Ramen, next star of Japanese food

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 in Hiroko's Blog

How many people knows ramen? I am not talking about instant ramen which is extremely cheap and convenient. They are not real ramen. It is exciting that recently ramen has become a next big star of Japanese food in America. New York City is already a battle ground of good ramen shops. Ippu-do (known for porky, fatty broth; jam-packed), Hide-chan reamen (good noodles), Momofuku Noodle bar, Tabata (newly opened), Menchanko-tei (it’s been here for sometime), Totto ramen (newcomer), Kambi ramen house (East villege) and Rai rai ken (Tokyo style ramen).

A quick history of ramen; Predecessor of ramen was introduced by the Chinese immigrant toward the end of the 19th century in Tokyo. Stock made from chicken and meat bones, yellow noodles and meat toppings were completely new idea to my people. It was rich and delicious. We loved it.

However, we needed to modify some aspects of the original dish – unavailable ingredients and cooking tools – in order to create a dish which suits to our palate. So, in the following 60 years we transformed this Chinese noodle soup to a new dish called ramen. Think of inside-out roll sushi. Did it come from Japan? No, sushi went through the same transformation here in America – the birth of inside-out roll.

Please join me Hiroko’s Ramen and Gyoza class at French Culinary Institute next April (20th, 2012) and October (12th, 2012).