Tag Archives: Learn with Me

Learn | Instant Noodle

Instant noodle, or instant ramen, is unquestionably one of the fastest meals to prepare which involves only a single highly skillful technique of boiling water (sorry for my sarcasm). It can be ready in 3 minutes and bring peace to your growling stomach. Instant noddle for sure owns its place on my comfort food list and I crave for this unhealthy, oily and salty carb junk food from time to time.


Chicken Ramen(Left), Ando Momofuku(Right)

Instant ramen was invented in 1958 around 10 years after Japan lost in World War II. During this post-war period, Ando Momofuku (安藤百福) was triggered to make the first-ever instant ramen “Chicken Ramen”, aiming to provide cheap, simple to make, safe, long storability and tasty food for the public. He industrialized the production process into 4 steps of 1) making noodles, 2) steaming the noodles, 3) flavouring and 4) deep frying, then began mass production in factories. It was marketed as the “magic ramen” and sales number went remarkably great. This recipe got adapted quickly throughout Europe and America, selling over 15 billion units within 30 years, which is more than 136,000 packs per day.

To perform worldwide quality control, Ando Momofuku gathered 10 largest makers from 10 countries in the world to start the International Ramen Manufacturers Association (1997), which is now the World Instant Noodles Association. In 2006, this association was officially recognized by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and manage to place a “CODEX Standard for Instant Noodles”.

Fun Fact

The instruction on the instant ramen package usually suggests cooking the noodle for 3 minutes before eating, yet the purpose of this duration is not to cook the noodles till an al dente texture. The preciously annoying 3-minutes wait time is solely to make us wait. The manufacturer thinks that waiting for 1 minute does not rise our tension of hunger, yet 5 minutes seems too long. Hence, they came up with a time frame of 3 minutes, which is just right to make us feel hungry but not angry. There was once a “1 minute instant noodle” in the market, yet comments like “the soup is still too hot”, and “waiting for the soup to cool down makes the noodle soggy” has stopped production of this product.


Sapporo Ichiban Miso Ramen

There are instant noodles from all over the world, but this 2019 ranking below focuses on Japanese instant ramen.
1) Sapporo Ichiban Miso Ramen ($6/ pack of 5)
2) Sapporo Ichiban Shio Ramen ($6/ pack of 5)
3) Maruchan Seimen Shouyu Ramen ($6.5/ pack of 5)
4) Maruchan Seimen Tonkotsu Ramen ($6.5/ pack of 5)
5) Shin Ramen ($4.5/ pack of 3)
6) Chicken Ramen ($9/ pack of 5)
7) Umakkachan Tonkotsu Ramen ($7.85/ pack of 5)
8) Raou Shoyu Ramen ($7.5/ pack of 5)
9) Maruchan Seimen Tonkotsu Shouyu Ramen ($6.5/ pack of 5)
10) Demae Iccho Sesame Oil Flavour ($6.5/ pack of 5)

*Prices are approximates got from Amazon.co.jp

I usually bring a pack of instant noodle from Japan as a souvenir for myself. It is possible to buy the exact same brand and same flavour in Vancouver, but the price markup is insane. And, sometime there are some “limited time” flavours or new flavour that are not yet sold in countries other than Japan. So be sure to check out a supermarket before you end you Japan trip!

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Learn | Maid Cafe

If you have ever watched any Japan travel vlogs or blogs, you must have heard about maid cafes. It is basically a themed cafe with cutesy waitresses dresses up in maid costumes, serving you adorable looking foods and drinks. The maids will usually ask you to make a spell “Moe, moe, kyuun! Oishikunare!” before you start your meal. Depending on the store, you can usually take pictures with one maid of your choice. This is an extremely popular and unique experience for tourists, especially for weebs like me who are very into anime and manga.


1998 Launch event for “Welcome to Pia ♡ Carrot! 2”.

Akihabara is the place that gathers anime, manga, gaming, idols and all kinds of otaku hobbies. It is also the place where maid cafes were born. The first maid cafe appears around two decades ago in the “Tokyo Character Show 1998”, where the launch event of the love simulation game “Welcome to Pia ♡ Carrot! 2” took place. The event production team set up a one-day cafe with waitresses cosplaying as game characters while serving customers. This concept cafe was greatly appreciated by fans, hence, the event team decided to run the cafe longer for a limited time. This further led to the grand opening of “Cure Maid Café”, which is believed to be the first official maid cafe.

Insider Talks

Maid gentlemen’s club

The popularization of maid cafes started a boom in the maid culture, yet, also brought up the dark side of it at the same time. Other than cafes, there are many maid-themed stores, like karaoke, casinos and more. Some store owners even started a trend of maid strip club, maid gentlemen’s club and maid prostitution. These sexual services are described as the dark side of the maid culture because it has attracted people with an unpure mind to Akihabara and leaving otakus with no place to stay. Additionally, the increasing amount of tourists that have heated up the battle between stores also causes some less pleasant voices within otakus and even maids.

From an interview performed on 100 maids staff, most of them agreed that otakus customers are more willing to spend money on services and tips more compared to tourists. The maids surely do not hate on or whatnot, yet, when it comes to financial benefits, otakus seems to have won the heart of the maids.

If you are a weeb, have an otaku hobby or if you are totally not interested in such a culture, I still recommend you to try out one of the maid cafes when you visit Japan. It is a very interesting experience, and if not, the girls are really cute and adorable to look at, cough cough, I mean the food and drinks are really cute and adorable to look at. Get ready to Moe moe kyuun! ♡~*

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