Saturday, May 30, 2009

House Special of the Week: Ramen

Ohai everyone~! I am excited to introduce to everyone, one of the newest entrees of Hyper Parfait -- the House Special of the Week~! We figured that Japan is famous for anime, manga, games, JPOP and JDrama, but that doesn't necessarily mean that those are the only things that makes Japan what it is. This is why we came up with this entree so we can also talk about some of the things that can be found in Japan.

Our house special for this week is something that almost everyone might know of: Ramen.

A picture of one of the most popular types of Ramen: Shoyu Ramen

It has been a known fact that ramen originated from China, but it was never established when it was introduced in Japan. Most people think that the word Ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word la mian meaning hand-pulled noodles. During the Meiji period, ramen was still called shina soba (literally "Chinese Soba") but currently the term is now chuka soba (it still means "Chinese Soba" but is a more politically-correct term). During those times, Ramen were sold in portable food stalls, and after a while, ramen became a popular dish when eating outside.

Starting in the 1980's, ramen became a Japanese cultural icon. At the same time, local varieties of ramen were know in the national market and could be ordered by their reigional names. Due to its wide popularity, a ramen museum opened in Yokohama in 1994. In the museum, people can see the history of ramen in Japan, as well as instant ramen, replicas of some streets and houses of Shitamachi, the old town of Tokyo, of around the year 1958, when the popularity of ramen was rapidly increasing, and ramen restaurants where people can sample ramen from different reigions of Japan.

I seriously want to go here when I get to visit Japan! *w*

In Japan, most restaurants do serve ramen, but in order to be able to taste the best kind of ramen, people should go to a ramen-ya (literally "Ramen Shop").

Most ramen are named based on what soup they have. Some of the more popular types or ramen are:
  • Shoyu Ramen - Brown, transparent, soya sauce based soup

  • Miso Ramen - Brown, non-transparent, miso based soup.

  • Shio Ramen - Transparent, salt based soup.

  • Tonkotsu Ramen - White, milky, pork based soup.

In my opinion, although it is of Chinese origin, ramen is one of the icons in Japanese cuisine: simple, diverse and delicious. =3

Left: Naruto *in* ramen; Right: Naruto *with* ramen. LOL.

Interesting tidbits:
  • In Western countries, instant noodles are mostly referred to as ramen

  • Instant noodles was invented in Japan, during 1958 by Ando Momofuku of Nissin Foods

  • The white fish cake with the pink swirl seen in most ramen dishes are called Naruto

  • There's actually a New York ramen-ya named Naruto Ramen on the Upper East Side

  • Kishimoto loves ramen, which is why he made Naruto's favorite food ramen

  • Another ramen lover is Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney's Maya Fey

  • A variety of ramen is in the game: The World Ends with You, since the game has a food aspect in it

  • Ramen was the name of a computer worm that plauged computers running Red Hat Linux during early 2001

Well, that's it for this week's house special! I hope you guys learned some things with this -- I know I did. XD


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