The exact origin of ramen is disputed, but most historians believe the dish we know and love today is a Japanese adaptation of a Chinese dish. Ramen noodle shops became popular in both Japan and China in the early 20th century and were popularized in America in the 1970s with Momofuku Ando’s invention of the instant noodle. Since then, this comfort food has become a staple in American cities.
How has ramen stood the test of time? For one thing, it’s a versatile dish with lots of regional variations. There are also plenty of possibilities for customizing your own with a variety of toppings from meat to herbs and broth flavors. It also appeals to that elusive fifth taste family: umami.
These qualities and more make ramen unique, and it’s served in unique vessels as well. To take your ramen presentation to the next level, consider a few of these tips.
Don’t Forget the Broth!
You can’t just count on the flavor coming from toppings—a lot of it can and should come from the broth itself. With the right noodles and broth alone, toppings are superfluous.
As with all plating, it’s important to add color to the dish, which can be particularly difficult with ramen. The noodles and broth tend to be very neutral, but pops of color can be added with green onion, the bright yellow of a soft-boiled egg, seaweed flakes, or brilliant pickled ginger. Experimentation is key.
With so many possibilities for ingredients, it can be tempting to overfill the bowl! Traditional Japanese serving however believes in a golden ratio of filling—bowls should be about 80% full.
The most common method for serving ramen is a "Koudaidon" bowl, characterized by a tall wall and a rounded lip. Eatery from Tafelstern is the perfect container and comes in a wide range of trendy colors in Tafelstern’s revolutionary Noble China!
“Mendon” literally translates to “noodle bowl” and has a shallower depth and wider bowl than the Koudaidon. Playground’s Sea collection is made from natural stoneware if a more authentic bowl is preferred.
Create with dinnerware that looks as good as the food it's paired with. Visit our Literature Page to see all the possibilities from porcelain to metal and glassware.