Noodles before dumplings? Argument over ramen and gyoza ends in arrest

If you’ve ever worked in a customer-facing role, you know just how demanding some people can be. There are times you get talked down to, bossed around, and treated like you’re sub-human just because you’re the employee and they’re the one spending the cash.

On the flip-side, as a customer, you expect to be treated respectfully and get what you pay for. Most of the time there’s a fairly even balance—interaction between customer and employee goes smoothly, both parties are polite and respectful, and all’s well that ends well. But sometimes that balance can be upset, and things can get way out of hand. Like what happened at this ramen restaurant in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, when an argument turned into a three-hour sit-in that ended with local police making an arrest…

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Ramen Jiyujin serves up ramen and attractions to fill your appetite【Photos】

According to a program that recently ran on TV, there are more than 100,000 ramen shops across Japan, and because competition is so fierce, most are lucky to survive for even two or three years. In order to succeed in the chaotic ramen business, many shops are starting to come up with ways to offer not only a good bowl of steaming noodles and broth, but also a one-of-a-kind experience that will keep customers coming back for more.

And Ramen Jiyujin, based on theinr overwhelming number of supporters on social media, has managed to accomplish just that, with a take on ramen that is only limited by your imagination. Take a trip with our Japanese reporting team to Yokohama to see the shop for yourself!

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Win your very own ramen-bowl chair and spice up your cooking with the help of some dashing men

With the slogan “Delicious ramen is in your house,” Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd., the Japanese company best known for producing the Maruchan brand of ramen noodles, announced the second round of their ongoing ramen campaign on November 5, which will culminate in one lucky person winning a super stylish, one-of-a-kind, ramen donburi [porcelain bowl] chair. 

As if the thought of owning your very own ramen-bowl chair wasn’t exciting enough, the campaign also comes complete with four handsome characters ready to teach you all the secrets behind cooking a perfect bowl of ramen!

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Easy-Bake Oven, meet your match — The Easy-Make Ramen that’s, thankfully, not just for kids!

Halloween is over, so we can officially talk about all the presents we want this holiday season! A gift that has always been popular is the Easy-Bake Oven, which is one of the coolest presents ever and a great way to get young ones interested in the joy of cooking.

Baking isn’t an especially big pastime in Japan since very few households have a proper oven, but this product from Mega House is the perfect way to get kids interested and involved with cooking. It probably won’t be just kids clamoring for this kitchen aid either; adults are certainly going to want this as well because it teaches us a skill every grownup gourmand will appreciate: how to make homemade ramen noodles!

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Ramen chain Ippudo to launch first shop in France, teaming up with famous fashion designer

Ramen, which despite its origins many now consider to be one of the national dishes of Japan, seems to have steadily grown in popularity and recognition outside the country as well, with an increasing number of ramen establishments opening in locations such as Singapore, London, New York, Los Angeles and even the Netherlands in recent years.

Now, one of the most successful ramen chains in Japan, Hakata Ippudo—often simply referred to simply as “Ippudo”—will be venturing into a brave new culinary frontier as they open their very first shop in Paris, France, this December. We can imagine it has to be pretty exciting and challenging for a foreign-based restaurant to open shop in the country that gave us the Michelin Guide, and it also looks like we can look forward to some fashionable collaborations to commemorate Ippudo’s foray into one of the gourmet capitals of the world!

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Get your FREE RAMEN!! Hakata Ippudo offers complimentary ramen for one day on 30th anniversary

Ramen lovers in Japan will have something to be excited about this Friday, October 16. Popular ramen chain Hakata Ippudo is celebrating their 30th anniversary that day and will be offering complimentary bowls of ramen at 30 select locations. That’s right, we’re talking FREE RAMEN here, and come the 16th, we know there’ll be plenty of customers waiting for their bowl of steaming pork-broth noodles!

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Michelin-listed ramen restaurant will turn you into a tiger with a single bite

It wasn’t so long ago that you’d hear expats and travelers in Japan express shock over the concept of sitting down in a restaurant and paying good money for a bowl of ramen. Seriously, aren’t those the cheap, instant noodles that college students, bachelors, and other people too lazy to cook survive off of?

