Where does my Ramen come from? >>Find Ramen ShopsYou have probably eaten it. You see it in the grocery store or in the back of your pantry. Yes, it is Ramen. But believe it or not, the cup of ramen that is so popular has its origins in China and then the Japanese took it and improved it and have adopted it as their own. However, Japanese ramen is exponentially better than what your cup of ramen. It is hard to find someone in Japan who does not like ramen, but what you might not know is how many different types of ramen are out there. I do not mean the different brands that freeze dry ramen and put it in the grocery store, but the different types of ramen available in Japan depending on where you are in the country. In fact, there are more than 10,000 ramen specialty shops in Japan. Despite the plethora of shops, you will still see hour long lines in front of some of these shops. Some might say that Ramen is the noodle of choice among the Japanese, but why is that?
- Ramen is cheap. Normally, less than 1000 but can be as cheap as 600yen if you don't have any topping.
- Ideal place to eat by yourself.
- If you want an additional dish, dumplings and rice are available.
- Ramen shops are very popular places for Japanese to go after drinking as well. They are a lot like late-night pizza parlors in America.
- Ramen is served quickly, easy to eat, and good for the hectic person.
-The tsukemen style is becoming popular among young Japanese. The noodle is separated from the broth and the taste of the broth is stronger that that of normal ramen. Your noodles will never get wrinkled because they are not in the broth. Take some noodles and dip them into the strong broth.
What kind of Ramen can I eat in Japan?Each region has its own distinct flavor and taste. While the Japanese categorize all these simply as ramen, each is unique in its own respect, not only by taste but in appearance as well. Sapporo Ramen is from Hokkaido、Kitakata Ramen is in Fukushima, Tokyo ramen in Tokyo, Hakata ramen in Kyushu and so on throughout all of Japan.
What's the difference between Raman? >>Find Ramen ShopsWhen trying to distinguish one type of ramen from another, there are three main things you must consider: soup, noodle and topping.
Three Major Factors of Ramen
SoupRamen soups are mainly divided by taste and categorized into the following groups: miso base, salt base, soy source and tonkotsu base. Typically, the soups are made of katsuobushi (dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna), niboshi (Japanese dried baby sardines), konbu (dried kelp), chicken stock, pig bones, onion, shiitake mushroom, but all these ingredients can vary depending on the restaurant. Each restaurant has its own blend and secret way of brewing their ramen; whether it is in the ingredients, how long they boil it, or what temperature they boil it at, the restaurants are particular in keeping their methods to themselves. Several restaurants have franchised themselves and turned into chains that are available in various regions.
NoodleThe two major differences in the noodles are the thickness of the noodle and the type of noodle. Similar to ordering a burger, when you order your noodle, you can tell them how well you want it to be cooked at some ramen restaurants (depends on resutaurants. Please ask servers.). Generally, ramen noodles come in two different types of thickness: thick and thin. Thick noodles have a rice-cake like texture (mochi) and go well with soup based on tonkotsu and miso soup whereas thin noodles are easier to slurp and go well with soy sauce and salt based soups. Additionally, like French fries, there are two main types of noodles, curly and straight. Straight noodles are little harder and popular in Tonkotsu ramen and curly noodles have a yellowish color and go well with soy sauce ramen and miso ramen. So, why don't you try both and decide which you prefer!
ToppingsWhen ordering your ramen, pick and choose which toppings you want to add to it to give it flavor and more substance. Some restaurants might already include some toppings in their ramen while others have entire sections of the menu dedicated to their various topping selections. Several popular toppings are:
- Char Siu: Literally means "pork roasted”: This is the most popular topping and each restaurant has its own unique Char Siu. Try several and find which one you like the best. It can be tender, tough, thick, or roasted.
- Memma: processed food of fermented bamboo shoot. Generally it comes with any type of ramen for free.
- Soy sauced boiled egg (ajitsuke-tamago): Flavored with soy sauced based broth. Half boiled eggs are also available and are popular among the Japanese.
- Green onion（negi）: Gives the ramen a lighter taste.
- Sprout (moyashi): Gives the ramen a lighter taste.
- Butter: Mainly, it is ordered with miso or salt base (soy source) ramen.
- Naruto maki: Fish sausage. This is the main ingredient in Tokyo ramen. In addition to its good taste, it adds a beautiful color to the ramen.
- Nori: Seaweed. This is common in Tokyo ramen and Yokohama ramen.
- Kikurage, Beni shoga, Goma: a wood-ear mushroom, pickled ginger, sesame. These are a staple in Tonkotsu ramen. They can mitigate the oiliness and fatty taste in tonkotsu ramen.
Want to adjust your ramen taste?If you want to a bit adjust your ramen on your own, then take a look at your table. Below items are freely available for you.
- Shredded garlic: Goes well with fatty ramen, such as Tonkotsu ramen or miso ramen.
- Benishoga : The red, sliced ginger taste Japanese pickles. The red colour is derived from red perilla. Goes well with Tonkotsu based ramen, such as Hakata Ramen.
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