Ramen has taken the world by storm, transcending its origins as a humble Japanese noodle soup and becoming a global phenomenon. From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the trendy neighborhoods of New York City and beyond, ramen has captured the hearts and taste buds of people all around the world. And as this classic dish has spread across the globe, it has taken on new forms and flavors, each reflecting the unique cultures and tastes of the places where it’s served.
While the traditional Japanese version of ramen remains popular, restaurants around the world have put their own spin on this classic dish, adding their own unique ingredients and flavors. Whether you’re a fan of the rich and savory tonkotsu broth or prefer to add spices to your ramen, there is a variety out there to suit your taste!
So join us on a journey around the world as we explore the diverse and delicious varieties of ramen found in cities from Tokyo to Sydney and London to Los Angeles. From the traditional to the innovative, the classic to the daring, we’ll show you how this beloved dish has been reinvented and reimagined.
Japan, The Starting Line
The origins of ramen can be traced back to China, where it was known as “la mian.” La mian is a type of Chinese noodle soup made with pulled noodles and various toppings. When la mian was introduced to Japan in the late 19th century, it was transformed into the dish we all know today as ramen.
Japanese traditional ramen noodles are made with wheat noodles served in a rich broth made from pork bones, chicken bones, or seafood. The broth is typically flavored with soy sauce or miso and is topped with sliced pork, green onions, and bamboo shoots. While the traditional Japanese version of ramen remains popular, restaurants around the world have put their spin on this classic dish, adding their own unique ingredients and flavors.
The American (Ramen) Dream
Ramen has taken the United States by storm. Still, the version of this dish most commonly found in American restaurants differs greatly from the traditional Japanese version. While the core components of ramen remain the same, including the wheat noodles and savory broth, American ramen often features unique and unexpected ingredients that give it a distinct flavor profile.
One of the most significant differences between traditional and American ramen is the type of broth used. In Japan, ramen broth is typically made with pork bones, chicken bones, or a combination of both, resulting in a rich and savory flavor. In contrast, American ramen often features more diverse broths, such as those made with seafood or vegetables.
Another major difference is the variety of toppings used. While traditional Japanese ramen is typically topped with slices of pork, green onions, and bamboo shoots, American ramen often features a broader range of ingredients, such as soft-boiled eggs, corn, and even bacon.
Restaurants like Ippudo in New York City or Daikokuya in Los Angeles serve up a variety of different styles of ramen, including the classic tonkotsu ramen, which is made with pork bones, and the akamaru modern, which is a spicier version of the classic tonkotsu ramen. But they also came up with their own version of this classic dish. Don’t miss the chance to give them a try!
South ‘N’ Spicy!
South America has its own unique twist on ramen as well, with countries such as Brazil and Peru putting their own spin on the dish. In Brazil, ramen is often made with a pork-based broth and topped with ingredients such as corn, egg, and vegetables. Some Brazilian ramen shops even serve feijoada-flavored ramen, inspired by this traditional Brazilian bean stew.
In Peru, ramen has been infused with the country’s famous seafood cuisine to create a delicious fusion dish known as “tacu-ramen.” This variation of ramen features a seafood broth made with ingredients such as fish, shellfish, and seaweed, and is often served with a side of rice. The dish has become increasingly popular in Peru’s coastal cities, such as Lima.
Another unique ramen variation in South America can be found in Argentina, where ramen is served with a twist on the traditional chimichurri sauce. This spicy herb sauce is added to the broth to create a unique and flavorful dish that is sure to satisfy any ramen lover’s cravings.
The Old Continent Has Some New Ideas
Ramen has won the stomachs of Europeans as well, with ramen restaurants popping up in every European city, from north to south and east to west. However, the way it’s served in Europe also varies from traditional ramen bowls, with unique combinations and innovative ideas.
One major difference between traditional and European ramen is the type of noodles used. In Japan, ramen noodles are typically made with wheat flour, resulting in a chewy texture. However, in Europe, ramen noodles may be made with different types of flour, such as buckwheat or even beetroot, which can give them a different flavor and texture.
Another significant difference is, as you might have guessed, the broth. European ramen often features vegetable or beef broth and includes different types of toppings such as cheese, sausages, or even foie gras.
Taste Ramen Varieties Without Leaving Home!
As we’ve seen, ramen has become a global phenomenon, with different interpretations from many countries around the world. From America to Europe to South America and beyond, ramen has been adapted to suit the unique tastes and cultures of different regions, resulting in a wide variety of delicious and satisfying ramen varieties.
If you also want to experience the full range of ramen flavors, a ramen subscription service can be an excellent option. With boxes like My Ramen Box, you can try different varieties worldwide, delivered right to your doorstep. This allows you to sample new and exciting ramen options without having to travel to different countries or search through countless restaurant menus!