Things are very different today, though. Ramen is currently the hottest segment of Japanese cuisine in the international dining community, with restaurants dedicated to it opening up in cities across the U.S. The humble noodles’ stock has risen so high that this ramen restaurant in Hokkaido is listed in the esteemed Michelin guide, so we decided to see if it was deserving of the honor.

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Ramen Noodle Pizza and Natto Okonomiyaki Pizza now finally a reality!

We’ve seen some strange pizza toppings in the past. From Kit Kats to squid ink, Japan certainly knows how to deliver when it comes to thinking outside of the box.

Now, there are two new awesome pizzas on the menu: Ramen Noodle and Natto Okonomiyaki. And that’s not all – both items are being offered as part of a collaboration using local ingredients that hark back to the 1960s. Available from Aoki’s Pizza from September 10, this is an opportunity that’s not to be missed!

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Round 2 of the ramen ice cream rumble – This time with real ramen! 【Taste test】

Last week, I stopped by the Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama to try its just-released Cup Noodle Ice Cream, with its chives, shrimp, and all the other fixings of instant ramen. It was definitely an interesting experience, but I did have one complaint, which is that Cup Noodle Ice Cream doesn’t actually have any noodles in it. Technically, it should be called “Cup Noodle Topping Ice Cream.”

Thankfully, it turns out there actually is a place in Japan where you can get ice cream with ramen noodles mixed in. Since I suddenly found myself with the unlikely title of RocketNews24’s resident ramen ice cream expert, I figured it was time to go another round with this unorthodox class of dessert, and to crown a winner in this battle of the ramen ice creams.

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We try Cup Noodle Ice Cream, filled with shrimp, meat, eggs, chives, and madness 【Taste test】

A few days ago, we heard that Nissin, maker of Cup Noodle, was now selling ice cream topped with meat, chives, and all the other fixings that are found in instant ramen at the Cup Noodles Museum. One of my coworkers, who lives not far from the Osaka Cup Noodles Museum, bravely volunteered to try it out, and I was all set to let him be our guinea pig, since I’ve already taken one for the RocketNews24 team as far as strange desserts go.

But as it turns out, the Cup Noodle Ice Cream is available exclusively at the second Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama. Hey, wait a second! That’s where I live!

Uh oh…

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Ramen ice cream topped with freeze-dried beef cubes now available in Japan! (*barf*)

You hear a lot of news about the weird foods coming out of Japan. It’s almost as if, once a year or so at one food retailer or another, the guys in the marketing department have a meeting to determine the next delicious flavor to serve up to the masses, only for the director to suffer a minor brain aneurysm and start shouting a bunch of random gibberish about soil-flavored bananas or something.

And that, friends, is probably how we ended up with beef-topped ramen ice cream.

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This is what ramen with 100 slices of chashu roast pork looks like

Earlier this month, we decided to find out just how many hard-boiled eggs you can fit into a bowl of ramen/human stomach, and found out that 10 was a doable and delicious number. But while an egg is a nice accent to a bowl of Japan’s favorite kind of noodles, the king of ramen toppings is chashu, the slice of roast pork that adds some heft and protein to the meal.

Most ramen in Japan comes with a solitary slice of chashu, but some places allow you to pile on more pork. Since we’d already gone with ten times the normal amount of toppings with eggs, we decided to raise the scale to the second power and chow down on a bowl of ramen with 100 slices of chashu.

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“Do you want some ramen with those eggs?” Our reporter tries ramen with ALL THE EGGS!

So, you like eggs, but with all the conflicting research about the little balls of protein, it’s hard to decide if you should be eating zero eggs, an egg a day, or as many as you can stuff in you face. Sadly, we’re not entirely certain either, but if you simply don’t care about what’s good for you or not, we’d like you to meet your comrade-in-shells, P.K.

Our clothes-hating Japanese reporter P.K. is a huge fan of the unfertilized bird babies, and he recently read that all that research saying you shouldn’t eat too many eggs is bunk. So he decided to make up for lost time and headed down to Ramen Kagetsu Arashi to get a bowl of noodles with more eggs than a chicken coop. Egg lovers, get ready to hear your stomachs growl!

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All our culinary dreams come true with gyoza-flavoured cup ramen

When it comes to ramen, nothing goes better than a side serving of gyoza (dumplings) washed down with a beer. Now our culinary dreams are about to come true with the release of gyoza-flavoured cup noodle ramen.

