Most of the time, you probably think that ramen only comes in a cup or in a package. Those instant varieties are delicious, but they don’t accurately represent all types of ramen. In Japan alone there are multiple types of this noodle soup, to say nothing of variations common in China, Taiwan, and Korea, just to name a few other places where you’ll find mouthwatering ramen.
Let’s start with shoyu ramen. The key to many different types of ramen is to look at the color and consistency of the broth involved. Shoyu uses soy sauce in it, so if you are not a fan of the soy sauce, proceed with caution. It is clear and brown with curly noodles; the stock makes it delicious and tangy. This is the easiest type to find in Tokyo.
You may have seen some form of tonkatsu from anime shows or films. The name translates to “pork bone” and as such, it uses pork in it. The broth is thick and cloudy and almost looks white. Pork bones and fat are boiled on high heat for hours on end to produce the broth. Adding some ginger kicks the flavor up a notch!
Now let’s move onto the next variety: shio ramen. The broth is salty and it happens to be the oldest type of all the ones listed here. The reason it is named “salt” is because sea salt is the traditional seasoning involved. The broth is clear and yellow and has seaweed in it more often than other types except maybe for tonkatsu. If you are trying to cut down on your sodium consumption, this might not be the best choice for you.
You probably know and love miso soup. Take it to the next level by adding some ramen noodles to it! The miso brother originates in Hokkaido in the 1960s, which makes it the youngest of the lot. It’s nutty and sweet and has thick and curly noodles that are incredibly chewable.
It may have a name sounding like it belongs to an anime series or a manga collection, but tsukomen is simply another type of ramen. The noodles are supposed to be dipped with chopsticks, so if you aren’t an expert in using chopsticks, don’t be intimidated. Take your time and only try to eat two or three strands at a time.
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