This week’s Lunch From Around the World comes from Japan, but, like so many dishes, it reflects a region and the movement of people through it.
Ramen is one of the best-known Japanese dishes but it’s based on a Chinese dish brought by immigrants to Tokyo in the late 1800s. In Japan, it evolved into the dish we know today through an odd combination of war, immigration, American foreign policy, rice shortage, and yakuza black markets!
Ramen noodles are cut wheat noodles inspired by the pulled noodles from China. They are longer and skinnier than the other famous Japanese wheat noodle, Udon. There are a lot of regional variations, but at its core ramen is a wheat noodle served in a flavorful broth.
The vegetarian ramen our children will have this week is based on Shoyu Ramen, or Soy Sauce ramen. The broth will be flavored with roasted vegetables, miso paste, and soy sauce. The accompanying sides will include bean sprouts, hard-boiled egg, and scallion.
-Chef Michael Chavez Liberman