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The Japanese Ramen Spoon: Facts You Probably Didn't Know


It is called chirirenge (散蓮華) in Japanese.

Most commonly, it is referred to as “renge" for short.

Do you know what “chirirenge” means?

It means a petal of a lotus flower that has fallen off.

Chiri (散) means "to fall off".

Ren (蓮) means “lotus".

Ge (華) means “flower".

The shape of the spoon looks like a piece of lotus flower. Don’t you think?
That is why we call it chirirenge.

Do you know how to use it? Or...

What the difference between a regular western spoons and a renge is?

Keep reading and you will find out.

 

Shape:

The usage between a renge and a regular western spoon is almost the same.

But they have quite different shapes.

The bottom of a renge is deep and flat.

The handle has a little nook, and it is curved and thick.

Some renge specially designed for ramen has a small dent.

So you can hook your renge onto the rim of your ramen bowl without it slipping into the depths of your soup.

For specifically miso ramen, there are some holes in the bottom of the renge which allows you to easily pick up corn pieces. 

Have you ever tried eating fried rice with a renge? 
Did you face any difficulties?


I have.


This renge for ramen is too big to put into your mouth.

Actually, it is better to use a regular western spoon or a smaller renge for fried rice if the restaurant has them.


How to Hold:

Do you hold your renge like you hold a regular spoon?

That is actually wrong.

For a regular spoon, you hold it like how you are holding a pen.

However,

 

When you hold a renge, you fit your index finger on the ditch or the inner handle...

...And hold the renge with your thumb and middle finger.

Did you know that?

Probably you have never really given much thought to the inner crevice of the handle.

Actually, me either.

But have you noticed, it is the perfect size for your index finger?

This inner gap is actually a resting place for your index finger.

How to Use A Renge for Eating Ramen:

What you should do with your renge when you eat ramen is sampling some of the broth in the beginning.

There are some people who use renge for eating noodles too:

1. People who want their noodles to cool down faster.

Using your chopsticks, pick up some noodles and toppings and place it onto your renge.

After the noodles cool down, eat out of the spoon using your chopsticks.

This is a great way to eat ramen for people who can’t handle hot-temperature foods.

2. People who don't want to stain their clothing

If you slurp noodles, you might get a stain on your nice white shirt.

Do you want to avoid that?

Then pick some noodles up using your chopsticks and place onto the renge.

This way allows you to get rid of extra soup and prevents a soupy and splashy mess.

3. People who cannot slurp noodles 

If you cannot slurp noodles, this can be a good way to enjoy your ramen.

Pick up some noodles using chopsticks and put it onto your renge.

By doing this, you don't need to slurp your noodles straight from the bowl.

You can eat noodles directly from the renge, or you can pick up your noodles directly from your renge with your chopsticks.

4. People who want to enjoy noodles, soup and toppings together

Making a “mini bowl of ramen" in your renge and eating from it is another way to enjoy ramen.

So you can taste all the ramen elements together (without burning your mouth or staining your clothes).

Some people find it a more dignified way to eat ramen over slurping.

(I prefer slurping though!)

Material

Renge is usually made of ceramic.

Do you know why?

Because it is easy to mass produce.

The second most popular material is melamine, while the third is plastic.

They are more durable than ceramic because it does not break easily.

There is wooden spoon is for ramen.

There is the other option for ramen soup spoon.

Which is wooden soup spoon called otama.

it is the short form of otamajakushi (お玉杓子).

It was originally used for udon and soba, but people started to use for ramen too.

Due to Covid, a lot of good ramen restaurants have closed

It makes me feel very angry.

I used to eat ramen out frequently,

But in this situation, 

Ramen shops have started to shorten the hours, limit the number of customers, or even closed their shops.

It has affected the industry so much.

I am afraid good ramen will be gone

But meanwhile, you still can enjoy ramen in the comfort of your own home.

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 loved 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.


Green onion
Nori

4. Have you ever faced these issues...

A lack of large, high-quality soup bowl sets at home?

Are you still struggling with...

😢 ...small bowls that aren’t large enough for soups, noodles and toppings.

😢 ...spillage every time you eat out of your bowl.

😢 ...low-quality tableware and utensils that don’t compliment your food.

Look no further, 

Our best-selling bowls are here to fix all the issues you face with small, inefficient tableware.

After struggling with spillage and leakage during dinner time, 

We decided to introduce APEX S.K’s large soup bowls to the market.

Want to hear why some people absolutely love our ramen bowls?

"These are perfect for homemade ramen soup nights! The bowls we have at home are not large enough and my wife has been trying to look for larger bowls. I'm so glad I stumbled upon these. They made a great Christmas gift for the whole family. Everybody was so excited and we can't wait to put them to use on our next ramen night."

"Amazing quality! They are very durable. I dropped it from standing height to test if they would break, but no dents or anything."

"The shape, the color, and the overall appearance of the bowl was exactly what I was looking for - the shape, the color"

Check our sets on Amazon..

   

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."


Are you interested in kitchen knives?

If so, our sister store, Chisaki Hamono, might be perfect for you.

In this website, we will tell you all about kitchen knives.

If you want to know more about facts and tips of using a Japanese kitchen knife, click here to read our articles.

Check this out...



6 comments


  • Kei

    Hi Alycia,
    Thanks for reading my article! I’m glad you learned something new!
    To answer your question, I personally don’t feel there is an issue with including a renge with other traditional American flatware. If you were serving some Japanese cuisine, like ramen, it would make sense to give your guests more cutlery options to use, and it just makes sense! That being said, this is my own personal opinion.


  • Alycia Nichols

    Hello! This was an enlightening post that provided a lot of information I (and I would surmise many Americans) simply did not know. I like learning new things even in my advanced years. As I am setting a dinner table here in Lee’s Summit, MO, USA, I am trying very hard not to misrepresent the Japanese culture. Can you tell me if it is totally inappropriate and considered an affront to include a renge (new word to me!) alongside traditional American flatware? I’d like for guests to feel they have choices in how to eat, but I don’t want to set anything in a way that might offend as photos will be posted on social media. (And because if done correctly I just might be educating someone else down the line!) Thank you in advance.


  • Kei

    Hi Jonas,
    Thanks for leaving us a comment! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed my article.


  • Jonas

    Thank you for this lovely article! Really enjoyed reading and I’ll definately buy a Renge soon :)


  • Kei

    Hi Aimee – Glad you enjoyed the article!


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