Noodles (Ramen / Soba / Udon / etc.), Gourmet Guide

Ramen is one of the favorite dishes of Japan. Now, we would like to introduce you to these so-called Chinese noodles that are made with flour. Udon and soba noodles are also noodle dishes, but they belong to the genre of "Japanese food." Ramen can have a variety of tastes depending on its soup base.

The soup consists of a tare (sauce) that is put in the ramen bowl and diluted with broth. Then the cooked Chinese noodles are placed into the soup and topped with different ingredients, such as green onion or chashu (roasted pork filets.) If the broth was made from pork bone, it becomes tonkotsu ramen. If it was made from bonito flakes and dried sardines, it becomes a seafood-based ramen. Furthermore, if the tare is shoyu (soy sauce) flavored, it becomes shoyu ramen. If it is salt flavored, it becomes salt ramen, and if it is miso flavored, it becomes miso ramen. In the same way, if the ramen is topped with a lot of chashu, it becomes chashu ramen. If it is topped with wontons, it becomes wonton ramen, and if it is topped with stir-fried vegetables, it becomes chanpon ramen. The ingredients of ramen vary from store to store, ranging from simple ramen with not too many toppings, to colorful ramen with eggs, vegetables, seaweed, and more. Most ramen comes with 2-3 pieces of chashu, green onion, and soybean sprouts. If there is togarashi (spicy) miso, garlic, pickled ginger, or other seasonings on the table, feel free to use them as you like. In some places, you can add a boiled egg, more chashu, or extra noodles for an extra charge. Also, you can often order fried rice, dumplings, or fried chicken as a side dish. Ramen also varies depending on the region. Ramen with regional characteristics is referred to as "gotochi ramen," and there are a great variety of these local ramen types in Japan. Some famous local ramen varieties are Sapporo ramen from Hokkaido, Kitakata ramen from Fukushima, and Hakata ramen from Kyushu. There are countless more, including Sanma Ramen from Kanagawa, Yokohama Iekei Ramen, Aoyama Black Ramen from Toyama Prefecture, Wakayama Ramen from Wakayama Prefecture, Onomichi Ramen from Hiroshima, or Okinawa Soba from Okinawa Prefecture. There is at least one in each prefecture, sometimes even five to six, which shows how much Japanese people love ramen. Another popular kind of ramen is "tsukemen." Here, the boiled noodles are dipped into a separately served tsuyu (sauce) before eating. It is reminiscent of the way Japanese soba noodles are eaten, but the noodles are Chinese noodles, and the tsuyu is a very strong-flavored ramen soup, which makes it completely different from soba noodles. Ramen eaten at home or at work is usually instant ramen, which can be bought at convenience stores or supermarkets. Instant ramen comes in bags or in cups and is prepared in a pot or by simply adding hot water so that anyone can easily make it. You add any toppings you want. Every family has their own way of making ramen.

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