ramen

Green tea ramen? Of course we had to give it a try!【Taste Test】

There’s no denying that we love our ramen here in Japan. The dish is so well-loved, in fact, that it can be called one of the national comfort foods of Japan, and one of the factors that make ramen so intriguing is the fact that there are so many variations of it across Japan, from the miso-based ramen of Hokkaido in the north to the pork-stock based tonkotsu ramen of Kyushu in the south.

Surrounded as we are by all the different ramens served at countless shops throughout the country, it’s rare that we see a ramen that surprises us with its originality, but when we heard about a ramen with a soup containing stock made from green tea — and expensive gyokuro tea at that —  we have to say we were positively fascinated, and we knew we had to try it ourselves. Green tea ramen, here we come!

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Gross ramen topping: somewhere between a spit-take and not being able to look away

Ramen is an amazing food, and nothing beats traveling around Japan and eating all the different kinds. Some are certainly better than other (tonkotsu FTW!) but they all are fighting for the top spot of “best bowl of ramen ever eaten“. Some bowls of ramen you can’t wait to go back and eat again, others are categorized as “one time is enough“. But there are some bowls of ramen that you shouldn’t even taste…let alone look at. Beware; these next pictures are not for the faint of heart.

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How does Britain’s Wagamama Ramen stand up to Japanese taste buds? A culinary investigation

If you’ve ever tried pizza in Japan or even miso soup in America, you probably know not to expect the same quality as in that food’s homeland. That’s perfectly understandable if you ask me; sometimes food is adapted to appeal to local palates, and things that a dish’s original creators may insist on can be considered unappetising or downright odd in its new home.

But then you have countries where even the native cuisine is known throughout the world, whether it’s a fair statement to make or not, as being kind of unappetizing. In such a country, would seeking out non-native dishes be an especially good idea?

When he found himself craving Japanese food after months of living in the UK, RocketNews24 Japan’s writer Gold Hijikata decided to take himself out to well-known British chain restaurant Wagamama, which he heard specializes in Japanese favorite ramen. With over 100 locations across the UK, our man Gold had high hopes for Wagamama’s noodles, but he also knew that it would be hard to come close to his own country’s efforts.

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Amateur ramen chef wins first place in cooking contest, refuses to accept cash prize

Salty, delicious, and easy to customize to specific tastes – everyone loves ramen. Perhaps that’s why the Tokyo Ramen Show 2014 attracted so many visitors, who flocked to watch up-and-coming ramen chefs battling it out for the title of  “Best Newcomer.” The eventual winner was Mr. Takeo Kanda, with his special “Sea Chicken Ramen”. But Mr. Kanda isn’t even a ramen chef – he’s just an ordinary salaryman. And in a shocking move, he refused to accept his cash prize of 500,000 yen (US$4,500).

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Which foods define Fukuoka’s amazing culinary scene? The Internet votes 【Poll】

If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka, you probably know about its amazing food that has people from all over the country booking trips there just to stuff themselves silly. Between the rich, pork broth and firm noodles of the famous Hakata Ramen and the spicy delight that is mentaiko (marinated cod and pollack roe), Fukuoka is a place visitors leave having to loosen their belt a few notches.

With so many delicious things to come out of the city, an online poll set out to see which dishes people think are the epitome of the Fukuoka food scene. Click below to see the results and vote on what you think is the best food to come out of Fukuoka!

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Sea urchin ramen – Not for the faint of heart!

For the ultimate Japanese food experience, sushi or ramen are certainly the top picks. And while sushi covers all the flavors of the ocean and even some less traditional meaty options, ramen remains a steady choice between four main soup stocks: miso, soy sauce, pork and salt.

Of course, more individualistic and unnatural ramen shops exist around Japan, but never before had we heard of a ramen restaurant specializing in sea urchin ramen.

Until now.

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The awesome Soccer Samurai is back, and this time he’s fighting ninjas in Manchester 【Video】

Back at the start of summer, our jaws dropped to the floor as we watched what might be the coolest commercial for Nissin Cup Noodle instant ramen ever, in which a man dressed in samurai armor travelled to Brazil and wowed the people of the World Cup host country with his amazing freestyle football skills.

