Ramen is an authentic Japanese noodle soup made from dried noodles. It often involves beef or chicken broth and includes toppings like scallions, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and more. It is one of the most popular Japanese food outside of the sushi bar.
I first learned about ramen from my friend Masaharu Asai. He introduced me to instant noodles, which he said were like ramen in Japan. I asked him what he meant by “ramen” and he told me that it was a shortened term for Japanese soybean soup. I guess that is where the similarities between the two to stop.
Ramen has its roots in China, but most Americaners don’t know it. Most likely, it originated in Japan because that is where most of the world’s shio ramen comes from. Soba, which means soup in Japanese, was first made in China. The first type of noodles used was sightly different from today’s shio ramen: thick, yellow-brown tubes of wheat flour covered in tough porridge that are used to make some.
Ramen wasn’t originally served with meat or seafood. It was first created as a replacement for the dried noodles that were used for some. By the time ramen became a popular food in Japan, it already had its own unique flavor that is still found in most stores today. Back then, ramen was always served with a delicious bowl of soup broth. That is the most common toppings, but toppings are almost as common today as they were in years past.
Ramen is not a simple dish to describe; it literally is an overwhelming meal. There are countless options for ramen toppings. Among the most common is the tokatsu sauce, which is made by mixing ketchup with hot sauce and then dipping the noodles into it. Another common topping is mocha, which is chocolate syrup. You can also get sprinkles and drizzles all over the noodle dishes; sometimes they’re combined with sweetened rice vinegar to create sweet mocha.
Of course, there is also the staple of ramen in many Japanese homes: flavored instant noodles. Ramen fans absolutely adore flavored instant ramen. These noodles come flavored with everything from garlic to sugar to ginger to fresh herbs to even spicy seasonings. For the non-ramen fan, flavored ramen shops sell non-ramen flavored noodles in several flavors.
One of my favorite foods in Japan is seafood, particularly fish. Ramen is often served alongside fish in a bowl. Even the soup variety of ramen is popular in Japan, and I’ve always liked it whenever I’ve had the opportunity to try it.
If you haven’t had miso ramen before, you’re really missing out. It has a sweet, rich, and creamy flavor that is not at all like other forms of ramen. Miso ramen is well known for having a much lighter flavor than its western counterpart. It goes great with grilled fish, kamaboko, vegetables, and even meat. It is truly a wonderful dish that you must try if you ever come to Japan.