Ramen (ラーメン) originated from China, hence we see the word in katakana. However, Japanese sourced for local ingredients and changed the flavors to better fit the Japanese taste.
There are many different kinds of Japanese ramen and the most popular types are: Shoyu, 醤油 (Soy Sauce), 味噌 (Miso), and Tonkatsu, 豚カツ(Pork bone). There are also unique vegan flavors (aka. Buddhist Stock) created from kelp, mushroom or Soymilk 豆乳 (Tonyu) broth base, like we see in Shokugaki no Souma made by Souma’s Dad, Joichiro.
“Despite the ingredients, he used tempeh as the most prominent piece along with vegetarian broth mixed with soy milk and miso. Along with different variations of garnishes and gingers, the dish tastes like ramen with meat or fish. The dish revitalizes the body, making one look and feel much younger.”- Shokugekinosouma.fandom.com
Wide Variety of Ramen Toppings
The most commonly used toppings are:
Chashu (チャーシュー) 🍖
Which are fatty slices of roasted or braised pork and regular bowls of ramen usually come with one or two slices of it.
Menma (メンマ, 麺麻, 麺碼)
Seasoned Bamboo shoots that are typically preserved in a salty brine
Negi (ネギ, ねぎ)
Leeks or green onions chopped. Karanegi is a spicy version of shredded leeks mixed in chili oil. Negi is often found in regular ramen, while karanegi is often paired with miso ramen.
Either raw or cooked bean sprouts, adding sweetness and crunch. Served on all types of ramen.
Tamago (玉子) 🥚
Either hard boiled, soft boiled, raw and marinated eggs, they are all popular version topped on any type of ramen.
Corn (コーン) 🌽
Canned corn is often paired with butter and served on miso or shio ramen.
Kamaboko (かまぼこ、蒲鉾) 🍥
Slices of fish cakes. One type of kamaboko that is commonly served on ramen is naruto (or narutomaki), a sawtooth edged, white fish cake with a red or pink spiral design on it.
Places to Dine
In Japan, the most popular Ramen franchise would be Ichiran Ramen with solo dining experience. The complete privacy provides a safe space for introverts (ie. otakus and weebs) to slurp in peace without any social interactions or intimidating eye contacts.
Have you dined in solo ramen restaurants like this? If not, would you like to try it? Below is a video on the difference between Japan’s Ramen Dining Culture and USA’s dining culture.
By the way, if you love Ramen and Cats, we made an adorable Neko swimming in Ramen T-shirt now on sale just for fans like you! Available in various sizes and softest material! Check it out here!
What is your favorite type of Ramen? Are you a thick noodle or thin noodle person? 😆What is it like to eat Ramen at a restaurant in your country? Let us know down in the comments below!