A while ago, Ramen hardly came up in foreigners’ conversation about Japanese food. People knew about sushi, sashimi, takoyaki, okonomiyaki and even Japanese instant noodles, but not ramen. Except for cities with large Japanese population, it wasn’t a easy job to find a ramen restaurant oversea.
However, for some reasons, ramen popularity around the world has grown significantly in the past few years. Even Melbourne, where the Japanese community is fairly small compared to other immigrants, now has 5~7 ramen restaurants! But there is a limit the types and style of ramen sold oversea while in fact, there are countless different ramen, varying across regions and restaurants. Let’s me just introduce you some of my favorite ramen!
Hardly found oversea, tsukemen is one of my favorite ramen. The noodles and soup are served separately, makes it perfect in hot summer (although tsukemen in other seasons tasted as good as in summer ^^). Simply dip the noodles into the soup and slurp it!
Tonkotsu (pork bone soup) ramen is made from thick pork-based broth and different toppings ranging from braised pork meat, to soft-boiled eggs, green onions, seaweed, etc. The thickness of the broth depends on the stores and regions. If you like something creamy, definitely go for a thick tonkotsu ramen (please ignore how much calories are in one bowl ><)
Tonkotsu ramen is Kyushu’s specialty as the name suggested (Hakata is the city in Fukuoka). This kind of ramen is very popular in Tokyo. I think more than half of ramen shops in Tokyo served this kind of ramen. Typically, the noodle is thin and the soup is thick with a few slices of roasted pork. Some shops offer free noodle refill too! (Like I said, ignore the calories if you want to enjoy a bowl of ramen lol)
A combination of tonkotsu and shoyu (soy sauce) based create a unique broth that distinguish Yokohama ramen from others. The noodle is thicker than those of Tonkotsu ramen, almost the same size at Tsukemen. Typically topped with spinach and braised pork, It is perfect for someone looking for a light creamy taste.
Tantanmen is Japanese version of Chinese dandan noodles. The soup is usually made from sesame, miso, soy sauce and chicken broth. It has a lighter texture compared to tonkotsu soup. It is a must for sesame lovers!
Shoyu ramen is very popular in Kansai area but hard to be found in kanto/Tokyo area. The soup is shoyu based and noodle is thin. Kansai people prefer to eat it with a lot of sliced spring onion. You can order extra spring onion too!
Blogger note : As I lived in Kansai for several years, I love shoyu ramen! It’s my number one choice.
Ramen restaurants are easily spotted around Japan no matter which city you are at. Let’s overlook the calories and enjoy this tasty noodles dish. It’s very difficult to explain in words why ramen is loved most Japanese. Like many other food, you have to eat it to feel it!
See you next blog!
(this blog is contributed by 2 bloggers, ANHLE and MONTHLY)
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