The Japanese national team turned in a less than impressive performance in the contest, though, failing to advance past group play. Would the disappointment over his countrymen’s early exit lead the soccer samurai to retire?

Not at all, as his second video finds the samurai with a new set of armor, new, European surroundings, and now a group of adversaries: ninjas!

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The ultimate spork that’s just for eating ramen

Love ramen but can’t quite get the hang of chopsticks? Wish you had a way to have your noodles and slurp your broth too? Well you’re in luck! There’s a spoon/fork combo that was specifically created for your ramen-eating enjoyment. Check out all the stainless steel, long-prong action after the jump!

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We try ramen from a can on the backstreets of Tokyo【Taste Test】

Akihabara has a well-deserved reputation as having Japan’s highest concentration of anime and video game shops, not to mentioned maid cafes. There’s one other thing it’s known for, though, and that’s weird vending machines.

And no, we’re not talking about Japan’s fabled panty vending machines, but rather automated sales of odd canned food. A few years back, Akihabara came to be known as the place to score canned bread. Next came the canned oden craze.

On a recent trip to the Tokyo neighborhood, however, we stumbled across something we’d never seen before when we spotted a vending machine that spits out hot cans of pre-cooked ramen.

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Our dreams have come true, a ramen donut exists!

We love to talk about food. Whether we’re salivating about new food, getting grossed out by weird combinations, or pining away about foods we can’t eat anymore, the topic of food is rarely far from our lips. There are certain foods that we always sit up and take notice for. One is ramen, a wonderful delicacy of Japan, and another is donuts, the staple breakfast food of an office worker. So, what happens when you mash those two worlds together?

A ramen donut, obviously.

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Haneda Airport’s ramen rice bowl is here to save indecisive fliers who hate airline food

For the most part, I have very few complaints about air travel. Maybe I’m just incredibly lucky, but usually when I fly, I get through the check-in and security lines fairly smoothly, and while I’d never choose to outfit my living room with seats from an airliner, I can generally put up with them until I reach my destination.

I’ve even largely made peace with the unappetizing flavor of airline food, often sidestepping the issue by picking up something else to eat before I get on the plane. Selecting my last tasty meal for the next couple hours can be tricky, though, and sometimes I’ll find myself waffling between two options, such as ramen or a rice bowl.

Thankfully, a new to-go item at Haneda Airport eliminates that dilemma, though, with a ramen-flavored rice bowl from one of Tokyo’s most popular noodle emporiums.

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Here’s how you can knit yourself a bowl of ramen【Video】

Ramen is easy enough to make with a package of Cup Noodles, but knitting a bowl of hot soup takes a lot more skill. A talented artist who goes by the name betibettin on YouTube has produced a video showing us just how he accomplished this feat. You’re especially going to want to see how he makes the noodles and soup broth!

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Reddit user claims common Tokyo chain has “best ramen ever” for just US$6, we investigate

A decade or two ago, the big Japanese food export that everybody raved about was sushi. Sushi joints cropped up all over the place, with the more authentic places employing highly skilled Japanese chefs slinging expertly crafted sushi at exorbitant prices. In places like New York City, sushi was the go-to food if you wanted to eat out but keep it at least a little on the healthy side.

Then, Westerners apparently took a look at all the diet food in their grocery stores and bland sandwich wraps in their food trucks and decided to revolt. Suddenly, wraps, sushi and other healthy foods were replaced with cronuts, cupcakes, “all the bacon and eggs you have,” and, of course, ramen. Delicious, fatty, greasy ramen quickly replaced sushi as the hip Japanese food and Westerners are willing to pay top dollar for it.

Of course, some Japanese (primarily the slightly feral citizens of 2chan) argue that, for all the money they’re shelling out, Westerners couldn’t pick out a truly great bowl of ramen to save their lives. So, 2chan was unsurprisingly amused when Reddit user lemonpls posted to a foodie subreddit that he’d found the greatest bowl of ramen he’d ever had in his life… at a common fast food chain in Tokyo.

