Dish of the Day: Wakame Chashu Ramen
Originally from China, ramen was brought to Japan over 100 years ago during the Meiji era (1868-1912). It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a flavoured broth with the addition of various toppings. Japanese ramen combines the flavours from a large number of ingredients with the soup, which may take more than a day to prepare, to create a harmonious whole.
During the Meiji restoration, Ramen was drastically improved and refined over the years, and it even overshadowed the China version of Ramen! Japanese ramen varies in terms of broths, ingredients, noodles and sauces, which makes Japanese ramen unique and tasty.
Origins of Ramen in Japan
In the ancient days, the typical method of creating ramen noodles was by hand-pulling. The Japanese stretched a single lump of dough by hands and folded the dough for at least a dozen times until the noodles were stretched into thin noodles. Nowadays, some restaurants are still using this manually hand-stretched method to achieve the texture of the delicate noodles.
There are two types of ramen that we are not aware of, low and high alkaline noodles. The lower alkaline ramen noodles are straighter and thinner in terms of appearance, have a stronger flavour of wheat and a heavier texture. Due to its dense texture, this type of ramen noodles gets soggy easily and faster. The higher alkaline ramen noodles have a brighter colour. As it is lighter in texture, this type of ramen noodles is more chewy and springy, which make them more favoured among Ramen fans.
What is Wakame?
For those who love Japanese cuisine, you can often find Wakame in the Japanese restaurants’ menu. So what exactly is Wakame? Ramen is often paired with varieties of toppings that include corns, spring onions and Wakame, which is also known as rehydrated seaweed.
Wakame is a type of algae with bright deep green appearance. It is chewy and springy; therefore, not everyone is accustomed to its texture and taste.
The Introduction of Wakame Chasu Ramen
Since the creation of ramen, Chasu, which is sliced pork belly, has become the must-add ingredients in most Japanese ramen. The meaty and fatty Chasu complements the springy texture of the ramen noodles, and the addition of Wakame gives tanginess to the broth. Wakame Chasu Ramen can be eaten in different types of broth such as Shio (a salty type of broth), Shoyu (soy sauce broth), Abura (oil ramen) and Tsukemen (dipping ramen type).
Where to get this Dish?
Although ramen’s broth is known to be cooked and simmered for long hours, if you plan to do it on your own at home, you may do it in a lesser hour. Since you do not need to make it Michelin-starred level, you may boil the broth for an hour or so. You can also check out these Japanese restaurants around your area for a bowl of Wakame Chasu Ramen.
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Article Written By Anna
Anna is an absolute foodie, and lives by the motto that food is happiness. She is a writer by day and a gamer by night. She believes that good food comes from all over and is constantly amazed by the passion and dedication it takes to make food that warms the soul.