#504

Eating great ramen

Ramen is one of the most popular "B-gurume" (B-grade connoisseur) foods in Japan. Many chef's pride themselves for their soup, noodles, and toppings. In addition, it is a food where the chef's often begrudge people - their customers(?!!) - for asking for things differently. Watch the other people around you, this may provide hints as to what is popular or acceptable.

One of the best ways to eat what is famous is to ask, of course. But often, there are telltale signs in the menu. If a menu has an item called "special", or includes the Japanese character "特", it is a sure sign that this is what the chef recommends.

One of the things that many ramen restaurants expect you to ask to have customized is how well cooked you like your noodles. I like my noodles a bit on the firm side - "al dente" in Italian for the ideal pasta. This - "katame" in Japanese - is usually recommended for ramen, because the noodles continue to cook in the very hot soup - they end up just right as you are eating.

Enjoy - but don't forget to slurp!

mikekato image

mikekato

United States

mikekato's other advice

A Really Close Shave... images

A Really Close Shave...

I've been shaving my head for the past 15 years. It is a chore, but I've gotten used to it. It sometimes grows a bit, during camps and sometimes during long holidays like Golden Week. But basically, …

An Eye-con of Shinjuku images

An Eye-con of Shinjuku

Subaru is a fairly well known brand globally, particularly for those who are familiar with off-road racing. It's definitely not as much a household brand name as Toyota or Honda, or even companies kn…

Send Out the Towels images

Send Out the Towels

Ikeuchi Organic is a Japanese company that makes towels like no other. Towels are not its only products, but towels are the company's core products. And what wonderful towels they are!The company…

Lights, Camera, Attraction! images

Lights, Camera, Attraction!

There's no shortage of holiday blessings in Japan. Not being a Christian nation has never stopped Japan from adopting this holiday as its own. And while Christmas caroling has not yet become a holi…

I'm Punched images

I'm Punched

At a recent bonenkai (year-end party), one of the entertainers was Neko Punch. Neko Punch is a band, led by singer/songwriter Leanne and producer/bass player Macc. Later, the duo was joined by dancer…

Celestial Geisha: A Perfect Performance images

Celestial Geisha: A Perfect Performance

Yes, you may not realize it, but not only is there a history of geisha in Tokyo, but there are quite a few places where there are active geisha communities, including Kagurazaka, Asakusa, Shinbashi/G…

You might also like

Food Delivery Systems of Japan images

Food Delivery Systems of Japan

With the engaged city life that many may find while living here in Japan, city problems are to arise. One of these problems that may occur may well be food; how to get it, pre-cooked and prepared, or…

Alex image

Alex

Today I am in Sakuragicho, Yokohama images

Today I am in Sakuragicho, Yokohama

I often write about Yokohama. It's difficult for me not to. I live here. I work here. And during my time as Creative Director for the Yokohama Seasider Magazine, it was my job (and passion) to learn …

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Specialty Ramen Stores in Japan images

Specialty Ramen Stores in Japan

First of all, its important to know that it is rare to have bad ramen. Any ramen in Japan should be tasty. So when you are looking for your favourite ramen, you should first think about what kind of …

GenS image

GenS

Japanese Vending Machines: Food Tickets images

Japanese Vending Machines: Food Tickets

Many shops and restaurants have ticket vending machines at the entrance or outside. Ramen, soba, or udon noodle stores often have them. Some gyudon restaurants like Matsuya also use the ticket machin…

David image

David

Popular Yatai Foods: Yakisoba images

Popular Yatai Foods: Yakisoba

Yatai food stalls at festivals always include a yakisoba vendor. Yakisoba noodles are Japanese fried noodles, but they have nothing to do with soba. The noodles used here are more like the ones for r…

David image

David

Don’t Diss “Dennys” Dining During Your Japan Visit images

Don’t Diss “Dennys” Dining During Your Japan Visit

The culture of “Famiresu” or Family Restaurant is iconic and incredibly unique in Japan.http://imgur.com/hl9A8With many Japanese families worried their babbling, food throwing and not-quite-yet…

 image