Ramen is a traditional Japanese noodle soup made from short grain rice. It usually includes Chinese-style long wheat noodles, usually served in a sweet broth or grilled meat, and has toppings like scallions, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, or sliced vegetables. There are variations on the theme, but the basic ingredients remain the same: noodles, broth, seasonings, and possibly imitation vegetables or meat. The dish is normally served together with slices of raw vegetables or meat.
I enjoyed ramen as a child, but I don’t really feel like sipping it regularly today. Part of the reason is that I like my noodles to be very thin, not alight with strong flavors like I used to when I was a kid. I also enjoy textures, and the original ramen recipe included several varieties of noodles (link below). I also enjoy the thicker, more robust flavor of the beef broth. If I want to get hearty dishes with strong flavors, then I go for the list or shio ramen.
My favorite bowl of ramen from Japan is the soba with beef tendon and chicken. It’s a very spicy bowl that I love to top with a light soy sauce and shiitake mushroom spiced up with shaolin cheese. I first learned about this dish from a friend who lives in New York City. She loves it every time I visit. She also loves to add ginger and shaolin cheese and enjoy a nice bowl of carrot ramen with egg tofu.
Another type of ramen I love to eat is chicken ramen. This is quite similar to the somen offered at many of the fine dining establishments in the Big Apple. The only difference is the lower quality of the ingredients and the higher cost of the mix.
For the more health conscious eaters, there are Japanese noodles that are healthier than their western counterparts. One of my favorites is the miso ramen or the spinach and mushroom gyoza ramen. I am not much of a gourmet when it comes to food, but these gyoza with the delicious egg mushrooms were absolutely delicious and extremely nutritious. I also enjoyed the sweet and salty combination of the miso and the kanji. The kanji adds a nice texture to the dish and the sweet flavor of the most complimented the gyoza quite nicely.
Miso and kanji are both commonly used in the cooking of Japanese food. However, there are other important ingredients that are not commonly used as much, such as the shoyu (a type of soy bean curd), which is most often used in Chinese cooking. There are also other ingredients like the ginger root and the asparagus root, which play an important role in the preparation of ramen. You can find recipes online or at your local Asian food store.