The Ramen Virgin

I can’t remember offhand when I finally got around to having ramen, but I did give it a shot. On an unexpectedly cold day, I thought I would warm up by stopping in at this family-run joint next to one of the train stations.

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My first mistake was standing there waiting to be seated. As a tip, when you’re by yourself, you are usually able to choose where you want to sit on your own. Just wait for the OK from the staff.

My second mistake was thinking I was going to get the same kind of rice the guy next to me was eating. Wrong! As you can see, I overloaded on carbs. I went down into that deep spiral that results in pain and confusion.

My last mistake was thinking the red oil would be savory. Needless to say, my gyoza were particularly spicy.

I ordered a 醤油 (shoyu, soy sauce) flavored soup base. This is the traditional option and a recommended choice for the uninitiated.

It came with:

  • Soy sauce-based broth
  • Cuts of pork belly
  • メンマ (menma, sliced pickled bamboo)
  • Seaweed
  • Fish cakes
  • Green onions
  • Noodles*

*Some ramen restaurants give its customers the option of noodle firmness. They range from al-dente to really soft.

When you eat ramen, what is your favorite kind to eat? Let me know down in the comments!

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