Fact of the week
Credit to Research Team: Justin Teoh
Prefecture: Whole of Japan
Ramen has an unclear origin. Some claim that it originates from China, while others state that it’s from Japan. A record from the Yokohama Ramen Museum states that ramen originated from China and made its way into Japan in 1859.
Most noodles are typically made of these four basic ingredients: wheat flour, salt, water and kansui (かん水). Kansui, an alkaline mineral water, is the distinguishing ingredient. Kansui gives the noodles a yellowish hue as well it’s firm texture. Eggs may be used as a substitute for kansui.
The four popular soup bases of ramen are Tonkotsu, Shōyu, Shio and Miso.
Shōyu (醤油, Soy Sauce)
Shoyu ramen soup is a clear, brown broth flavored with soy sauce (shoyu). It is is usually made of chicken broth but often contains other meats such as pork, beef or fish depending on the region. Shoyu ramen is the most common type of ramen and is usually what is served when the menu does not specify a specific type of soup.
Shio (塩, Salt)
Shio ramen soup is a light, clear broth seasoned with salt. It is typically made from chicken broth, but may also be flavored with other meats such as pork.
Miso (味噌, Soybean Paste)
Miso ramen soup is flavored with soybean paste (miso), resulting in a thick, brown soup with a rich, complex flavor. Originally from Hokkaido, it has spread to the point where it can be found pretty much anywhere in Japan.
Tonkotsu (豚骨, Pork Bone)
Tonkotsu ramen is made of pork bones which have been boiled down until they dissolve into a cloudy white broth. The thick, creamy soup is also often flavored with chicken broth and pork fat.
They typically come with an assortment of toppings Chāshū , Menma, Negi, Moyashi, Tamago, Seaweed, Kamaboko, Corn, Narutomaki and Scallions.