If you’ve been paying attention to social media or your city’s restaurant scene, you’ve probably noticed that Japanese ramen bowls have become ubiquitous. They have quickly become a sought-after meal among aficionados and casual diners alike. You’ve seen it in movies, TV shows, anime, and on your friends’ Instagram stories! Once considered a simple bowl of noodles, ramen has now reached its final form: a must-try cultural phenomenon. Let’s delve a little deeper into its history!
Get a taste of ramen history
Ramen consists of wheat noodles served in a meat or fish broth, with garnishes including sliced pork, dried seaweed, green onions, and ramen seasoning. But if you’ve always thought it was a Japanese dish, you’re half right!
It is believed that ramen was originally born in China and then landed on Japanese soil around the 19th century, brought by Chinese immigrants. Its first name wasn’t even ramen, but shina soba (Chinese noodles).
Ramen evolved during the 20th century to become a more sophisticated dish. Did you know it was the most popular meal among Japanese soldiers stationed in China during World War II? After their return to Japan, these soldiers opened many small ramen shops, introducing the dish to a wider audience. Since then, each region of Japan has developed its own complex and flavorful varieties. Sapporo, Hakata, Kumamoto. It even expanded to other East Asian countries, such as South Korea. As you can see, there are endless possibilities for Japanese ramen noodles!
From Anime to Instagram: Ramen’s Rise to Popular Culture
From anime to movies, TV shows… and even songs! Ramen has earned a place in Western popular culture in recent years, alongside other iconic foods such as pizza and hamburgers.
The 2008 film “Ramen Girl,” starring Brittany Murphy, follows a young woman’s journey to Japan, where she learns two very important things: to love and prepare ramen. The film became a hit and introduced the delicious sight of ramen to thousands of people around the world.
Ramen has also been the subject of many songs; Check out Vibe Street’s “Ramen Noodle Soup” or Banvox’s “Ramen King”!
But the credit for the ramen craze definitely goes to the global anime phenomenon “Naruto.” The main protagonist, Naruto, is often seen devouring steaming bowls of ramen at his favorite restaurant, Ichiraku Ramen. The drool-worthy visuals of Naruto and other anime ramen made everyone desperately want to try this delicious noodle soup. Someone give the cheerleaders a raise!
If anime images helped ramen become such a desired meal, social media platforms like Instagram have also paved the way for ramen to become such a popular dish. Hashtags like #ramenlover or #ramenporn show thousands of results. Raise your hand if you too were jealous of that friend drinking a succulent bowl of ramen on their Instagram or Facebook!
There’s a bowl of ramen for everyone!
Ramen’s versatility has played a major role in its rise to popularity as a beloved food. There are many varieties, each with its own flavor, texture and seasoning of ramen. These are some of the best ramen bowls you can find, but the list could go on forever!
Shoyu Ramen is one of the most popular ramen bowls. It’s a simple but delicious option made with soy sauce-based broth. The broth is usually topped with sliced pork, green onions, and bamboo shoots, and the noodles are usually thin and curly.
You may also have heard of Miso Ramen. This one is famous for its special salty kick, resulting from the use of miso paste. This ramen is usually topped with bean sprouts, corn and slices of pork, and the noodles are usually thick and chewy.
And if you need some heat, Spicy Ramen is your perfect match! It can be made with different broths, but the key ingredient is always hot peppers. The spice level may vary depending on the recipe, but it’s sure to make an impact!
These are some of the most popular varieties of ramen, but there’s definitely a bowl for everyone! So the next time you’re thinking about ordering one, why not try something new?
How to get the perfect ramen!
The ramen tide has made traditional ramen accessible to almost everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for a night out, a trip to Asia, or a cozy night in at home, there are plenty of options for enjoying a hot, steamy bowl of Japanese ramen.
There are many different types of ramen restaurants, ranging from small, family-run shops to high-end restaurants with Michelin stars. Of course, you can also travel to East Asia if you’re feeling adventurous!
But since this is a cozy dish perfect for a pajama dinner, one of the best ways to enjoy it is definitely on the couch! If you’re looking for an easy and comforting way to try ramen without leaving home, you have to try a ramen subscription box! Products like My Ramen Box will have you preparing and tasting authentic, high-quality traditional ramen in no time! The perfect way to try different ramen spices, noodles and toppings with no skills required.
Now that you’ve learned more about ramen, it’s time to brush up on those chopstick skills!