Support The Moscow Times!

Russia's Frozen Ramen Challenge Returns in Below-Zero Temps

Doshirak, a South Korean brand of instant ramen, has been a Russian favorite since the 1990s. Vovan_new / Instagram

While many Russians have altered their New Year’s traditions due to the pandemic this year, some holiday traditions remain unchanged — the New Year tree, Olivier salad, freezing temperatures and...the frozen instant noodles challenge. 

What now seems like a stereotypically Russian form of entertainment was actually invented by a French-Italian research team at a research station in Antarctica in 2018. Researchers took a viral picture of pasta on a fork frozen in mid-air at minus 60 degrees Celsius. The idea was quickly picked up by residents of Siberia and Russia’s Arctic who don’t have to travel far in search of extreme weather conditions. 

Russians modified the original Italian pasta version to feature Doshirak noodles, a popular South Korean instant ramen brand. 

This winter, the challenge witnessed a rebirth with this viral tweet that featured a photo of frozen cup noodles and a soft-boiled egg.

Some Siberia natives went a step further, inviting their followers to enjoy a frozen Doshirak picnic between outdoor swimming sessions at minus 30 C.

Russians have found that instant noodles aren't the only thing capable of freezing into Instagram art — pictures of wet laundry make a good addition. 

The viral challenge of throwing boiling water into the air outdoors that took the U.S. by storm last winter remains popular in Russia. 

And with temperatures already dropping below minus 40 C in some places, residents of Russia's coldest regions will have many more opportunities for freezing photo challenges throughout the winter. 

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more