Where does Ramen actually come from? – History of Ramen-

G'Day Japan! / Food and Drink / Where does Ramen actually come from? – History of Ramen-

Many of us probably have tried Ramen or instant noodles. The popularity of Ramen as a traditional Japanese dish has been skyrocketing and now you can find Ramen restaurants almost anywhere in the world. Many of them offer high-end Ramen which usually costs around $20 per bowl. This may make you wonder why Ramen is so expensive and what it is anyway?


History of Ramen

The history of Ramen is very complex and its origins about whether it is a Japanese or Chinese concept have been debated widely. While it is hard to say 100% accurately, here is a brief history of Ramen: Ramen-noodle shops first started in both countries around the same time in the 1900s, and the noodle was first called “Chuka Soba” (Chuka means Chinese and soba means buckwheat noodle in Japanese). Over the years, the Japanese gradually adapted it and it was later known as Ramen.

Different kinds of Ramen Soup

There are four main types of Ramen soup broths: Shio, Shoyu, Miso, Tonkotsu. Each ramen has a unique flavour and they all originate from different regions in Japan.

  • Shio RamenShio ramen is the most basic and traditional type of Ramen soup. It is a clear broth seasoned with salt and has a very light taste.
  • Shoyu Ramen: The base of this brown broth is Soy Sauce. The soup is usually made from Chicken but may also include other kinds of meat, such as Pork, but this usually differs by region.
  • Miso Ramen: Miso ramen is commonly found in Hokkaido. It is flavored with Miso (Soybean Paste) and often served with butter or corn on the top.
  • Tonkotsu Ramen: The origins of Tonkotsu ramen come from Hakata, Fukuoka. The soup is made from pork bones and the soup is thick and creamy.

If you are craving Ramen right now, check out our extensive list of Japanese restaurants for Delivery/Takeaway!

Ramen vs Instant Ramen

Many of us probably grew up eating cup noodles or instant ramen. These are very popular as they are delicious, cheap, and easy to make. But what is the difference between Ramen vs instant noodles?

A brief history of Instant Noodles

Instant noodles were first created by Momofuku Ando after WWII to feed the survivors of nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ando’s first instant ramen creation was “Chicken Ramen” which quickly became a form of comfort food for everyone. You can still find the same Nissin Chicken Ramen on supermarket shelves.

Here is a list of Instant Ramen that you can find from local supermarkets:

Nissin Ramen Kyushu Black/ Hokkaido Miso

Nissin Ramen primarily carries Tonkotsu and Miso flavours which are easily found from your local supermarket. Kyushu Black is surprisingly similar to what is served in Japan. It has a thick and rich Tonkotsu flavour. Just add a bit of spring onions and sesame to take it to the next level. 


Nissin Demae Itcho Noodles Instant (Tonkotsu, Shoyu, XO seafood etc)

Demae Itcho is one of the all-time favourites which first started selling in 1968. It originally sold only one flavour: soy sauce with fragrant sesame chilli oil. It now offers a wide range of flavours for you to choose from.

What is your favourite Ramen? Upload pictures of your favourite ramen and tag us on Instagram!


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