Guide to Ramen

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Food Cuisine in Japan

Ramen is a Japanese food which is as popular as Sushi in Japan. If you have not tried a bowl of this food, you are missing out on something delectable. There are different varieties of Ramen, nearly 20 of them, in fact. Surely, if you are on the Japan tour, a bowl of steaming ramen cannot be missed! This is a guide to the slurpy, wholesome noodle soup. 

The origin of this great dish is unclear yet. It is said that legendary lord Tokugawa Mitsukuni was the first to savour Ramen in the 17th century. Some say that it was brought by Chinese with a noodle soup known as laa-mian which was handmade noodles served in a chicken broth. And the last tale is that it was created by a shop called Rai- Rai Ken in Asakusa.  But none of these have any familiarity with today’s Ramen. 

Japanese categorize their food into 6 groups, and Ramen belongs to the “Menrui” category. Menuri dishes are those served hot or cold that have noodles as its main ingredient. It is made of 4 kinds of noodles:

Soba :It is made out of buckwheat, Soba are thin noodles and making Soba by hand is an intensely complicated process. Soba noodles are considered the most elegant noodles of Japan. 

Udon: This noodles is contrary to Soba in its texture because it’s a thick noodle which can be served cold or hot. They take a relatively shorter time to cook despite being thick and slurpy. 

Somen: This noodles form is very thin and made of wheat flour. It is extensively used in east Asian cuisines. It can be served cold for dipping.

Ramen: The “true” ramen noodle is made of wheat flour and alkaline salt to help retain its chew in hot broth. It’s often served with meat or fish broth, flavoured with soy sauce or miso .

Ramen has four core flavours itself. The type of the Ramen is usually determined by the color and consistency of the broth.

Shoyu (Soy Sauce) : This flavour has a  soy sauce base with brown color and these curly noodles are popularly found in Tokyo.

Tonkotsu(Pork bone): It is made up from boiling ground up pork bones for 

12 to 20 hours until the collagen is dissolved into the soup.

Shio (Salt) : This type of Ramen is considered as the oldest of the ramen broths.

Typically, a shio broth is made with chicken or pork base.

Miso: This broth is considered as the youngest of the 4 types; it is sweet opaque soup with a  nutty color. 

So Ramen is not as simple as it appears. it has a history and taste of its kind. After knowing this depth about Ramen, one can’t resist tasting it on their next Japan Tour

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