When you think of ramen, it’s probably a boring block of noodles with a packet of salty stock – but those 50 cent packs of Maruchan bear little resemblance to real Japanese ramen, one of the best soups you’ll ever slurp!
Styles vary considerably, but generally speaking Ramen is pork or fish stock seasoned with soy sauce or miso, egg noodles, braised pork, negi (similar to leek), seaweed and a medium boiled egg.
With concentrated populations and astronomical rents, Japanese restaurants tend to be specialized and compact. A typical ramen restaurant is 1000 square feet with an open kitchen surrounded by countertop seating. Here is a little tour of one I particularly enjoyed. Cheers!
Top: Spicy miso ramen and mild shoyu ramen – both with negi, sliced char siu (pork) and nori (seaweed). Total price with a beer, about $12 – money well spent!
Above: “Ramen Shop” in Kibogaoka, Yokohama – soup starts at 390 yen – about $4.40.
Left: Ramen is usually ordered from a vending machine so nobody has to handle money. Give the ticket to the cook and he’ll whip up your soup to order in 5 minutes or less.
Below: The ultimate fast food, ramen is popular for breakfast, lunch or supper, and guests are usually in and out in about 15 minutes. I could have savored mine for much longer (with a couple of cold Asahi of course), but we respectfully ate, snapped a few pictures and left to make room for other hungry diners out for a quick lunch.
|Thanks Chef, it was awesome!|
If you want to try Ramen in the Denver area, the best in town is Izakaya Den on Pearl Street. The Kizaki brothers are the best Japanese chef in Colorado and his Ramen is arguably as good as any in Japan.