The Origin of Noodles

Longest handmade noodle - China (

Noodles – one of the oldest and popular meals enjoyed by people from all ages all over the world.  There are different ways of cooking noodles, from the 5- minute instant cup noodles to the 30-minute well -garnished Asian noodles.  Noodles are nutritious depending on the ingredients and the method of preparation.

Ancient Noodles: The whole idea of noodle making came from an ancient country not far from Japan. It was speculated that noodles were first made from millet, a kind of cereal grain in China, at around 2000 B.C. Later it was found out that noodles originated from a desert region in Central Asia, the Tarim Basin in China’s Xinjian autonomous province. Today, noodles are so diversified that it requires a lot of tasting (and eating) and trying out every noodle dish to distinguish one kind from the other. They are classified according to their country of origin and their principal ingredient.

Origin of Instant Ramen:   Just after the WWII, Japan was in deep financial and economic crisis. Feeding the populace was the primary concern at that time, which led them to invent a kind of dish that can be mass produced at a very low cost and can be cooked with very little preparation. This came to be known as the instant Ramen, hailed as the greatest Japanese invention of the 20th century. Its widespread popularity since the 1980’s has made this sumptuous noodle dish a Japanese cultural icon. Different countries from around the world love its tasty noodles and flavorful soup.

Types of Noodles: Some of the noodles that use wheat are chuka men, mee pok, somen, and udon. Another type of noodle is the rice vermicelli (mifen, bee hoon, or sen mee), he fen, and Idiyappam made from rice. Others use mung bean, potato, canna starch, buckwheat, acorn, and corn. Noodles can either be hand-pulled or machine cut and are stored dry or are kept fresh in the fridge. Dried noodles have longer shelf life while fresh ones can only last for 3 days at most.

Did you know? Noodles are tasty as well as interesting!

  • Australians consume more than 18 million kilograms of noodles every year.  That’s a lot of noodles for just one person.
  • In Japan, the most appropriate way to compliment your host for enjoying a delicious bowl of soup noodle is by slurping it loud (yikes!).
  • Birthdays won’t be complete without the cake and candle blowing. What cake is for us during birthdays, is the noodle dish for the Chinese. For them, it symbolizes longevity. It’s the Chinese dish for all occasions.

Noodles can be cooked and served in virtually any way possible. You can spend your lifetime and still can’t get enough of it because of its rich, flavorful taste that can be cooked in diverse number of ways.

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President Barack Obama in a noodle making demonstration with Chinese President Hu Jintao.



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