Are David Chang's Momofuku Instant Noodles Fried Or Dried?

david chang smiling
david chang smiling - Ben Gabbe/Getty Images
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

For a long time, you could only get a taste of David Chang's famous noodles by dining at Momofuku Noodle Bar, the celebrity chef's restaurant, which is considered one of the best ramen spots in NYC. The first location opened back in 2004 and its success has led to the opening of many other restaurants since then. However, it wasn't until 2021 that Chang launched a retail version of his restaurant's noodles, allowing fans to enjoy them at home. (He recommends cooking them in cheese water, in case you're interested).

These noodles, branded simply as Momofuku Noodles, are a lot like many other instant noodles in that they take only four minutes to cook and they come conveniently with a seasoning packet. However, what sets them apart is that they are dried, not fried. Instant noodles are typically made through a process that involves cooking and drying followed by frying. After this process, the noodles are packaged and consumers can prepare them simply by adding hot water. Momofuku noodles, on the other hand, achieve similar results but without any frying.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

How David Chang's Momofuku Instant Noodles Are Made

packages of momofuku noodles on shelf at grocery store
packages of momofuku noodles on shelf at grocery store - The Image Party/Shutterstock

Momofuku Noodles are produced by A-Sha Foods, and like the other noodles sold under this brand, David Chang's product is made using a special 18-hour air drying technique that was invented by the company. It starts with a wheat flour dough, which is formed into noodles both by hand and with the help of machines. The noodles are then left to dry for upwards of 18 hours at a consistent temperature. What results is a shelf-stable product similar to traditional instant ramen but without the frying.

Since pasta noodles also undergo a similarly lengthy air-drying process, you might expect Momofuku Noodles to be more like spaghetti than ramen, but that isn't the case. For starters, pasta dough is made with eggs, an ingredient that isn't present in Momofuku's noodles. Ramen noodles are also cooked in high alkaline water, which is what gives them their distinct texture. This texture difference is not influenced by whether the noodles are air-dried or fried, so despite the similar drying times, Momofuku Noodles are not more like pasta noodles.

Are David Chang's Instant Noodles The Same Kind Served At Momofuku Restaurants?

lifting noodles out of bowl with chopsticks
lifting noodles out of bowl with chopsticks - Hxyume/Getty Images

When David Chang's air-dried noodle product was first released, it was available during dinner at the Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City's East Village. However, Momofuku CEO Marguerite Zabar Mariscal had shared with Business Insider at the time that these noodles would not become a permanent offering in restaurants, essentially confirming it was a different product than what's normally served in-house.

According to the Momofuku Noodle Bar menu, the ramen dishes are made with both barley-based and eggless noodles. Similarly, the store-bought version of the restaurant's noodles is also eggless, but the dough is made with wheat, not barley flour. The only other ingredients in the noodles are water and salt, so while they may not taste exactly like the kind you get at the restaurant, the simplicity of the ingredients and the fact that they're air-dried still sets the quality apart from other instant ramen brands.

Read the original article on Daily Meal