Friday, August 24, 2007


"You don't understand, it's just so much science involved," said the guy sitting next to me at the counter of a ramen shop called Yasube. The ramen here is called Tsuke-men, or dipping noodle, where the fresh thick egg noodle is comes separately from the "state-of-the-art" dipping soup.

It was lunch time and the little shop was filled with Japanese business men. I bought a ticket for "Dipping noodle (regular size) with miso flavor soup" at the vending machine and handed it to the waiter. Then I stood in line for at least 15min until my seat became available.

Shortly after, my Tsuke-men was served.

I took a little bit of the noodle with my chopsticks, then DIP em into the bowl of soup.


The soup was thick and so complex. I could taste the roasty miso and the sweetness from small bits of pan-fried onions and scallions. Was it pork broth? Veggies or seafood? It probably had all of it. The noodle was so fresh... and it went so well with the soup. There was a small pot of powdered roasted bonito and it just added so much more flavor and sweetness to the soup.

It only took me about 10 min to slurp it all up.

Then the business man next to me ordered a small cup of clear soup, and I watched him pour it in his left-over ramen soup. I didn't know what it was, but I had to try it too.

The clear soup smelled like a simple fish broth, but when you add it in the thick ramen soup, it really does create this "scientific," "state-of-the-art" flavor that is out of the world.

Come visit Japan, or East Asia for that matter, for a bowl of science.

1 comment:

Kris Chau said...

OH!!!! RAMEN!!! no one here in philadelphia understands my craving for a good bowl of ramen.