Well, actually, no one really knows where ramen first came from. Some say it came from China, while others are sure it is a Japanese invention. Ramen has been eaten in both countries for many years. Raman was originally a ‘treat’ meal. Something you’d eat out in a restaurant rather than making it at home. It was, and still is today, something rather special.
While we use the term ramen to signify these dishes of broth with noodles, there are so many different types of ramen. Many areas of Japan have their own particular style of ramen, but often, even if you order a ramen dish with the same name from two different restaurants, it’s likely that you’ll get something completely different. For me, that’s the beauty of ramen! If you like ramen, then you’ll like any ramen, it’s the fun of trying different dishes at different places that makes ramen just so exciting.
As we’ve said, you’ll get different types of ramen depending on where you are. For instance, visit Tokyo and you’ll find the noodles in your ramen are fine and curly. You’ll be given a chicken broth with soy sauce added to it. Egg is commonly added to ramen in Tokyo, as is spinach and chopped scallion. The most prevalent meat used in Tokyo ramen is pork.
If you like to try international beer, then you’ve probably heard of Sapporo! Not just a beer, but also the capital of Hokkaido, it has a good reputation for its’ ramen. Here they specialise in miso ramen. It will be served up with small pieces of pork, garlic, butter and perhaps some seafood. Then topped off with sweetcorn.
Take a visit to the Hakata district of Fukuoaka city in Kyushu and you’re in for a real ramen treat. Their ramen speciality is a creamy broth, with thicker noodles. It’s certainly a more substantial dish than you’re probably used to when you think of ramen.