So.. it’s been quite a while since I discussed a Japan-related topic on my blog.. I used to read lots of articles regarding the Japanese culture and society.
I also used some of the podcasts I was listening back then to conduct a study for my bachelor thesis. And today I thought that I should bring back my interest in Japanese culture.. and one element that I want to present is a important notion in the Japanese cuisine. Ramen.
Ramen (/ˈrɑːmən/) (拉麺, ラーメン rāmen, IPA: [ɾaꜜːmeɴ]) is a Japanese dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat or (occasionally) fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork (叉焼 chāshū), dried seaweed (海苔 nori), menma (麺麻), and green onions (葱 negi). Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation of ramen, from the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen of Kyushu to the miso ramen of Hokkaido.
Ramen soup is generally made from stock based on chicken or pork, combined with a variety of ingredients such as kombu (kelp), katsuobushi (skipjack tuna flakes), niboshi (dried baby sardines), beef bones, pig bones, shiitake, and onions. Some modern Ramen broths can also be vegetable based.
There are tons of varieties of ingredients that can be combined with the ramen soup.. especially spicy ones. One thing that tastes great is the ham inside the warm soup. Tried ramen a few times at the local mall.. and it was delicious. Ramen became popular as a street food during the Japanese festivals but it is also a quick choice when you are taking a break during the job hours. Vending machines nowadays permit you to cook ramen outdoors, if you find yourself in a hurry or away from your kitchen.
Ramen is offered in various types of restaurants and locations including ramen shops, izakaya drinking establishments, lunch cafeterias, karaoke halls, and amusement parks. However, the best quality ramen is usually only available in specialist ramen-ya restaurants. As ramen-ya restaurants offer mainly ramen dishes, they tend to lack variety in the menu. Besides ramen, some of the dishes generally available in a ramen-ya restaurant include fried rice (called Chahan or Yakimeshi), gyoza (Chinese dumplings), and beer.
Further interesting reading.