Nowadays, ramen has become so popular. We can find it anywhere, especially in Japanese restaurants. If we had to consume one type of noodle soup only for the rest of our lives, most of us will end up choosing Japanese ramen! The rich broth combined with chewy noodles, meat, and a perfectly boiled egg is unmatchable. But which types can you choose from?
Let’s have a look at its origin first.
What is Ramen?
Like almost everything oriental and like many other products, ingredients, etc., many are not aware that ramen comes from China. It is a variant of a Chinese dish called lamian or laomian. It is believed that Chinese immigrants brought this dish and tradition to Japan before the Second World War. After the war, many Japanese soldiers returned to China because they missed the lamian, which comforted them in the neighboring country, and so the ramen soup – lamian’s first cousin – began to become popular in restaurants in Japan.
But how did this dish reach Westerners? In 2004, chef David Chang opened his first noodle restaurant in New York, the Momofuku Noodle Bar. This was undoubtedly the spark that ignited the unstoppable fuse of passion for ramen noodles outside of Japan.
The Different Types of Ramen in Japan
In Japan, people from different regions cook and consume ramen in their way. The types of ramen vary according to the tastes, traditions, and what the area produces. This also explains why there are many distinct types of ramen in Japan. Let’s see some of the most common ones:
1) Kyoto Ramen
In this region, ramen is cooked from chicken stock, fine noodles, and garnished with chives and spicy bean paste.
2) Sapporo Ramen
It’s the area where miso (a Japanese fermented soybean paste considered as an essential condiment in the country’s cuisine) comes from. This type of ramen is prepared with thick noodles, pork broth, chicken or fish, and red miso accompanied by chasu, boiled eggs, pork mince, cabbage, ginger, sweet corn and, to thicken the broth, they add a knob of butter at the end of the preparation.
3) Hakata Ramen
Here the ramen has a potent broth of pork, made from bones, trotters, ears, and other parts that add gelatin and fat to the broth. The noodles they use are thin and straight, and they usually garnish it with chasu, chives, woody mushrooms, and spicy mustard vegetables.
4) Shio Ramen
This is the simplest of the types of ramen and most similar to the Chinese laomian. It is very popular in Hokkaido and is made with a salt base. The broth is clear and has a less complex taste than other types of ramen.
5) Muroran Ramen
This coastal region stands out because of the cold. Maybe that’s why it is common to cook ramen with curry to warm up quickly. The most famous area is the ramen pork curry flavored with chasu, chives, and mustard vegetables.
6) Tsukemen Ramen
This ramen recipe is traditionally eaten during the summer months. The tsukemen ramen is served in two different bowls: one with slightly cold noodles and the other bowl. The noodles are gradually immersed in the stock and eaten together with the dressings and other ingredients.
7) Yasai Ramen
It is ramen made with a 100% vegetable broth without meat and perfect for vegetarians or vegans. Tofu, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, chives, etc. are added topping.
Which of these different types of ramen have you ever tried? Did you like it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!