Nigerian instant noodles are quick meals for good health and vitality!


According to Wikipedia the free encyclopedia definition, "INSTANT NOODLES  (also known as instant ramen) are dried or precooked noodles and are often sold with packets of flavoring including seasoning oil.

Dried noodles are usually eaten after being cooked or soaked in boiling water, while precooked noodles can be reheated or eaten straight from the packet.

Instant noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando of Nissin Foods, Japan"

I must confess that I was one of those people who regarded instant noodles as junk food!I equally regard people who eat them as lazy people who can't cook or make an attempt to eat healthy foods.

My dislike for the food went high when I visited Nigeria some years ago and one so called undergraduate in one of the Nigerian Universities openly and vehemently blurted out, "I only eat nooodrus!" 

She went on, "That is what we eat in the University campus every day!" she boasted. She gave this as an excuse when she was invited to join us in eating eba gari and egusi soup.

I bet you in my mind I called her "lazy .....!"  I was sorry using such words but I thank God I did not openly express that. But to be sincere, when she graduates and leave the University and  gets married, will she continue to eat noodles every day?

I asked myself. I must confess too that it took me many years before I ate noodles.


This revolution in eating habit was invented by a Taiwan-born genius inventor called "Momofuku Ando in Japan. They were first marketed on August 25, 1958 by Ando's company Nissin under the brand name "Chikin Ramen".

Ando developed the production method of flash frying the noodles after they had been made, creating "instant" noodles. This dried the noodles and gave them a longer shelf life.

Each block of noodles was per-seasoned and sold for 35 yen. In fact initially, it was regarded as a luxury as by the price tag. That meant that  they were for the rich people.

In 1971, Nissin introduced the cup Noodles, instant noodles in waterproof polystyrene cup, to which boiling water is added to cook the noodles.


To say that the fame and greatness of instant noodles grew like wild fire was an understatement because they were more than that. From that day of manufacture to this minute, I must tell you that several trillions of Instant noodles have been consumed all over the world. In addition, many brands, flavors and names have also been invented by the sellers and producers all over the world.

"As at 2010, approximately 95 billion servings of instant noodles are eaten worldwide every year. China consumes 42 billion packages of instant noodles per year which is 44% of the world consumption"

Other great consumers are as follows: Indonesia, 14 billion, Japan, 5.3 billion, Vietnam, 4.8 billion, USA, 4 billion. Per capita, South Koreans consume the greatest amount of instant noodles, 69 per cent year.

As the fame grew, so did the brand names and flavors grew.  The names and brands started with "Ramen" with the inventor and many other countries of the world invented local names  to suit their markets.

For example the manufacturer of instant noodles in Brazil was Nissin Miojo, to the extent that in  Brazil the most common name for them is "Miojo" In Canada, as early as 1974, they were called Ramen noodles The Korean brand was called Nong Shim.

In all parts of the world grocery shops, corner shops and supermarkets from India to Pakistan, to West Indies,Thailand , Hon Kong, Caribbeans, South America, Indonesia, there were Maggi brands, including "Doll noodles" introduced in Hon Kong.

Most common brands included Nestles, Yum yum, Nissin cup Noodles and Maggi in Germany.

Indonesia as far back as 1996, was the second largest producer of instant noodles with a production of 8.66 billion. Indonesia prefer noodles with strong flavor. The popular flavors of Indonesian instant noodles include chicken curry, onion and chicken, beef meatball, and chicken Soto; a traditional Indonesian  chicken soup.

Indomie tried to produce a whopping 30 different flavors to reflect various traditional dishes of Indonesian cuisine but the production was discontinued after disappointing results with only popular variants remain in production.

After 1958 instant noodles became common in Japan. From 1970 upwards, makers expanded their flavors to include such examples as 'shio' (salt ramen), miso, or curry. By 1980's makers added further dried toppings such as shrimps, pork, and eggs.


It sounds incredible but it is true that it took a whopping 30 years before instant noodles reached the shores of Nigerian eating menu. Yes, instant noodles arrived in Nigeria or was introduced in Nigeria in 1988!

Indomie instantly became the most popular instant noodles brand and has had a remarkable impact on the Nigerian eating scene. You can believe it but it is true, that million packets of  Instant noodles are eaten every year in Nigerian University campuses alone.

It is also true that million packets of these stuff are consumed in Nigerian homes every year. The flexibility and the easiness in cooking and consumptions make them ideal for lazy people who can not even boil an egg.

 In the year 2007, according to the World Instant Noodles Association, Nigeria is reputed to be the 13th largest consumer of Instant noodles in the world. That was so quick for Nigeria who have plenty of heavy foods like pounded yam, yams, plantains, rice and akpu to sustain the body.

By year 2008, nine other brands of noodles had  appeared on the Nigeria market. But by far and large Indomie still stood unshakable even with the addition of 9 other brands. One Christopher Ezendu, a  prominent distributor at Oke-Arin market on Lagos Island, was quoted to affirm that the new additions were  aspiring to be like the market leader Indomie.

Indomie are noted or alleged to produce chicken  flavors more than other flavors. But head or tail, Indomie is still to be surpassed in the market race.


Instant noodles have become a popular food in many parts of the world and as such have been undergoing many changes in flavor and method of eating them to give high standard of life and fitness.

In the past, many people including me  believed that they were mere junk foods for the lazy people. However, if billions of people could enjoy eating trillion of these stuff, who am I to condemn them.

It is believed that a serving of instant noodles is high in carbohydrates and fat, but low in fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Now you know when and how instant noodles came to Nigeria and the industry is still growing. Eat and enjoy Nigerian instant noodles!  Nigerian food! 

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