Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup of Chinese-style noodles in a meat/fish broth flavoured with soy sauce or miso. All ramen dishes are the same up to this point, but all sorts of extra ingredients are added – meats and vegetables primarily. Every region of Japan has a variation of ramen using different meat broths, different meats and different vegetables, making each ramen unique. Though the exact origin of ramen is unclear, many sources say it was either a Chinese dish brought over to Japan by Chinese migrants, or it was a dish created by Chinese migrants and/or Japanese soldiers returning from the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Further evidence for this includes the fact that the word “ramen” is a Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word “lamian”, which is a type of Chinese noodle. Also, during the 1950s ramen was known as “shiba soba” (Chinese soba, where soba is a type of buckwheat noodle). Ramen became more and more popular throughout Japan after the war when Japan imported cheaper wheat flour from the USA and eventually in 1958, instant ramen was invented. Ramen is so quintessentially Japanese that it was named “Greatest Japanese invention of the 20th century.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the chicken ramen I made, both making it and eating it. The rice noodles I used cooked twice as fast as pasta usually does, making the broth was easy and cooking all of the other nice things to put in the ramen was a doddle! I used rice noodles (“straws” to be technical) as they’re gluten free, but I also discovered that they only take about 6 minutes to cook! If you’re looking for something interesting to eat that’s quick and easy then definitely have a go at making ramen!
Just one of thousands of different ramen dishes.
For the original recipe, search “Spicy Chicken Ramen” on Allrecipes UK.
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham