“Instant” is relative.

Nissin is best known as the makers of Japan’s iconic Cup Noodle brand of instant ramen. In addition to that, they also boast a bevy of big-selling items like UFO yakisoba and instant rice cups. With such a successful lineup of instant foods, they’d be forgiven for just sitting back and watching the cash roll in.

But no! Rather than rest on their laurels, Nissin is constantly striving to develop and create new breakthroughs in the realm of instant foods. They’ve created several types of space food to stave off homesickness for the nation’s astronauts and are currently working on using environmentally friendly cultured meat in their products in the future.

And now, they’ve unveiled something really great for udon lovers. Udon is a Japanese noodle made from wheat and enjoyed for its thick and often chewy texture. The chewiness especially is a matter of pride for udon makers and can vary from region to region, according to local tastes.

Image: ©SoraNews24

Nissin, however, may have come up with something completely new by fusing udon noodles with mochi, one of Japan’s most notoriously chewy foods. Mochi is the gelatinous rice snack with a very mild taste but possesses a chewiness so powerful it can be lethal if not consumed properly.

▼ Mochi being prepared the traditional way

Image: Pakutaso

The secret to mochi’s texture is the type of glutinous rice used, so Nissin applied those same characteristics to udon’s key ingredient to create glutinous wheat or “mochi wheat” as they call it. This, combined with their patented “Three-Layer Straight Thick Manufacturing Method,” used in their popular Donbei line of instant udon, will create a product of unprecedented chewiness.

Image: Nissin

Just how chewy is Nissin Donbei Limited Premium Kitsune Udon: Historic Motchi Mochi Noodles? For starters this instant noodle requires eight minutes of soaking time to prepare, surpassing regular Donbei udon’s five-minute period for the hot water to penetrate the extra thick noodles.

Many instant udon fans online weren’t dismayed by the added time either, as an Internet legend states that letting regular Donbei soak for 10 full minutes makes it even more delicious.

“When the 10-minute Donbei was popular I tried to do it, but I couldn’t wait that long and just started eating it.”
“I wonder how it tastes if you soak it for 16 minutes?”
“I can hardly handle the three minutes it takes for Cup Noodle.”
“It takes eight minutes, but I’d definitely buy it and try it.”
“I hope they make an extra-soft noodle next time.”
“If I use water boiling at 200 degrees, can it take half the time?”
“I might as well just cook regular udon. It’d take about the same amount of time.”

There is the question of whether an instant noodle product taking eight minutes can really be called “instant.” That’s a complicated dilemma, and one that Albert Einstein touched on in his early attempts to develop a unified field theory. Realizing that a watched pot never boiled, he deduced that noodles held the key to unlocking the mysteries of space and time.

▼ Einstein lecturing in front of a crude diagram of chopsticks and a bowl of instant udon, circa 1921

Image: Wikipedia/Ferdinand Schmutzer

Over time his “noodle theory” was renamed “string theory” and took off in a different direction, but the core concepts remain that a noodle’s inherent thickness and chewiness have the ability to warp time. Ergo vis-a-vis carpe vinum: Eight minutes to prepare Nissin Donbei Limited Premium Kitsune Udon: Historic Motchi Mochi Noodles is really fast.

Even if you deny the well-documented physics behind it, you have to admit it’d still take a long time to recreate the pleasant bonito and kelp broth, fried soy bean patty, green onions, kamaboko, and blend of shichimi spices that all make up the Nissin Donbei Limited Premium Kitsune Udon: Historic Motchi Mochi Noodles.

In conclusion, it’s a fast way to enjoy an entirely new evolution in the art of making noodles chewy, so be sure to pick up a pack when it comes out on 16 November all over Japan for about 200 yen (US$1.90) a pack. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for Nissin’s next scientific breakthrough, which ought to be sometime next month.

Source: Nissin, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Nissin
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