A ramen craze has taken over the Philippines, as evident in the countless restaurants serving these delicious noodles in mouthwatering broth cropping up around the metro. But have you ever wondered what makes ramen crave-worthy? Here are 8 things you should know about the savory Japanese fare.
There’s a ramen museum in Japan!
Yes, that’s how much the Japanese love their ramen. Hardcore ramen lovers can visit the world’s first food-themed amusement park, the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Yokohama, Japan. It aims to be the one-stop place where you can enjoy all the flavors of ramen from renowned shops across Japan.
Basic ramen etiquette: Don’t talk while eating
Ramen is a complicated dish to prepare, and chefs take pains putting together your bowl. As such, it would be considerate to enjoy every bit of it, without the distraction of talking. After all, if you do it correctly, you can finish a bowl in 5-10 minutes tops.
You should start with the broth
Ramen broth is usually made from a blend of two stocks, making it among the most complex soups in the world. While the most popular broth is tonkotsu, or pork bone soup, there are ramen houses like Michelin-starred Tsuta that use a lighter, more refreshing version made of three kinds of stock ─ asari clams, imported Japanese Bonito fish, and whole chickens. Common broth choices include shoyu (soy sauce-based), shio (salt-based), and miso.
Before diving into the noodles, take a few sips of the broth first to taste the difference. Just be careful; it’s really hot (as it should be).
Noodles maketh (ra)men
The quality of noodles makes or breaks a bowl of ramen. Typically long and elastic, countless varieties have since existed, varying from thin and straight, to thick and wavy. At Tsuta, noodles are freshly made onsite from specially selected whole wheat and whole grain flours combined until the perfect texture is achieved. The Japanese are known to be sticklers for their own products so the machine being used was brought straight from home.