Kitchen Tips

Ramen – The Authentic Taste of Japanese Cuisine

Ramen, the Authentic Taste of Japanese Cuisine, is one of the most popular foods in Japan apart from rice. It was originally imported from China but is now more indigenous to Japan. Ramen is a noodle soup dish found in most restaurants in Japan. They are quite affordable and widely available making it an ideal option for visitors and travelers in Japan.

Ramen restaurants can be found in every corner of the country that produces numerous regional variations of this common noodle dish.

There are many kinds of Ramen categorised according to their soup and noodle base. Here are four different kinds of ramen that are common to Japan.

Shoyu ramen is flavoured with soy sauce and is quite clear. It is the most common type of ramen used for soups which uses pork, beef and fish which varies across regions.

Authentic Japanese Ramen

Image Courtesy: Young Sok Yun 윤영석 used under the Creative Commons Licence

Shio or salt ramen is typically made with salt and uses chicken and other meats as flavour for the broth.

Miso ramen is made with miso (fermented soya bean paste) which adds a rich and flavourful touch to the soups. They are the most comforting soups during winter and are found all over Japan.

Tonkotsu ramen is quite popular around Kyushu and is made from pork bones which are boiled and dissolved into a white broth. It is usually flavoured with pork or chicken broth.

A typical ramen noodle is made with wheat flour which has a chewy and firm texture. They come in different varieties ranging from long and elastic to thick and wavy.

Some of the popular ramen toppings you can find in Japan include Chashu ramen are made of thick slices of pork that are cooked, roasted or poached; While Karanegi is a rich and spicy version of leeks or green onions with chilli oil. There’s an eggy version too with the Tamago which uses hard and soft-boiled eggs that are added as a popular topping upon ramen.

Authentic Ramen

Image Courtesy: jeffreyw used under the Creative Commons Licence

What’s Japanese food without seaweeds? The very popular nori and wakame are commonly used as toppings for ramen. And who doesn’t love corn cobs? They are generously used while serving miso or shio ramen, with a dollop of butter that adds a rich texture and cream to the dish.

Ramen is quite ubiquitous throughout Japan, whether you‘re at the train station or a busy road or perhaps dining with your family and friends at restaurants, or even while you’re shopping- you can find a ramen-ya just as you walk across the streets. They are popular at izakaya,, tourist spots and at convenience stores too. Ramen recipes are easy to prepare and you can also make them at home as per your convenience and top it with veggies and meat of your choice.

With all the popular ramen that are listed above you’d be wondering how to eat them. Of course with a chopstick, but if it’s a soup then you will be provided with a spoon at the restaurants which also helps you to pick up the toppings.

So go on and slurp into that bowl of ramen for an authentic taste of Japanese cuisine.

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