Ramen was born after 1859 in Japan.
It was when Japan opened some ports to the world.
In the beginning, it was a Chinese-style noodle.
Because it was introduced by Chinese merchants.
And over the years,
Ramen chefs added some touch and made it into their own version.
And these noodles evolved into the unique styles that we know now.
1. Here are some origin dates of different types of ramen...
1. Shio ramen: 1884
In 1884, a ramen restaurant called “Youwaken” in Hakodate published an advertisement in the newspaper.
This is the oldest record that ramen was ever served at a restaurant.
Youwaken’s main customer base were these Chinese merchants.
For that reason the root of Hakodate ramen is salt-based soup noodles which were created to cater to these Chinese merchants’ taste preference.
2. Shoyu ramen 1910
In 1910, an inexpensive restaurant called Rairaiken opened in Asakusa, Tokyo.
It served the first shoyu ramen which was also known as Tokyo ramen.
Among Japanese ramen, shoyu ramen has one of the longest histories.
And shoyu is the most basic condiment in Japan.
For that reason, there are many variations of shoyu ramen all over Japan.
3. Tonkotsu ramen: 1947
In1947, a ramen shop called Sankyu started to serve the cloudy tonkotsu broth for their ramen.
This soup of Sankyu is the origin of Kyushu tonkotsu ramen.
Hakata ramen, Kumamoto ramen, and other tonkotsu ramen have their roots in Sankyu.
4. Miso ramen: 1955
Creation of miso ramen is actually quite recent.
In 1955, miso ramen was created by Morito Omori, who was an owner of a restaurant in Sapporo, Hokkaido called Ajino Sanpei.
5. Tsukemen: 1955
In 1955, tsukemen was created by Yamagishi Kazuo.
He was the owner of Taishoken.
He got the idea from a meal prepared for employees when he was learning to make ramen at a kitchen.
6. Instant ramen: 1958
In 1958, Momofuku Ando invented and patented dried ramen noodles in Japan.
Right after World War 2, Momofuku saw a long line up at a ramen food cart in Umeda, Osaka.
He thought, "I want to make ramen easier and more convenient, so everyone can enjoy ramen."
2. Ramen has been evolving so fast...
It has so many variations based on different restaurants and regions.
Do you know why?
Because there are no “wrong ways” when making ramen.
Ramen has been a laboratory of food.
Ramen has so many elements to experiment with.
It has soup, meat, fish, vegetables, and noodles.
So having a new concept, idea, logic, technology, ingredient, or knowledge can easily transform ramen.
Any animation fans?
3. Let’s say if ramen is an animation studio
1. The early stage of ramen: Disney and Max Fleischer
I think the noodles that Chinese merchants introduced were similar to black and white mickey mouse and Betty Boop.
They are simple and basic but fun!
2. Shio ramen: Toei douga
Shio ramen is the first adaptation to the Japanese market.
It sounds like Toei Douga because this studio wanted to be Disney in the East.
I like the movie called “The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon” by this studio.
3. Shoyu ramen: Mushi Production
Ramen got popular after the invention of shoyu ramen.
And shoyu ramen is the standard of ramen.
It sounds like the anime by Tezuka Osamu.
Astro Boy gained popularity because it was broadcasted weekly.
In order to produce animation fast, Tezuka created new systems and styles for his work.
And it has been the standard of Japanese animations.
So I think shoyu ramen is similar to Astro Boy.
4. Tonkotsu: Studio Ghibli
Tonkotsu ramen is really popular outside of Japan.
It sounds like Studio Ghibli.
Ghibli has a good reputation from all over the world.
They both have heavy duty and intense aftertaste.
So I think tonkotsu ramen is like the movie “Spirited Away” for me.
5. Miso: Sunrise
Miso ramen has a lot of fans because miso ramen can’t be bad.
Miso is a staple condiment of Japan.
It is like a Gundam anime by Sunrise.
Gundam is a long lasting series and it influenced a lot of people.
Sorry for that!
I am afraid that my exploration got more complicated using these examples.
I hope you had a fun reading!
4. Due to Covid, a lot of good ramen restaurants have closed
It makes me feel very sad.
I used to eat ramen out frequently,
But in this situation,
Ramen shops started to shorten the hours, limit the number of customers, or closed their shops.
It has affected the industry so much.
5. I am afraid good ramen will be gone
But meanwhile, you still can enjoy shio and shoyu ramen.
Here are some of my recommendations for ramen lovers.
1. Sapporo Ichiban Shio Flavor
MY THOUGHTS OVERALL ★★★★☆
In truth, Sapporo Ichiban delivers a good quality shio ramen experience.
Actually, it is very difficult to find good shio ramen.
Do you know why?
Because it is very difficult to make it since it is very simple.
There are many good shoyu and miso flavored instant noodles out there.
But I feel specifically, the shio flavor market is monopolized by Sapporo Ichiban.
Think about this for a moment having good shio ramen for your dinner with your favorite ramen toppings.
Now, you want some, don’t you?
2. Nissin Raoh Shoyu Flavor
MY THOUGHTS OVERALL ★★★★★
It is nearly impossible to make restaurant quality noodles at home without the right tools and equipment.
How can you beat that?
Using Raoh’s shoyu flavour will help you achieve this easily. This is top-notch ramen hands down!
One pinnacle of instant noodles is the soy sauce flavor. It is expensive compared to regular ones but let me tell you, it deserves every single penny.
In a nutshell, I love every bit of it.
...And I am sure you will too.
3. The problem here is that no toppings come with these packets.
Here are some topping options and recipes for you.
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A lack of large, high-quality soup bowl sets at home?
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About the Author
Kei is a self-proclaimed ramen lover, blog writer and founder of "Apex S.K. Japanese tableware".
"I am from Ibaraki, Japan.
Ramen is great! It can bring you a sense of happiness and satisfaction that no other food can. I have been eating ramen for 30 years.
If there is no ramen, my life would be miserable.
Ten years ago, I worked as an office worker. The job was really stressful - excessive working hours, low wages, unpaid overtime work, and constantly being yelled at by my boss.
I was new and alone, no girlfriend, no friends, and felt very lonely.
My only oasis was the ramen shop near the office. For me, the ramen chef there was literally an angel. I saw a halo on his head. (No joke)
Tonkotsu shoyu ramen was my all-time favorite. He made ramen with broth chock-full of umami flavor, nice chewy handmade noodles, and tender chashu.
My greatest dream is connect people with ramen through my blog. I want to share a lot of interesting and funny stories and ramen trivia with you.
Knowing more about ramen can help you appreciate your ramen and make it taste extra delicious."