An Asian noodle that is wheat-based and sometimes contains eggs. The off-white noodle is very popular all over the world and is available in straight rods or crinkled into brick shapes. It is sold fresh, dried, frozen and in instant form, which generally includes a flavor packet. In its instant form, ramen becomes a ready to use ingredient for soups, salads, and side dishes. Without boiling, it can be added to coleslaw or similar salads as a crunchy complement. Or when boiled, the noodles can be mixed with bits of meat and vegetables to be served as a meal. If a broth is added, it becomes a hearty soup. The product originated in China where it is referred to as Lo-Mein, or boiled noodles. The name Ramen comes from the Japanese pronunciation of Lo-Mein. The traditional Ramen noodles were produced and marketed as a dried instant product in the 1970's. As the noodles became popular in various countries, each region added ingredients to flavor their noodle dishes. Korea adds black bean sauce, China adds Szechwan flavors, Japan combines seafood and milder spices, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia prefer spicier ingredients, while North America prefers milder spices and vegetables for a slightly seasoned flavor.