Whether you’re looking for comfort, a boost of energy or just a delicious snack, there are few things better than a hot bowl of ramen. This traditional Japanese dish is not only delicious but is also incredibly healthy and versatile. In recent years, ramen has grown in popularity, with restaurants opening up all over the world.
A ramen broth (
The noodles are the foundation of a good bowl of ramen, and different regions have their own style. They can be thin, curly or straight and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. Some have a harder texture while others are soft and chewy. Most ramen shops have a selection of noodle types so you can choose which one best suits your taste.
You can cook your own ramen at home, or you can visit one of many great ramen joints around the country. Ramen is easy to make, and the ingredients are usually available at your local grocery store. There are a few different ways to prepare ramen, but the most common is to boil the broth with seasoned chicken and then add the noodles. The noodles are cooked in the broth for a minute or two, and they should be tender but still firm enough to hold up to the rich soup.
Once the noodles are cooked, you can top them with various condiments and toppings to customize your ramen. Typical toppings include chashu, green onions, menma (bamboo shoots), seaweed and the prized ajitsuke tamago (marinated egg). You can also add more spice by throwing in some crushed red pepper flakes or everything bagel spice, or even a squirt of doubanjiang (Korean chili paste; spicy) or gochujang (Korean soybean paste; non-spicy).
Some of the best ramen is found at small, hole-in-the-wall tachinomiyas. These shops are designed for the customers to enjoy their meal in privacy, with low tables and partitions that can be folded back to make room. These tachinomiyas offer a more intimate experience than the larger chains, and they tend to have more authentic food. It’s worth checking out some of these little gems if you want to get a true taste of Japan.