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Japan Marche Staff Blog: Ramen


Japan Marche Staff Blog: What Do You Call Ramen Without “Men”=Noddle?

““Men” in “ramen” means noodle, but there are so many ramen restaurants coming up with no-men-ramen in the menu.”

“Men” in “ramen” means noodle, but there are so many ramen restaurants coming up with no-men-ramen in the menu. What is there to enjoy when there is no noodle in a bowl of ramen? Where is the blissful feeling of chewing the soup-tasting noodle as the flavor rushes up your nose? Some restaurants are adding vegetables, some chashu meat, some tofu.

This “no men ramen” works for people who is on a no-carb diet, or those who want to eat shime-no-ramen but feel too late in the evening to eat (eating ramen after drinking is called “shime-no-ramen”. Some people say that eating ramen after drinking ameliorates hangovers the next day. In any case, shime-no-ramen is GOOD!) Also, noodle-slurping is no longer an issue when eating “no men ramen”. Noodle-slurping is recently a topic of discussion in Japan. Noodle (soba, udon, ramen) is supposed to be slurped when eating since the broth gets caught between the noodles when slurped, creating the exquisite flavor on the pallet. However, foreigners find noodle-slurping irritating and some Japanese noodle eaters are getting anxious when noodle-slurping around foreigners.

If you want to try the “no men ramen”, Ringerhut and Ippudo are major ramen restaurants with this menu. Some minor restaurants also have it, so it is worth a try to ask if they have it. What are your thoughts on “no men ramen?” Would you consider it ramen or soup?

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