Like sushi, ramen is Japanese food royalty.
Ramen restaurants, known as ramen-ya, can be found virtually everywhere across the country (Tokyo is estimated to have over 10,000 alone!), with a bowlful inexpensive, accessible and super tasty – tick, tick, tick.
In essence, ramen is a bowl of crinkly egg noodles served in broth. While it might appear relatively simple, behold there is more to ramen than meets the eye. Well-executed ramen packs an incredible flavour punch, with time and skill needed to create a rich, delicious and authentic dish.
There are regional and vendor-specific variations galore, which impacts ramen at all levels. This includes what broth is used (the most common being soy sauce, salt, miso and pork bones), the type of noodles (their thickness and ‘doneness’) and the variety of toppings (like pork, green onion, bean sprouts, egg, seaweed and so much more).
We ate a lot of ramen in Japan, like our body weight a lot. My favourite was from the veteran Osaka ramen chain Kinryu Ramen, which we dined at in Dontonbori. Look for the giant dragon overtop the store!