Home LanguageEnglish Ten Ramen Facts You Didn’t Know

Ten Ramen Facts You Didn’t Know

by Julie Howard

Do you like ramen? The flavours of ramen are rich and diverse. In addition to traditional soup bases such as miso, soy sauce, and pork bones, there are also various soup bases such as pork bone salt, pork bone fillets, and chicken white soup. They also come with different side dishes and custom-made noodles, and ramen has become one of Japan’s most iconic foods.

Japanese people often make sounds when eating ramen, which is considered an expression of food and represents deliciousness and satisfaction. (Photo via Pixabay.com)

Miami, FL (Merxwire) – What food comes to mind when you think of Japan? Sushi, tempura, and sashimi? You might have a different perspective now. According to a survey conducted by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) in 2009, foreign tourists visiting Japan ranked ramen as the second most satisfying dish, only behind sushi.

Ramen has gained worldwide fame and has recently become one of Japan’s most beloved foods. However, beyond its deliciousness, ramen also harbours a plethora of fascinating facts worth exploring. Here are ten intriguing ramen-related tidbits for us to delve into. Let’s see how much you already know!

1. Did Ramen Originate in China and then spread to Japan?

While ramen has become synonymous with Japanese cuisine, it originated in China. Ramen made its way to Japan from China in the late 19th century. It evolved into the ramen we know today in Japan through multiple iterations and developments.

2. What Are Ramen Noodles Made Of?

Ramen noodles are made from wheat flour, water, salt, and kansui (alkaline water). Various types of ramen noodles, including thick straight noodles and thin curly noodles, are typically chosen based on the kind of broth.

3. Why Are Ramen Noodles Typically Thick?

Ramen broth is often rich in flavour and seasoning, producing a robust taste. Therefore, thicker noodles are better able to absorb the broth, maintaining their elasticity and texture while avoiding becoming too soft.

4. Is Ramen Best Enjoyed on Rainy Days?

Ramen broth is typically prepared by simmering animal bones, but when the temperature exceeds 95°C, it tends to produce a lot of foam, affecting its flavour. During rainy weather, atmospheric pressure decreases, lowering the boiling point of the broth. As a result, the savoury flavour of the broth remains intact without excessive foaming even when it exceeds 95°C. This is why some people believe ramen tastes best on rainy days.

5. Is July 11th Ramen Day?

Indeed! July 11th is designated as “Ramen Day” in Japan. Historical records indicate that the first person in Japan to eat Chinese noodles was Emperor Meiji, whose birthday was July 11th. Hence, July 11th is celebrated every year as “Ramen Day.” Additionally, there’s an exciting interpretation where 7 resemble chopsticks, and 11 resemble spoons, coincidentally representing the utensils used when eating ramen.

6. Meat Day for Ramen

The pronunciation of “meat” and “29” in Japanese are similar, so some stores will designate the 29th of every month as “meat day” to increase the portion of meat slices. If you like to add a lot of meat to your ramen, you should pay attention to which stores have meat day activities on the 29th of every month to get your fill of meat.

7. Why Pair Ramen with Ice Water?

In the early days, ice was challenging to obtain. In Japanese culture, ice water was regarded as a high-end food and only used to entertain guests. It has evolved into the highest sincerity and etiquette when entertaining guests. However, the role of ice water is not only for entertaining. For salty and thick ramen, ice water can soften the strong taste when eating noodles, help cool down the mouth, and speed up the speed of eating noodles.

8. Does sucking ramen taste better?

Japanese people like to eat noodles by sucking them, not because it is rude, but because the noodles are sucked into the mouth along with the soup and air. The noodles and soup left in the mouth will make the flavour of the ramen more apparent and more delicious.

Candied eggs are voted the “most popular” ingredient in ramen in Japan. (Photo via Pixabay.com)
9. Japan voted the soft-boiled egg the “most popular” ingredient in ramen.

Soft-boiled egg is considered by many to be one of the must-have delicious choices for ramen. Hard-boiled eggs are marinated in soy sauce, salt and other seasonings, giving the whites a deep orange appearance and keeping the yolks soft and moist. Adding it to ramen adds flavour and enriches the broth’s flavour, making the entire bowl of ramen even more delicious.

10. Which Region of Japan Loves Ramen the Most?

Based on per capita ramen consumption and ramen shop density per 100,000 people, Yamagata City in Japan is hailed as the top ramen-loving prefecture, ranking first continuously from 2013 to 2020. The residents of Yamagata City are fond of ramen, particularly the locally renowned chilled ramen with crushed ice, which locals and tourists deeply love.

In recent years, Japanese ramen has become more than just a food; it also represents culture. Many ramen shops turn them into restaurants with a unique style and atmosphere, attracting countless diners to come and taste them. As a delicacy with a long history, ramen is not only a distinctive culture and tradition of Japan but has also gradually become a part of the global food trend.

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