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Article by Burcu (Translated in Japanese by CDJapan Staff)

We established that Ramen, which became popular after World War II, is one of the favorite foods of CDJAPAN's staff in this cold weather. So today, we are going to talk about Ramen!

It is said that the very first ramen shop was opened in Asakusa, Tokyo in 1910.

It served wheat noodles in broth with barbecued pork as a topping.

It has many varieties with different ingredients and toppings nowadays. But mainly, we can divide Ramen into three parts: noodles, broth and flavor, and toppings.


Noodles can be thick (udon noodles, which is made from wheat flour, are thick.) or thin; and can be made from wheat flour, or whole wheat noodles.

Broth can be made from beef, chicken, or vegetables, and you can usually come across four ingredients in ramen as a flavor: salt, soy sauce, miso, and curry.

And if we would like to count a few popular ingredients used as a topping, these would be boiled egg, different kinds of sprouts, leek, nori (Japanese seaweed), green onion, corn, chashu (barbecued pork), bamboo, mushrooms and narutomaki (Japanese fish cake).

Lastly, As you may guess, every region in Japan has its own unique style of ramen.

Hakata ramen or tonkotsu ramen was created in Fukuoka Prefecture. This ramen's noodle is extremely thin, with a pork-based broth and green onions and chashu are used as toppings.

Sapporo ramen, which is popular in Hokkaido, usually has curly and thick noodles with a miso flavor and is usually served with butter and sweet corn as a topping.

Toyama Prefecture has a unique ramen called black ramen which is made with black soy sauce, chicken, and fish. Usually, green onions, black pepper, and chashu are used for toppings and flavor.

In Tokushima Prefecture, the Tokushima ramen's broth is brown because of the usage of pork bone and dark soy sauce.
*Today, there are three types of soups: "brown" with sweet and spicy pork bone and soy sauce, "yellow" with mild chicken bones and vegetables, and "white" with a light taste.

And in Kumamoto, the Kumamoto ramen has fried garlic oil in broth.

As you can see there is no limit or a rule to make ramen. Probably, more variations are being created as we speak. You can make your own ramen by combining your favorite ingredients.

Which of these delicious and unique ramen would you like to order while visiting Japan?

Words You May Want To Learn:

Chashu (barbecued pork)=チャーシュー (Chasyu)
Narutomaki (Japanese fish cake)=なると巻き (Naruto Maki)
Nori (Japanese seaweed)=のり (Nori)
Sapporo ramen=札幌ラーメン (Sapporo Ramen)
Tonkotsu ramen=とんこつラーメン (Tonkotsu Ramen)
Black ramen=ブラックラーメン (Brakku Ramen)

Chashu image photo is taken from Simon Shek, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Toyama Black Ramen image photo is taken from Totti, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Sapporo Ramen image photo is taken from 663highland, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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If you have a strong will to learn Japanese from today, please go to Learn Japanese at CDJapan.

About the Author

Özlem Burcu Öztürk
Author, Culture Blogger, Scriptwriter, Documentary Director, Video Game Translator

Ö. Burcu focused on the significance of intercultural communication and since 2015, she has done volunteer writing to establish a bridge of culture between Japan and the world.

She released four story books; Shine Like A Star (2016, English and Turkish), Chocolate Flavored Murder (2017, English and Turkish), The Guardians Series Book 1 - Dream (2018, Turkish, English and Japanese) and Mystery Vacation (2020, English and Turkish).

She continues to focus and work on projects that can enhance intercultural ties.

Official Website:
Instagram: @authorburcu
Twitter (X): @AuthorBurcu

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