What is “Mystery Meat” in Nissin Cup Noodles?

Introduced in 1971, known as the world’s first instant cup ramen, Nissin Cup Noodle has been a long-time favorite in Japan and is now widely enjoyed in many countries.

I have loved Nissin Cup Noodle since I was a child, and my favorite garnish in it is the meat cube called “Nazo Niku (謎肉)”.

Nazo Niku (謎肉: Mystery Meat)

Nissin Cup Noodles Toppings

As most people don’t know what the meat topping is made with, we Japanese call that “Nazo Niku (謎肉)”, which is translated into English as “Mystery Meat”.

The ingredients used in Nazo Niku had been a mystery for 46 years since the first flavor Shoyu (soy sauce) went on the market in 1971.

Today, in addition to the soy sauce flavor, the original curry flavor also contains the mystery meat Nazo Niku.

The Secret Ingredients

Mystery Meat Cubes in Nissin Cup NoodlesImage: getnews.jp

In 2016, in commemoration of the Cup Noodle line’s 45th anniversary, Nissin released the Nissin Cup Noodle Big instant ramen shown above.

It featured the mystery meat increased by 45 times as compared to the regular soy sauce flavor.

Subsequently, on September 13, 2017, Nissin finally unveiled the secret ingredients of Nazo Niku for the first time, which became a hot topic in Japan.

According to that article,

The mystery meat Nazo Niku in Nissin Cup Noodles is a freeze-dried food consisting of minced pork and vegetables.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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