History of Ramen
At the end of Edo era, ports of Yokohama, Kobe, Nagasaki and Hakodate were opened. Subsequently in Meiji era, China towns (called as Nanking town back then) were created around the ports. Ramen is said to have been originated from Chinese noodle dishes served in such towns.
In 1910 (Meiji 43), a Chinese restaurant named "Rairaiken" was opened by Japanese owner, Kanichi Ozaki, in Asakusa, Tokyo with Japanese customers in mind for the first time in history while visiting and employing 12 Chinese cooks from Yokohama China town. Ramen, called as Nankin soba or Sina soba back then, gained tremendous popularity quite quickly.
Encouraged by the success of this restaurant, other Chinese restaurants with the common touch have been opened one after another in Japan popularizing Ramen as a standard menu together with gyoza (dumpling) and dim sum. In the course of nearly a century of its history, Ramen has developed and turned into a noodle dish unique to Japan, something different from those in China.
Variety of noodles
There are various types of noodles, such as square noodle, which is made by rolling out a dough and just cutting it thinly, round noodle, which is made by forming square cross section of the square noodle into round shape, and thin and wide noodle which is made by cutting the rolled out dough wider compared with the thickness.
Further, they are classified into straight noodle without any processing and curly noodle with wavy shape processed by kneading the cut out dough with hands or applying a pressure on it by a machine.
Knowledge of soup
Soup is made of "sauce" and "soup stock". " Sauce " is made by selecting a type of taste such as salt, soy sauce and miso. " Soup stock " is made by combining chicken bones, pork bones, beef bones dried bonito, smoked mackerel, dried sardine, dried flying fish, dried kelp or shiitake so as to match up with " sauce ". Soup is roughly classified into five types, i.e. soy sauce, salt, miso, pork bone and seafood, depending on the combination of "sauce" and "soup stock.Each unique taste is created by further using their own ingenuity for the materials and cooking methods and then Ramen with originality is completed. " Soup " is a crucial factor to determine the value of Ramen.