A bowl of ramen is a nourishing meal that can provide both energy and comfort. It can also be a great source of protein. It is an easy way to make a filling and tasty meal for a large group of people. There are many different types of ramen and each has its own distinct flavor. Adding toppings can add even more nutrition and flavor to the meal. Some toppings are spicy, some are crunchy, and others add texture. Many of these can be easily found in the fridge or pantry, making preparing a quick and convenient ramen dish a breeze.
The first thing to note about ramen is that it typically has a very distinctive broth. The broth can be made from either meat, fish, or vegetables. The meat broth is often flavored with soy sauce, salt, and other ingredients such as ginger, garlic, and chili powder. The most common meat-based broths are shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), miso, and tonkotsu ramen. The difference between these is largely in the amount of soy sauce and other salt added. Shio ramen is typically salty and yellowish, while shoyu is lighter in color and tangier.
In addition to the distinctive flavors of ramen, there are many variations in noodles, toppings, and serving styles. There are both thin and thick noodles available, as well as udon and soba noodles. Thin noodles are usually a little softer and chewier than soba or udon, while thick noodles are firmer and more al dente. Most ramen shops serve their noodle dishes in individual bowls, and the customer can assemble their own bowl by selecting a type of broth, noodle, and desired toppings.
While ramen can be eaten almost anywhere, it is particularly popular in Japan. It is served at small restaurants called ramen-ya that specialize in ramen, and there are also chain ramen restaurants that can be found all over the country. Ramen is so popular in Japan that it has entered popular culture, appearing in films, anime, manga, and novels such as Komi Can’t Communicate and Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma.
When eating a bowl of ramen, it is customary to garnish the dish with extras such as a roasted egg, seaweed, and minced green onions or leeks. In addition to these, some people enjoy adding a dash of gochujang (Korean chili paste; spicy) or doubanjiang (Korean soybean paste; non-spicy). Ramen is also very easy to prepare at home and can be enjoyed in the comfort of one’s own living room. The only limit is the creativity of the cook!