Breaking Down a Bowl of Ramen: From Basic to Gourmet


Photo Credit: xxHxx

Ramen, the ubiquitous noodles in a bowl of broth considered a Japanese “national dish” has actually originated from China over a century ago. Since then, it has extensively evolved to become an authentic Japanese food with varied ingredients reflecting regional styles and cultures.  Today, ramen is served in the entire country from street carts, filling your cravings even in the middle of the night, to classy restaurants and specialty ramen houses in the cities.

Ramen is a well-loved dish around the world. In fact, it appeared in The Guardian’s The 50 best things to eat in the world, and where to eat them. It is so popular that upon the invention of the instant noodles by Momofuku Ando in 1958 it created a whole food sub-culture in Japan. “Fresh noodles are the best,” but Instant ramen became a hit worldwide “… it was voted as the greatest Japanese export of the 20th century in a national poll…” [Read more…]

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Bird’s Nest Soup: Know What Comes Into that Bowl

Bird's nest soup

Credit: stu_spivack

Are you raring for a bowl of an organic and healthy soup? Then, you need to try the Bird’s Nest Soup made from the rare nests of the bird swiftlet; it’s on the top of the list.

This bird from the Southeast Asia lives in dark caves and makes nests for their youngs using twigs and straw that are cemented using their saliva. It sounds bizarre just as bizarre as it was pictured in Andrew Simmer’s Bizarre Bites: Bird’s Nest Soup who called it “Spit Soup.”

Every once in a while I stumble upon a food and think, “What sick mind came up with this idea in the first place?” Bird’s nest soup falls into that category … soak a bird’s nest in water overnight, then pick feathers and feces out of the nest, add it to a bowl of chicken broth, onions, sherry, and egg white, and then start eating. C’mon, that’s insane.

The soup’s flavor depends largely on the geographic region of the nest. I love nests harvested near the ocean. They offer a sea-salty, briny flavor (the birds eat primarily saltwater fish, the nests are full of their saliva, spewdom, and droppings. It only makes sense that the nests would taste of the sea!)… [Read more…]

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