The Different Types of Baby Star Ramen & Unique Ways to Enjoy It
In addition to being sold in Japan, Baby Star Ramen is also exported to other parts of Asia. While they are called “Baby Star Ramen” in Japan, the official English name for this product is “Baby Star Crispy Noodle Snack”. If you ask a Japanese person about a Ramen snack, I am sure the first thing to come to mind will be these Baby Star Ramen packages. Today we will be introducing not only the different varieties of Baby Star Ramen, but also fun and interesting ways to use them in actual meals.
History of Baby Star Ramen
Baby Star Ramen is a flavored fried noodle-style snack owned and sold by Matsuda Sangyo Co., Ltd. (now Oyatsu Company Ltd.) since 1959. At the time they were sold for 10yen a bag, under the name Baby Ramen.
While being tasty doesn’t hurt, the real secret to the Baby Star Ramen’s popularity is the highly familiar mascot characters. Baby-chan, who was the mascot when the snack first came out, has now evolved to Bei-chan.
This same company began selling the world’s first instant ramen noodles,”Ajitsuke Chukamen (flavored Chinese noodles)”, in 1955. However, this endeavor ended because of managerial failure, and as a result the title of being the “world’s first instant ramen noodle” went to Nissin Foods’ Chicken Ramen. If the Ajitsuke Chukamen had been a success, then it would most likely have been remembered as at the official “first” in the world.
Different Baby Star Ramen Shapes
In the large scheme, there are three categories when it comes to the Baby Star Ramen snacks. While there is no actual difference in flavor in the three, there are many who prefer #2, or 3 because of the size and shape (easy to consume). If you are looking to snack while driving, the #2 and 3 are much better constructed to keep the mess to a minimal. We hope you keep that in mind for your next adventure.
2. Dodekai Ramen
3. Ramen Maru
Snacks Similar to Baby Star Ramen
There are two other similar ramen snacks called Yatta Men and Ramen Babaa, which translate to Hooray Noodle and Old Hag Ramen. These are also snacks that are familiar to any Japanese person, and I’m sure everyone has tried them at least once growing up. There is a small lottery system on the back of the Yatta Men lid, where you can win 10, 50, or 100yen. As a child, my friends and I would buy these snacks looking to win the cash. They can still be found at some convenient stores, so if you happen to come across one give it a try!
1. Yatta Men
2. Ramen Babaa
Different Baby Star Ramen Flavors
Not only are there typical ramen flavors, such as miso, shio (salt), and tonkotsu (pork bone broth), but there are also many regionally specific collaboration flavors using local specialties. While we are not certain how many flavors actually do exist, we do know there are A LOT!
Other Baby Star Ramen Applications
Baby Star Ramen is not only enjoyed as is, but can also be utilized in various recipes, as well as a topping. The saltiness and crunchy texture can elevate your dish, and add that little something that was missing.
1. Onigiri (Rice Ball)
3. Ankake Yakisoba Noodles
4. Ochazuke (Japanese Rice Porridge)
Monja-yaki is similar to an okonomi-yaki, which is a Japanese-style pancake using various savory ingredients. If you go to an okonomi-yaki restaurant, there is a high probability that they will carry a dish using the Baby Star Ramen snack as a topping. It’s delicious!
These suggestions are only a portion of the uses within Japan, so we hope you can also have fun coming up with other unique recipes or uses as well.