 2016, surely thanks to tireless efforts of Toyo Suisan, one of the top selling noodle manufacturers. Gotsumori soy sauce has chicken and pork based soup with a deep soy-sauce flavor, which is lightly sweetened with onion sauce. Toppings include as many as four silky wontons, corn, and green onion. Hungry holiday travelers, do not forget to buy one Gotsumori for your long flight back home!
#5. Nissin Yakisoba UFO
Photo Credit: Jason Lam@flickr
Yakisoba is undoubtedly the most popular B-level dish in Japan! It is basically fried ramen noodles with bite-sized pork, vegetables and flavored with sauce. Fried udon noodles, called yakiudon is a variation of yakisoba. Yakisoba could not go down to B-level status compared to the other dishes of the same kind. Instead, yakisoba is everywhere. Yakisoba bread is a classic item in any convenience store, yakisoba is a popular topping on okonomiyaki pancake, and is used as filling in omelets as well! Nissin Yakisoba UFO is a brand that realized people’s dream of having yakisoba on the go. UFO’s iconic large pieces of cabbage make a perfect combination with the medium-thin fried noodles that is flavored with thick yakisoba sauce. Separately attached aonori (seaweed powder) and beni shoga (red shredded pickled ginger) will make your yakisoba experience perfect.