You’ve probably heard about this Japanese dish everywhere – for myself, I had been aware that those who were fans of Japanese culture endeared themselves to this food.
But I’m not here to judge anyone for their reason for enjoyment, as food is one of those great gifts we can enjoy, and why not?
Anyway, before visiting Japan in January 2019, I’d never eaten ramen before. I was familiar that it’s a type of noodle dish eaten with a soup, usually consisting of miso or something similar.
Since I’d only eaten instant noodles before this, I thought why not try some freshly made noodles from the country itself? (Though the only instant noodles I like are MAMA pork flavor noodles from Thailand – I know they’re not good for me, but they have a nicely balanced sweet and salty flavor.)
What Were The Ingredients?
When we were looking for a restaurant to eat out at, we had a vast array of choices. The specific restaurant-bar that we chose had a sort of kiosk with buttons and pictures of the food on them. The writing was in Japanese, but all we could see was the dish and the price.
Ingredients would have a base of noodles, a choice of meat, vegetables such as spring onions and red cabbage, and all in a soup broth. Some would have an additional boiled egg, or raw eggs on the bar top that you could crack open into your soup yourself (you can see in the photo the eggs in a mini basket). I didn’t actually know at the time I could include the raw egg, but I probably wouldn’t have chosen to anyway.
I’m always certain that food in Japan is well presented, and that definitely drew me in to trying ramen. In my experience, they are also very quick at serving up food, and you’ll never find any trouble with it being too cold either.
Also you might notice that there’s not always a big focus on customer service, not in the bad sense. Because tipping is considered rude, I find that they’re less likely to try to charm you in order to get anything extra out of you.
So if you intend to walk into a takeaway style restaurant, you might find you get left alone. In some ways I actually like the feeling of not being pestered. It might just be an anti social thing for myself, though Japanese people are not always known for being assertive or drawing attention, they like to get on with things. Anyway, that was more like an overview of eating in Japan, but I liked that.
So did I like ramen?
I’m going to be honest on this occasion; it wasn’t really my thing sadly. I’m not entirely sure what I picked so I didn’t really know what flavors were in the soup.
I found it was very salty, so I assume that it may have had a lot of soy sauce, rich beef or something similar.
Apart from that, the noodles, vegetables and the egg (especially the egg) was very nice. It shows how much sauces can change the flavor of a meal.
I think in future I’ll experiment and choose soup flavors that I might enjoy better. Since this is the only time I’ve eaten ramen, I’m sure I haven’t really got a real taste of its best flavors yet.
For more on my travels, see my travel posts here.