The Google Doodle on March 5, 2015, paid tribute to the late Momofuku Ando. (Google)
Today marks the 105th birthday of the late Momofuku Ando, the inventor of ramen instant noodles. Google has honored the Taiwanese-Japanese inventor, businessman, and founder of Nissin Food Products with a new Google Doodle, created by artist Sophie Diao.
To commemorate Ando’s invention, here’s a look back at three ramen-focused Asia Society programs and features.
December 2010: Ramen Fever
As “ramen fever” began to sweep the United States in 2010, a panel of ramen experts met at Asia Society New York to discuss the phenomenon. The panel featured Shigeto Kamada, owner of Minca Ramen Factory and Kambi Ramen House, Jenny Miller, Assistant Food Editor at Grub Street/NYMag.com, Adina Steiman, Food Editor at Men's Health magazine, and Rickmond Wong, owner of ramen blog Rameniac. The discussion was followed by a ramen demonstration and tasting hosted by Kamada.
Video: Highlights from Ramen Fever at Asia Society New York (5 min., 18 sec.)
February 2013: Ramen Dreams
In February 2013, filmmaker Michael McAteer relased Ramen Dreams, a documentary short introducing Brooklyn-based ramen chef Keizo Shimamoto, and his extraordinary passion for ramen. The film was awarded “Winner: Best Short” at the 2012 New York City Food Film Festival. Surrounding the release of the film, Shimamoto ranked the five best ramen joints in the United States in a feature here on Asia Blog.
Video: The documentary short film Ramen Dreams by Michael McAteer (7 min., 29 sec.)
December 2013: The Ramen Burger Effect
Later in 2013, Keizo Shimamoto’s invention, the "ramen burger," created a social media-fueled frenzy, drawing crowds in New York City that stood in line for up to three hours for the burger-meets-noodle “mashup.” Asia Society hosted Shimamoto and Sun Noodle Company’s Kenshiro Uki for a discussion on the rise of online commentary in the food industry. Michael McAteer, producer of the film Ramen Dreams, moderated the discussion.
Video: Highlights from The Ramen Burger Effect at Asia Society New York (3 min., 10 sec.)