The famous Japanese food “Ramen” consists of 3 components. One of the important components is the different kinds of soup. Every Ramen restaurant has their own soup and there is no two of the same. But they are mostly categorized into Shou-yu (soy sauce), Tonkotsu (Pork), Shio (Salt), and Miso (soybean paste). Ramen soups are made by mixing soup stock and sauce. The soup stocks are usually made by boiling ingredients such as chicken, pork bones, katsuo-bushi (dried bonitos), and konbu (a kind of kelp) in water. It varies on the type of soup, but most of the time it takes about 8 hours for the soup stock to be made. On the other hand, the sauces differ in each restaurant, for they are often made with secret recipes of their own. By mixing these two in well proportion, the soup of the Ramen is made. Another important component is the types of noodles. The noodles of Ramen are made by mixing flour and water. Compared to Udon or Soba, Ramen noodles differ very much in taste, color, and texture.
There are varieties of noodles used from thick to thin, and soft to hard. But what kind of noodle is used depends on the soup. Ramen restaurants usually lay in noodles from noodle-making businesses, but some make their own just to fit their soup. For example, since miso based soups are very thick, most restaurants use thick noodles so that the taste of noodles doesn’t lose to the strong flavor of the soup. It is important to use noodles that go well with the soup. The last component is the extras. It would be a lonely dish if there were only soup and noodles in a bowl. The extras play an important role in making the Ramen look more appetizing. The most typical extras for Ramen are cha-shu(slices of roast pork), menma(cooked bamboo shoot), negi (welsh onion), and flavored-eggs. These extras match Ramen well, and support the rich flavors of the soup and noodles. All 3 of the components are indispensible, and together they make up what we call “Ramen”.