Ramen is a popular Japanese dish that has gained a cult following around the world. It is a delicious and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. The word ramen comes from the Chinese word la mian, which means pulled noodles. Ramen consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a rich broth, topped with various ingredients such as sliced pork, seaweed, boiled egg, and scallions. Over time, different regions around the world have adapted the classic Japanese ramen, creating their own unique versions. In this article, we will take a tour of some of the most popular ramen bowls around the world.
It is only fitting that we start our tour in Japan, the birthplace of ramen. Japanese-style ramen is characterized by its rich umami broth, made from pork, chicken, or fish bones. The noodles are thin and springy, and the toppings can range from boiled egg to nori seaweed. One of the most popular types of ramen in Japan is tonkotsu ramen, which is made from pork bones and has a creamy consistency. Another popular variety is shoyu ramen, which has a soy sauce-based broth.
As previously mentioned, the origins of ramen can be traced back to China. In China, ramen is known as lamian and is typically served with beef or lamb broth. The noodles are hand-pulled and served in a clear soup, with toppings such as cilantro, bean sprouts, and scallions. One popular variety is the spicy Sichuan-style lamian, which features a fiery broth made with chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns.
Vietnamese-style ramen, known as pho, is a popular street food dish that has gained widespread popularity around the world. Pho is made with rice noodles and a clear beef broth, which is simmered for hours with spices such as star anise and cinnamon. The toppings can include sliced beef, bean sprouts, and fresh herbs such as Thai basil and cilantro. Pho is typically served with a side of lime wedges and chili sauce for added flavor.
In Thailand, ramen is known as kuay teow and is typically served with a rich and savory pork or chicken broth. The noodles are often wider and flatter than traditional ramen noodles, and the toppings can range from crispy pork belly to fish balls. Some varieties of kuay teow also come with a side of chili sauce or fish sauce for added flavor.
In Korea, ramen is known as ramyeon and is a popular comfort food. Korean ramen is typically served with a spicy broth, made with gochujang chili paste, and topped with kimchi, sliced beef, and scallions. Another popular variety is jjamppong, which is a seafood-based ramen with a spicy broth and a variety of seafood such as shrimp and squid.
In the United States, ramen has become a popular food trend in recent years, with many restaurants offering their own unique twists on the classic dish. American-style ramen can vary widely, with some restaurants serving thick and creamy broths, while others serve lighter and clearer broths. One popular variety is the spicy miso ramen, which is made with a miso-based broth and topped with sliced pork, bean sprouts, and chili oil.
In conclusion, ramen is a versatile dish that has been adapted and modified to suit different regional tastes. Whether you prefer the rich and creamy tonkotsu ramen of Japan or the spicy jjamppong of Korea, there is a ramen bowl out there for everyone. So why not take a tour of these diverse and delicious ramen bowls and discover your new favorite dish?