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From Ponyo to Italy: Four delicious ways to improve instant ramen while your water’s boiling

August 25 is Instant Ramen Day in Japan, in commemoration of the day back in 1958 when Nissin unveiled Chicken Ramen, the very first instant version of the country’s favorite noodle dish. In celebration, we were going to chow down on some instant ramen, but since we do that all the time anyway, somehow a bowl of plain ramen didn’t seem quite special enough.

So instead, we drew on our love of anime, world travel, and the simple joy of not sweating profusely to come up with four recipes to spruce up instant ramen, specially tailored to be simple enough for anyone whose cooking skills mean their home is always well-stocked with the stuff.

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What’s better than sushi? Ramen sushi!

If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll see that inside this sushi roll there’s no rice. Instead, it’s filled with the goodness of instant noodles!

The lifeblood of students, singles and people who just don’t have time to cook, the humble noodle has been used in many ways over the years and now it’s seeing a new dawn, wrapped in a roll and plated up as sushi. And did I mention this baby is wrapped in bacon?

We’ll give you the easy, step-by-step recipe after the jump, but purists be warned: the following images may disturb. Everybody else: come on in and take a seat!

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Hello Kitty and Chicken Ramen figures can talk, tell fortunes, and even play a game with you

Tasty as it may be, instant ramen isn’t usually the sort of thing you eat at social gatherings. More often than not, you’ll find yourself reaching for a cup of noodles when you have no one to eat dinner with, and speed and convenience are what you’re really after.

Still, it can feel a little lonely sitting quietly at your kitchen table as you wait for the boiling water you just poured into the cup to do its thing. If only there was someone you could talk to, who’d also remind you when the three minutes were up.

Now there is, with a talking timer shaped like the beloved Chicken Ramen mascot, who’ll not only keep you company, but even play games with you, too.

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We try Taiwan’s newest taste sensation: Pudding Ramen!

Taiwanese websites have been swirling with a new food fad that has taken the nation by storm. We’re not sure exactly where it started, but it probably had something to do with two people shouting, “Hey! You got your pudding in my ramen!” and “Hey! You got your ramen in my pudding!” And thus pudding ramen was born.

As the news hit the shores of Japan, we felt this was a combination that needed to be tested. It turns out that pudding ramen is not only tasty, it’s really cheap and easy too. Well played, Taiwan!

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Is this tequila ramen with pitch-black broth and action movie tie-in macho enough for you?

In recent years, ramen has been making a name for itself as a respectable, in some cases almost gourmet meal. Japan’s favorite noodle dish has even reached the point where some women feel it’s an acceptable choice for a dinner date (provided you follow certain rules).

That doesn’t mean ramen has been entirely gentrified, though. There’s one noodle joint in Tokyo that’s currently offering a throwback to the machismo that used to define the dish, with a bowl of ramen that has an action movie tie-in and is seasoned with tequila.

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Noodle maker does everything you can’t: make noodles!

The other day we brought you news about Brazilian style cup noodles and as the saying goes, you eat with your eyes before your mouth and we’re sure many of you became suddenly hungry after looking at the picture. Even though you knew it was Cup Noodle, that didn’t stop you from salivating at the words “BBQ” and “Brazilian spices”. Seeing instant ramen undoubtedly brings the thoughts of, “I wonder if I could make my own ramen noodles myself, instead of whatever is in this Styrofoam cup.” Starting from July, you can and this new product from Waganse is just as easy as “making” a Cup Noodle and probably a whole lot healthier too.

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Japanese women reveal six pitfalls to watch out for on your ramen date

Up until a few years ago, ramen joints were more or less the bottom rung of the Japanese dining scenes. Sure, the food might have tasted great, but they tended to be so crowded and dirty that many women refused to set foot inside one.

Recently, though, ramen restaurants have been cleaning up their act, sprucing up their interiors, and attracting more and more female customers. With more and more women appreciating a steaming bowl of Japan’s favorite noodles, some couples are even heading out on ramen dates.

But just as ramen restaurants had to meet certain criteria before they could win over the fairer sex, so too are there missteps a ramen-loving boyfriend has to avoid to keep from spoiling the mood.

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