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Dec 2007 | Vol. 5 MUSO NEWS
“100 Years” - Commitment to Authentic, Traditional Manufacturing of Dry Noodles.
Tanaka Family

Business Permit

Drying Noodle

Drying Noodle

Cold Soba

Soba served in hot soup


It was more than100 years ago when Hyomatsu, working as an apprentice in the sugar wholesale merchant, became independent and started manufacturing dry noodles in 1906.  Last year Tanaka Seimensho, our dry noodle manufacturer, celebrated the 100th anniversary of their establishment.  Current CEO, Tanaka II, Hyojiro is now 96 years old, current president, Tanaka III, Miyoshi, is 73 years old, and Tanaka IV, Shoji is a plant manager.  It’s amazing that not only the company has celebrated their 100th anniversary, but also the fact that three generations are working together in the same place! These accomplishments are truly worthy of our praise.  Moreover, in 1969, Tanaka started exporting their dry noodles and is currently active in organic production. 

Dry noodles were introduced in Japan from China (from the Nara period - 710-794AD).  Around that time, dry noodles were called “wheat rope” (it looked like rope made of wheat).  Dry noodles were hand-made and sun-dried until the beginning of the 20th century.  Presently dry noodle production is a mechanized process. Hand-made noodles are still available through a noodle brand called “Tenobe”.

Authentic persistence

Tanaka insists making noodles with body.  To produce noodles with body, it must make the most of the wheat characteristic “gluten.”  To form gluten, it requires an aging stage during the mixing, kneading and drying process.  There are two important factors when it comes to aging of noodles.  1) After ingredient mixing, the kneading process lasts for 30 minutes. 2) The mixture must then sit for 2 hours before going to rolling process.  The quality of aging at the drying process depends on the noodle moisture being dried evenly at the core and surface of the noodles.  Another important factor is that Tanaka’s noodles are dried naturally at room temperature for 24 hours (not artificially dried with the machine).  This process contributes to their dry noodles having body.

It is also important to know how to properly cook noodles.  For details, please refer to “Tips for cooking excellent noodles”

Present and future

Dried noodles have long since been appreciated as a preserved food that can be eaten either hot or cold throughout the four seasons in Japan.  However, lately the popularity of dried noodles is fading away in Japan.  The demand for ‘decreasing household cooking time’ is occurring not only in Japan, but all over the world. This cook-time factor plays a significant role for the unpopularity of dried noodles.

Dried noodles certainly have a long and interesting history. Muso is committed to continue marketing authentic dried noodles with body. Muso values the preservation of this traditional Japanese food manufacturing practice and wants to also introduce these ‘slow and genuine’ foods to the entire the world.

“Tips for cooking excellent noodles”

  • Use a large pot in order to boil the noodles
  • Bring water to a complete boil. Then, put the noodles in the pot.  At first, noodles will sink to the bottom. They will then come to the surface about a minute later.
  • When the noodles come to the surface, loosen the noodles with chopsticks or tongs.
  • Make sure the noodles are boiling as spinning around in the pot.
  • Finally, follow the cooking time instructions exactly.
Miso soup
Miso Soup

Muso Instant Miso Soup

Nowadays Miso soup is the most famous Japanese soup and is appreciated around the world.  8 years ago Muso’s miso soup was instantized and became organic.  Lately, our organic instant miso soup has gone through a package change to make it more enticing and attractive (see the photo).  To commemorate this package change , we would like to lead with the story of Japanese Miso soup:

The birth of miso soup took place during Muromach period (1336-1573).  The prototype of miso soup was a simple form where miso was mashed up and dissolved in hot water.  Speaking of an anecdote, Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Shogun of Edo period (1600-1867) lived a long life of 75 years when the average life expectancy was 38 years.  It is said the secret to his long life was drinking miso soup with a lot of different ingredients such as vegetables and sea vegetables.  The rest of Shoguns during Edo period, all followed the habit of drinking miso soup everyday to keep them healthy.

Needless to say, the real secret to the Shogun’s longevity was that miso soup was full of nutrients.  Among them Vitamin E, which is good for promoting a good blood circulation and also feature with an anti-aging function, is present in miso soup.  Choline found in miso soup also has a similar function of antiaging as Vitamin E.  Isoflavone, which has antioxidant function and promotes good health conditioning, and lecithin, known to decrease the level of cholesterol and potentially provides a factor to help obesity, are also present.  We believe, it's not an exaggeration to say that miso soup is the source of longevity.

There is also good news for those who worry about their sodium content of miso soup.  Sodium will be easy to be discharged from body if you take sodium along with potassium.  In other words, there will be no problem if you drink a miso soup with lots of vegetables and sea vegetables.  You can easily ‘upgrade’ your miso soup by just adding your favorite blanched vegetables! 

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