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Fri, 13 Sep ’13

Slurp: A Beginner’s Guide to Ramen

Let’s not noodle around the issue…

Though we may not be Uzumaki Naruto, we LOVE ramen, and have decided to spread said love to the world with this handy guide to the basics of our favorite Japanese edible export! Pull up a seat, order yourself a refreshing beverage and get ready to eat like there’s no tomorrow.

What is it?: Chinese in origin, no one really knows when ramen first made its way to the land of the Rising Sun, but it has been a Japanese culinary mainstay since the early 1900’s. In the simplest definition, ramen is a noodle dish, served hot, and typically consists of a base of meat or fish broth, with a plethora of smaller ingredients to add for your culinary pleasure.

What do I put in this?: Therein lies the fun, ramen-wise: customization. Most ramen eateries will only offer one type of broth base, but the range of ramen toppings is virtually endless (and definitely delicious). Everything from sliced pork (chashu), seaweed, corn, bacon, pig ear, ginger, egg, and miso to more specific regional ingredients, depending on where the ramen is being served.

How do I eat it?: While most traditional Japanese soups are meant to be slurped (and loudly, at that), eating ramen is a more refined process. You’ve got two weapons in your arsenal: a pair of chopsticks and a concave ladle. Use the chopsticks to pick up strands of tasty noodles (and for your toppings), while the spoon is used to heave down generous portions of broth. Run out of noodles? No worries: most ramen restaurants will give you free refills of the good stuff.

What’s in your favorite ramen dish? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!