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What Is Ramen & Why Did It Become so Popular?

What Is Ramen & Why Did It Become so Popular?

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup that consists of Chinese wheat noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavoured with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, nori, menma, and scallions.

Where does Ramen come from?

Ramen is not a purely Japanese dish, rather we are talking about fusion cuisine with China and its adaptation to different traditions. Unlike buckwheat sobas, Ramen is prepared with Chinese-type wheat noodles, the kind you can find today in other Asian restaurants.

The first great contact of the Japanese cuisine with the Chinese cuisine came from the middle of the 19th century when the Japanese country opened its borders to the rest of the world and travellers, merchants and immigrants from other cultures began to arrive. Chinese noodle soup soon became popular as it was nutritious, tasty, and very inexpensive, although the real boom would come after World War II.

Watch Life Where I’m From‘s Video about What Owning a Ramen Restaurant in Japan is Like.

Is there a difference between the Chinese recipe and the Japanese recipe?

The Japanese were adapting Chinese recipes and it didn’t take long for locals and street stalls selling ramen to spread throughout the country, appearing different varieties and specialities depending on the region. It started out as Shina-soba or Chuka-soba, “Chinese noodle soup”, but today the term Ramen is fully extended and assimilated throughout the country.

The great characteristic that defines Japanese Ramen, and that differentiates it from the Chinese soup, is in the broth. We could say that it is the base, the soul of good Ramen, which defines the dish and marks its quality. Each chef brings his special touch and takes the preparation of a really tasty and comforting broth very seriously, and its preparation requires dedicating time, without haste.

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Watch Mental Floss’s video of the history of Ramen.

Why is Ramen so popular?

The Japanese cuisine is of the most delicious cuisines, it became popular in the western countries when the Sushi was introduced to Europe, North America and the rest of the world. People could taste and see that Japanese cuisine is truly delicious, and this is what made us become more curious about Japanese cuisines, then Ramen was discovered.

If Ramen took over Japan in only a few years and is now conquering the world, it will be for a good reason. Ramen is much more than just a fast food dish as many people will think. A good bowl of Ramen grabs you because it is comforting, nutritious, and full of flavours and aromas that nourish the body and soul.

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