The Noodles of Japan


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Explains the the five primary kinds of noodles in Japan (udon, ramen, somen, shirataki, soba) and two derived noodles (yakisoba and instant noodles)

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  • So what are all of these, and how do you differentiate between them? Do you sometimes get mixed up among each type of Japanese noodles? Let’s begin exploring the world of noodles at Soba.
  • many sources I’ve read, Soba seems to be created in Japan, making it the original. People make soba from buckwheat and wheat flour. However, in terms of biology, buckwheat is NOT wheat. I consider this fact to be one of the factors that make soba unique.
  • can be served on its own, above a Zaru mat. This is why it’s called Zaru Soba when served like this. The soba itself is cold when served this way.
  • very popular way to eat soba is like any noodles in hot broth. Here, it is shown eaten with fried tofu, or kitsune. This meal is being served in Brighton, UK.
  •’s also popularly eaten with Tempura, or the deep-fried shrimp and/or vegetables. This meal is being served in New Jersey, US.
  • Fact: Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power And National Identity, p.144First Ramen shop was RaiRai Ken in Tokyo, est 1910.
  • is a thin noodle made from wheat flour. Similar to ramen, but it didn’t have the yellow color from egg or kansui. Soumen, for some reason, is usually eaten by itself or with few other ingredients.
  •, or the flowing noodles, is a very popular and enjoyable way to eat soumen. You can see water and soumen flowing down the bamboo, and you use chopsticks to catch it.
  • tracks can be set up at home if you have space and bamboo. If you don’t, there’s always somen machines.
  • name Shirataki means white waterfall. This particular noodle is quite unique in that it’s not based on flour, but konjac. Konjac is a plant which gives jelly-like substance, so the resulting noodle has a unique texture.
  • is frequently enjoyed in a nabe, or a hot pot, like this. It’s worth noting that people generally do not let shirataki touch the meat, as this will toughen the meat.
  • it’s based on konjac and it gives very low calories, it’s considered by some to be a healthy food. I don’t know where the picture came from (in the world), but there seems to be a kind of shirataki made from tofu as well. I’ve never seen it before so I can’t say much.
  • is another popular noodles menu, made by frying noodles with other ingredients and condiments. The result is a richly flavored meal enjoyable by everyone.
  • seems to have evolved from a Chinese menu called the chow mein, shown in this picture. They are really similar.
  • is often served as a bread filling, available in convenience stores. The Japanese people are very creative!
  • from frying soba, udon noodles can also be fried as well. In this case, it is called yakiudon. There’s no citation, but Wikipedia said it came from Fukuoka after the War. If anyone had been there, I’d like to hear if this is true.
  •,_June_20,_2013.jpgIn 1948, after the second world war, Mr. MomofukuAndou founded the Nissin company. Ten years later, he managed to invent the cup noodles for the first time. Clearly, the busy workers and students benefited from this invention because it can be easily prepared with minimal cooking and has a long shelf life.
  • I went on the Internet and mashed some numbers together, taking instant noodles consumption from the, well, World Instant Noodles Association, and world population data from the Population Reference Bureau. I found out that the entire world, on average, eats 14.37 instant noodles per person per year. China plus Indonesia beats all other countries combined. It seems that Ando Momofuku’s invention is really popular there and everywhere.Note: This reflects how much impact Japan has over the entire world. While traditional noodles were copied from China to Japan, now China consumes almost half the world’s instant noodles.
  • everything else in Japan, there is a museum dedicated to Momofuku Ando and instant ramen in Osaka. It’s near Ikeda station, and viewing the exhibition is free. If you are willing to pay, you can have a ramen kitchen class where you can make ramen from scratch.
  • The Noodles of Japan

