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Monday, July 31, 2017

Wanderer's Diary: "Cold Ramen"

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Cuisine: Japanese
Origin: China (Disputed, unclear)
Place: "Sanuki Udon" at Lau Pa Sat, Singapore

Japanese food, "Ramen" has an interesting history. Prior to 1950s, "Ramen" was also known as "Shina soba", which directly translates to "Chinese Noodles". Due to this reason, it is believed that "Ramen" is an immigrant dish from China to Japan. It could be a gift to Japanese cuisine by their Chinese neighbors, but the history is unclear. 

Ingredients: Wheat Noodles (Ramen), Sprouts, Tomato, Bamboo Shoots and Spring Onions

It might have originated from China, but "Ramen" is a popular food in Japan, especially among the working class. This is largely due to the simplicity of the Ramen preparation and it can be prepared very quickly. 

Cold Ramen

The "Ramen" is boiled in hot water and it was dipped in the ice bucket for few seconds to make it cold. They hold it in the ice bucket depending on how cold you would like it. Then, they leave it in the vegetarian broth and add other toppings such as Sprouts, Tomato, Bamboo Shoots and Spring Onions. It was prepared in less than 5 mins. Unlike the instant noodles sold in the supermarkets that are tasteless, these noodles were the tastiest noodles I have ever had so far. 

Sanuki Udon at Lau Pa Sat, Singapore

Professor "George Solt" has researched a lot about the origins of "Ramen" and has published a book titled "The Untold History of Ramen: How Political Crisis in Japan Spawned a Global Food Craze". He has linked US' influence and wheat import in Japan to Cold War and Communism. Read the "New Yorker" article in the link below, to learn more about "Ramen" and its history.

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