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The art of cooking ramen – Two foreigners find it’s a lot harder than they first thought 【Video】

If you grew up eating instant ramen noodles or survived through university on the stuff, you would probably scoff at someone who says that making ramen is difficult. They’re probably not talking about the just-add-boiling-water stuff you can find in your supermarket for 10 cents a pack, though – in Japan, true ramen doesn’t come easy, taking many hours to make the perfect broth and lots of skill and precision to serve up a perfect, steaming bowl of noodles.

If you’ve ever been to a ramen shop in Japan, the speed and accuracy with which the chefs whips up some noodles and broth makes it look super simple. But as American YouTuber Ramen Adventures found out, it’s a lot harder than it looks! Check out the video of his experience and see what all goes in to making a good bowl of ramen.

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Is super-salty Tokyo ramen too much umami for foreign tastes? 【Video】

Ramen is the ultimate Japanese hunger-busting food. With its combination of greasy, fatty soup combined with carb-heavy noodles, it’s the perfect meal for when you’re REALLY hungry in Tokyo (or just really hungover.) But that doesn’t mean that this taste is for everyone. In fact, there’re probably a lot of people out there who just can’t handle that heavy hit of garlicky, salty grease.

Our Japan Wish competition winner Ashley mentioned in her winning video entry that she really wanted to get a taste of Tokyo ramen. We accompanied her to Ramen Jiro to watch as her tastebuds tangled with the pungent umami of a bowl of their finest slurping fare. Unfortunately, Ashley soon realised that the reality of the truly salty ramen might be a little hard to swallow – along with the actual ramen itself! Check out our video report!

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Forget tech or medicine, invention most Japanese are proud of is instant ramen

Japan’s best minds have contributed quite a few important inventions to the world over the years. Did you know that the portable ECG machine was invented in Japan, for example? So were electric rice cookers, DSLR cameras, CD players, Blu-ray discs, and gaming systems. Really, the list of Japanese tech that has become integral to our daily lives goes on and on.

However, if you ask Japanese people which invention their country should be proud of, it turns out a far humbler product jumps to mind for most: instant noodles.

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Japan Railways recently revealed ramen-style rice balls in its convenience stores

Walk into any Japanese convenience store or supermarket, and you’ll find a row of rice balls waiting. You can always count on the old standards, such as salmon, pickled plum, and spicy cod roe being represented, but each store also sets aside a bit of shelf space for unique, limited-time versions as well.

In the past, this form of carbohydrate-packed one-upmanship has given us such wonders as the bacon cheeseburger musubi and headscratchers as the fish butt onigiri (musubi being one of the Japanese words for “rice ball,” and onigiri the other). It’s always a flip of the culinary coin whether these outside-the-box rice balls are going to be a hit or a miss, but when we heard about ramen-style onigiri, we were immediately onboard.

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The delicious food of Japan’s gourmet hospitals: Ramen, hotpot, smoked duck, and more

During my time in Japan, I’ve been thrown into a cherry blossom tree, hit by a car, and sucker punched by a wannabe tough guy in Shibuya Station, but luckily I’ve never needed to be hospitalized. That means I’ve been able to avoid the anxiety-filled situation of having a doctor explain an urgent medical procedure to me in a foreign language, but it also means I’ve been missing out on some of the mouth-watering food some Japanese hospitals serve.

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Actor transforms into horses, eats himself in new ad-Can you think of a better way to sell ramen?

When I was first exposed to Japanese commercials, it seemed like every one of them was off-the-rails insane. Filled with breathless rapid-fire speech punctuated by seemingly pointless pauses for some unknown dramatic or comedic effect, each ad seemed to be end as soon as it began, often giving little, if any, mention of its product.

Things seem to have calmed down considerably in recent years, though, with a trend towards a bit more restraint and comprehensibility, under the solid logic that if the audience is left paralyzed from their minds snapping as they try to process what they just saw, they won’t be able to go to the store and buy your products.

Still, every once in a while, a marketing team decides to just go for broke and tries to raise the bar for commercial craziness, and this new Cup Noodle ad, featuring one of Japan’s most popular actors, is about as weird as they come…and that’s before the horses with human faces and ramen on their heads show up.

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