Ramen: the famous Japanese noodles

white scoop on white ceramic bowl

Between the Japanese and this dish of noodles in a broth of Chinese origin, it’s love at first sight: a return to a culinary “love story” started more than a century ago. Ramen noodles are a simple dish with undisputed success and flavor. 

From where do Ramen noodles originate?  

Originally from China, ramen noodles were imported to the archipelago at the beginning of the 20th century.

But this is where the versions diverge: some claim that it was Chinese migrants, who arrived mainly from the far south of Japan, settled in Kurume near Fukuoka, who invented the very first Ramen.

According to other sources, the noodles appeared to originate from a Chinese cook in Yokohama aimed to attract Japanese customers by adding a Japanese touch to his noodles after dipping them in a savory broth.

The Ramen became popular after the Second World War, with the appearance of mobile stands.  In 1958, instant noodles introduced, and by 1960 the different local ramen dishes became popular.

“Ramen-Ya”: Japan’s most popular fast-food restaurant  (Japan)  

Ramen – Ya is not a restaurant name. It means “Ramen restaurant” in Japan. Affordable, fast served, and easy to swallow in ramen-Ya (ramen restaurants), ramen noodles are similar to fast food in Japan.

You can find them on every street corner, and the specialized shops are often friendly, open late at night. They are the meeting place for party-goers who do not fail to taste a last bowl of Ramen before going home.The Japanese can eat it at any time of the day, often making a lot of noise – the aim being to swallow Broth at the same time as the noodles to savor the entire dish.

3 most famous types of Ramen you may try

Both rich and nutritious, the Ramen is a wheat noodle-based dish, typically served in a broth, usually meat-based, along with vegetables as well as meat (pork, beef, chicken, or seafood.) The noodles are made from wheat flour, salt, but also from kansui, alkaline mineral water added to their dough and which gives them this yellow color and this very particular texture.

There are a large number of regional recipes for Ramen all over the archipelago, depending on the Broth, noodles, meat, side dishes, etc.

There are three main types of broths, which define the dish: 

1.Those from Fukuoka, with pork bone broth (Tonkotsu ramen).

Tonkotsu ramen

2.Those from Tokyo seasoned with salt (Shio ramen).

Shio ramen

3.Those from Sapporo mixed with miso soybean paste (miso ramen).

The Tonkotsu ramen is very appreciated for its high concentration of umami.Each Ramen contains a variety of ingredients: roast pork slices, soft-boiled eggs in soy sauce, bamboo, mushrooms, ginger, nori, garlic, or narutomaki.

By the way, It’s tough to make Ramen from the Broth at home. I highly recommend to go Ramen restaurant around you or just buy frozen or instant ramen pack. It’ pretty good.

Most famous Ramen restaurant in the US

Ichiran Ramen: Deep Umami tonkotsu Ramen with authentic flavor (Japan, Brooklyn/US)

Ichran Tongotsu Ramen

Ichiran Ramen (一蘭, Ichiran) is a Japanese ramen food-service business specializing in tonkotsu Ramen The chain restaurant began in Fukuoka in 1960 as a ramen stall named “Futaba Ramen” It was later renamed “Ichiran” in 1966. After three decades of serving Ramen from a single location, under the leadership of CEO Manabu Yoshitomi it opened its first concept store in 1993, which became the blueprint for all future Ichiran ramen shop locations.

Ichran launched new store in Brooklyn in 2017, Based on New York times writer Pete Wells ,

” I’ll go for a supplementary coil of noodles. Crouched in my booth, I’ll practice my slurp, and when hot droplets of soup fly everywhere, nobody will get spattered but me”

If you can not visit either New York or Japan here is another choice to enjoy Ichran Ramen. They sell instant original tongotsu ramen online store. Price is pretty high but you can try once a while to enjoy real Japan at your home.

Ippudo ramen: Modern sense meet traditional Ramen

Ipputo Tongotsu Ramen

The Rival of tonkatsu with Ichran, Ippudo is also one of the most popular ramen restaurants in Japan and the US. It Established “HAKATA IPPUDO” in Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka city.  And they started its global expansion by opening “IPPUDO NY”, its first overseas IPPUDO ramen shop in New York.

Personally, for me, Ichiran is a more traditional and deep flavor, and Ippudo is a more modern and diverse menu. But I love both of their Ramen and can not decide which one is better. But usually, if my friend asked me If you want to focus on only Ramen I recommend “Ichiran” and If you want to drink and enjoy with another menu with Ramen I recommend “Ipputo”.

You can also try instant style, If you can not visit actual store .

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