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We went on a ramen tasting tour in four Japanese cities known for this extremely popular dish,
and what we discovered along the way really blew our minds. We met chefs from 15 different ramen shops,
each who brings their own style and philosophy to every bowl they serve. As you’ll see,
ramen culture is about a lot more than noodles and broth.

 
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The history of ramen.

Chinese noodles + Japanese culture

While it's true that modern ramen owes its heritage to China, it's not quite that simple.
To get the whole ramen story, we look back to the 1800s, which is when Chinese
noodles made their way over to Japan and changed the food scene forever.

 
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Explore the cities where our ramen was born.

Tokyo.

Known for a style of ramen made with thin, curly noodles served in a soy-based chicken broth.

Yokohama.

Known as the birthplace of ramen and home to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum.

Kamakura.

Famous for Kamukura Ramen, an innovative ramen shop founded by a former French chef who set out to create a healthy and mild soup people would want to eat every day.

Fukuoka.

The home of Hakata ramen, a rich, creamy, tonkotsu soup with thin, non-curly noodles, and distinctive toppings like crushed garlic and pickled ginger.

Tokyo.

Known for a style of ramen made with thin,
curly noodles served in a soy-based chicken broth.

The essence of ramen.

The Sauce (Tare)

This is where that signature umami flavor originates. It’s a ramen chef’s secret weapon.

The Soup

Shio, Shoyu, Miso, or Tonkotsu – soup is the heart and soul of each bowl.

The Oil

Oil brings out flavors that would otherwise be lost. Oil also provides an insulated layer, which keeps the temperature of ramen from dropping too quickly after it’s served.

The Noodles

Noodles set ramen apart from other soup dishes. Ramen noodles should be yellow in color with a distinct chewiness, and can be straight or curly, depending on what type of ramen you’re eating.

The Toppings

Dress it up. Dress it down. Toppings – like dried seaweed, bean sprouts, and bamboo shoots – are a way to add personalization. Every ramen chef will approach toppings differently.

The Sauce (Tare)

This is where that signature umami flavor originates. It’s a ramen chef’s secret weapon.

The Soup

Shio, Shoyu, Miso, or Tonkotsu – soup is the heart and soul of each bowl.

The Oil

Oil brings out flavors that would otherwise be lost. Oil also provides an insulated layer, which keeps the temperature of ramen from dropping too quickly after it’s served.

The Toppings

Dress it up. Dress it down. Toppings – like dried seaweed, bean sprouts, and bamboo shoots – are a way to add personalization. Every ramen chef will approach toppings differently.

The Noodles

Noodles set ramen apart from other soup dishes. Ramen noodles should be yellow in color with a distinct chewiness, and can be straight or curly, depending on what type of ramen you’re eating.

pfchangs-ramen

Nearly 200 years of history in a bowl.

With roots in China, ramen really started gaining fame in 1800s Yokohama. Today ramen is as popular in Japan as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are in America; nearly every corner shop and every street vendor serves up warm, comforting bowls filled to the brim with chewy noodles and iconic toppings. And even though it’s been nearly 200 years since the birth of ramen, the essential elements of this street fare staple still shine through in our new Tonkotsu and Spicy Miso Ramen: warm, chewy noodles, fresh, traditional garnishes, and rich, savory broths.

Together, these elements make up the inimitable, unmistakable umami of authentic Japanese ramen.


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ramen-blog

The history of ramen.

While it's true that modern ramen owes its heritage to China, it's not quite that simple.


read more