Nonnie is a fantastic cook and wants to share what she has learned with others
Ramen: Come Learn how to make Ramen Broth from scratch, layering your flavors to the amazing taste throughout the Dish
A Brief Look at Our Relationship with Ramen
Ramen noodles are actually a Chinese invention that grew roots in Japan. The bouncy ramen noodles gained popularity in the 1930s as Chinese immigrants began cooking in soba shops. The blending of Chinese noodles with Japanese broth making and eating rituals gave birth to many modern styles, with ramen shops and noodle carts becoming fixtures of Japanese dining. During World War II, push carts and street vendors were made illegal as many ingredients were rationed, and ramen nearly went extinct.
American ramen shops were likely born around this time as well, as many Japanese noodle makers left the country during the post-war economic downturn. While these 1960s-born ramen shops might not have seen the popularity that more modern ramen shops have today, it’s worth noting that most of these shops outlasted the diner fare also popular during this era.
At the same time, instant ramen was also introduced to America, marketed as healthy food to busy families. Oodles of Noodles, Cup of Ramen, and products of their ilk didn’t see fame until the 1980s. The ’80s also saw the advent of Japanese “ramen tours” that became, and remain, a popular sightseeing expedition for hungry American travelers.
Culturally speaking, ramen shops are one of the few fast food icons to avoid franchise conglomeration with a simple system of noren ramen. Loosely translated to mean branch shops, ramen shop keepers are reputed to teach employees their ramen recipes, then send these employees off to open their own shops after just a few years of service. This is good for ramen-lovers, but also means that ramen recipes, methods, and traditions have morphed slightly, like a long game of telephone over the last two decades in America.