"Koreans like spicy food, so I'd like some more chili powder in it."
Today, most of the Korean instant ramen noodles have a spicy red soup. There are a few Korean ramens with a white soup base, but Korean ramen are known for the red soup base.
Korea's first ramen made by the Samyang Ramen company in 1963 was made with white soup. The red noodle soup appeared after the former Korean president Park Chung Hee proposed adding red pepper powder.
Recently, the story behind the creation of the red ramen is emerging in various online communities and is drawing the netizens' attention.
When the instant ramen noodles were first released in Korea, it was loved by the Korean people at the time because it was easy to prepare and was a cheap meal to keep the stomach full.
However, the first Samyang Ramen noodles were created with a white soup created from a chicken stock base. The chicken broth ramen didn't really suit the taste of Koreans who preferred spicy soups.
Therefore, president Park Chung Hee, who enjoyed the instant noodles, suggested one day in 1966 that the ramen company adds chili powder to the noodle. He stated, "I hope you can add more chili powder because Korean people like spicy foods."
This is how president Park contributed to the creation of the spicy Korean ramen we know today.
Samyang Ramen began promoting the spicy instant noodles after they received the suggestion from president Park. Samyang Ramen actively developed the spicy ramen as they held free tasting events to improve the ramen to suit Koreans' taste.
Since then, the ramen industry has used beef broth, and the red ramen era began.
Upon hearing the story, netizens responded by saying, "This is amazing," "I didn't know the ramen was originally white," and "I didn't know the red ramen was the president's creation."
According to the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA), Korea consumed approximately 75.1 instant noodles per person last year.