We’re just that into mie: Asia’s obsession with instant noodles by Kontinentalist

The idea for this story came from a discussion we had about our love for instant noodles, and how this love is fervently shared across Asia. As an ode to both a beloved cuisine and cultural phenomenon, our story explores the origin of instant noodles, the variety of flavours and types, and how affordable or frequently consumed it is across the continent.

A key dataset that informed this piece was Ramen Rater’s Big List, where he had noted and archived every ramen he’s ever reviewed. We use that to run various analysis on R to inform our story and charts. From here, we could explore instant noodles by type of noodle, flavour profile, and so on. We supplemented the story with further research on consumption levels across different countries, average portion sizes, and the how the cost of instant noodles is low in many countries and is a staple.

In creating this story, we wanted to ensure our design reflected the love, fun, and cultural aspects of instant noodles with respect, and without being orientalist or exoticising it. We kept the tone and visuals light-hearted and vibrant, such as using emojis where relevant, and drawing the barcharts as noodles. We also illustrated the top 10 noodles on Ramen Rater’s list to show how diverse instant noodles are, and perhaps induce an appetite for them with our audiences.