    1. 1. The Noodles of Japan Japanese Culture Presentation 2013.07.25 Chawanat Nakasan M1 #1351117 Nara Institute of Science andTechnology 1
    2. 2. Ramen? Soba? Somen? Udon? Shirataki? 2
    3. 3. Soba (そば) • Soba is considered to be originated in Japan. • Made from buckwheat flour and wheat flour. 3
    4. 4. Zaru Soba (ざるそば) 4
    5. 5. Kitsune Soba (きつねそば) 5
    6. 6. Also served withTempura 6
    7. 7. Ramen (ラーメン) Originated from China. Instant in Japan. • Originally called “Shina Soba” 支那そば in 1910s • Later called “Chuka Soba” 中華そば • The name finally became Ramen in 1950s. We’ll talk about this in a bit. 7
    8. 8. Ingredients for Ramen • Wheat and salt are main ingredients, add kansui. • Kansui gives ramen the yellow color. • This might also be the case if we use eggs. “Kansui” Image: Kitchen Musings 8
    9. 9. La Mian (拉面 / 拉麵) • Looks and sounds like Ramen. Maybe this is why Japanese calls it Ramen. 9
    10. 10. Udon (うどん) • We talked about it last time so I’ll skip • Just kidding. It is said that Japanese monks brought it back from China in the 800s. 10
    11. 11. … a likely story ? • However, there are also other stories such as introduction of flour milling in 1200s, or that it was called “konton” which had sweet fillings! • By the way,  is the Kitsune Udon. 11
    12. 12. Similar to Udon: • Chinese has similar dish: Cumian (粗面 / 粗麵) 12
    13. 13. Soumen (そうめん) 13
    14. 14. Nagashi Soumen (流し素麺) • Probably the most enjoyable way to eat Soumen in summer • Enjoy cold soumen to relieve the heat. 14
    15. 15. Enjoy Soumen in your home! • I’d probably feel a little sad if I do this alone… AssistoneviaRakuten 15
    16. 16. Shirataki (白滝) • Literal meaning:White Waterfall • Uniqueness: It’s based on konjac, not flour like other noodles. AustinChronicle 16
    17. 17. Donabe with Shirataki 17
    18. 18. Notes regarding Shirataki • It’s sometimes considered a “healthy food” • There’s alsoTofu version?! Teczcape 18
    19. 19. Yakisoba (焼きそば) 19
    20. 20. 炒麵 焼きそば • Yakisoba was evolved from Chinese Chow Mein (below) 20
    21. 21. Enjoyable with bread! • It’s also used as bread filling as well.You can find it in convenience stores. 21
    22. 22. You can also fry Udon as well. 22
    23. 23. Notes regardingYakisoba • The name may suggest thatYakisoba is made from soba noodles, but it’s not. • The word soba in here likely just means noodles, not the particular soba buckwheat noodles. • In fact, I think it should be closer to ramen, given its Chinese origin. 23
    24. 24. *Instant* Noodles • Invented by MomofukuAndo in 1958, after founding Nissin 24
    25. 25. World Consumption of Instant Noodles 44,030 14,100 5,410 5,060 4,360 4,340 3,520 2,960 2,720 2,320 12,600 Consumption by Country (Million Servings) China & HK Indonesia Japan Vietnam India USA Republic of Korea Thailand Philippines Brazil Other Global Consumption*: 101,420 Million Servings Avg. consumption 14.37 per person per year Consumption Data: World Instant Noodles Association Population Data: Population Reference Bureau *(rounded number) 25
    26. 26. And yeah, we have a museum for this. • The MomofukuAndo Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka Michael Booth 26
    27. 27. Discussion & Conclusion • Noodle makes up one of the most iconic foods of Japan • Some noodles were adapted fromChinese, some evolved separately in Japan • Sauce and preparation of each noodle recipe seems to be different, so there are many unique menus in Japan. • Thanks to our ancestors, we get to enjoy a great variety of noodles in many menus today. 27
    28. 28. Teacher’s Comments • The story that Udon was brought fromChina by monks was most likely • Yaki Udon did come from Fukuoka 28