Where I’m from, there are really just two reasons to eat a cup of instant noodles: you’re either a cash-strapped student who can’t afford to eat better, or you’re too tired to make anything more elaborate to eat. It’s just about the easiest meal to prep, but the gadget wizards at Japan’s Thanko think it could be even easier.
Making instant noodles requires you to have mastered two basic skills. You need to be able to peel back a plastic seal from a cup, and you need to be able to sufficiently heat water to a temperature that’s hot enough to properly hydrate all of the dried ingredients and leave you with a warm meal. That requires an understanding of how microwaves, kettles, or campfires work, and if that feels beyond your grasp, the Makasetei could be worth sacrificing another small section of kitchen counter real estate.
The device is sort of a Keurig coffee machine for instant noodles, but in lieu of proprietary pods, it’s designed to accommodate the cups from various manufacturers, like Cup Noodle or Nongshim, through a height-adjustable mechanism. All that’s required from the user is to remove the plastic seal from the cup, place it on the Makasetei and lower the main mechanism so that it creates a tight seal. Then, they just need to fill the machine with water, start it, and set a timer.
The device automatically heats the water, fills the noodle cup when the water is boiling, and then gives all the ingredients enough time to rehydrate while trapping all of the heat inside the cup. When the meal is ready, an alarm sounds, and it’s time to eat.
Thanko is selling the Makasetei for $45, but at that price, the appliance seems far too simplistic. It couldn’t have incorporated an automatic stirring mechanism to ensure the noodles are thoroughly mixed with seasoning while rehydrating? Or a built-in Sriracha dispenser? This thing is clearly targeted at the lazy (or those who don’t already own an electric kettle, which can heat water up faster than a stove), but Thanko has underestimated just how lazy some of us can really be.