The Inspiration Behind The Name Of David Chang's Momofuku

A name as renowned as Momofuku hardly requires an introduction, but it does warrant some explanation. Founded in 2004 by none other than David Chang, New York City's Momofuku Noodle Bar was named one of the most important restaurants in America by Bon Appétit and is known for its constantly changing menu of slurpy, flavorful, and springy ramen noodles. Still, the Momofuku brand has grown to encompass many things. Just like the meaning behind the name, there's much more than meets the eye.

If you translate the word "Momofuku" directly from Japanese to English, you'll learn that it actually means "lucky peach," which does happen to fall in line with his favorite Allman Brothers album, "Eat a Peach," but doesn't exactly correlate with noodles. In fact, if you didn't know about the historical origins of instant ramen, you'd rightfully assume the two were completely unrelated. But you'd be wrong. Momofuku happens to be the last name of the inventor of instant ramen, Ando Momofuku — the food that Chang claims got him through his time in college.

Momofuku is much more than just ramen

The college version of Chang is probably having a full-circle moment right about now. Not only is he the founder of what's arguably the most recognizable ramen noodle restaurant in the U.S., but the brand has expanded into selling its own restaurant-grade products. He's also had the opportunity to create and share his own line of instant noodles with the world. 

Available online at Whole Foods, Target, and various mom-and-pop shops around the country, college students, busy parents, and ramen noodle lovers everywhere can enjoy the convenience of instant ramen. Only these are likely to taste much better than whatever you ate in college. 

The New York Times credits Chang for the rise of contemporary Asian American cuisine, and just like Asian food, there is more to Momofuku than just noodles. With multiple spin-off locations across New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, you can have everything from seafood to flatbread sandwiches. Even at Momofuku Ko and Momofuku Noodle Bar, you can have as good of a meal without ordering noodles as you would if you did. From pork belly buns to vegan curry rice cakes and crispy potatoes to five-spice roasted duck, the restaurateur brings it all to the table, and he doesn't disappoint.