How to Eat Ramen Like a Pro
Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup that may look quite tricky to eat at first glance. Even though it’s considered a casual food, there are certain practices that can be useful for you to feel confident when ordering this delicious preparation.
5-Minute Crafts has prepared this guide to help you figure out how to eat ramen the right way.
1. Know the utensils and be ready to use them.
When ordering ramen at a restaurant, you will be provided with the following essential utensils:
- Ramen bowl: It can come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, depending on the restaurant. However, it should be able to hold the standard serving of 17 ounces of broth, noodles, and toppings. Many ramen chefs fill one bowl up to three quarters to avoid spillage and allow their customers to easily appreciate the presentation of the dish.
- Chopsticks: These will allow you to pull the noodles high out of the bowl for aeration and slurp them while eating them at their full length, which will prevent them from falling and splashing.
- Ramen soup spoon: It looks quite different from the conventional type, as it’s deep and flat with a groove that goes from the base to the handle. This groove allows you to hold the spoon at the edge by pinching it between your thumb and your index finger. At the same time, it has a bend in the handle so that you can rest it at the side of the bowl.
As you eat your ramen, it’s advisable to hold the spoon with your left hand and use your chopstick with your right. Keep it underneath the noodles as you pull them out of the bowl so that they fall into the spoon instead of landing in the broth.
💡 You may also use the spoon to take small bites of broth, noodles, and toppings.
2. Say “itadakimasu” before you start to eat.
✅ If you’re with other people, make sure to wait until they have all received their ramen before you begin your meal.
3. Prepare yourself to eat quickly.
According to ramen experts, this Japanese dish is supposed to be eaten within the first 10 minutes after being served. If you take too long, the noodles could lose their chewiness and become mushy, as they release starch and change the balance of the soup.
Even though you may end up sweating, your ramen should be hot at all times until you finish it. In this case, it’s advisable to place your head near the bowl and make sure to have no distractions around you as you enjoy your meal.
❗ Most ramen dishes can make you feel quite thirsty, so remember to have a glass of water or tea close to you in order to keep yourself hydrated as you eat. Opt for mouthfuls of liquid instead of just sips between ramen bites.
💡 If you have long hair, it can be a good idea to tie it back before you start eating. This will help you prevent it from constantly dipping into the soup.
4. Take a sip of the broth first.
Trying the soup before digging into the toppings and noodles will allow you to fully taste the flavor of your ramen.
5. Lift the noodles high above the bowl.
This will make the noodles slightly cool before placing them into your mouth. After pulling the noodles out of the bowl, you may dive them back into the soup to collect more flavor onto them.
❗ Go for small bites of noodles instead of grabbing big amounts. This will prevent you from dropping them or burning yourself as you eat them.
6. Don’t forget to slurp.
Slurping is a key factor when eating ramen. It helps your noodles to cool down and intensifies the flavor of each bite as a result of aerating.
💡 Although it may seem odd and rather difficult to slurp and vacuum up your noodles in the beginning, it’s something that you should definitely try and practice to eat ramen like a pro.
7. Go from bite to bite.
Digging into your bowl of ramen the way you want is perfectly fine. However, experts in the field recommend going for a sip of broth, a slurp of noodles, and a bite of single or grouped toppings; and then repeat the same steps.
You may also use the spoon to collect some noodles, a small number of toppings, and soup to get a true spoonful of the dish. Moreover, if your ramen comes with a soft-boiled egg, split it into halves in the broth or take a bite into it rather than attempting to eat it completely at once. There is no problem if you want to place toppings that are half-bitten back into the bowl.
💡 Eat the toppings early instead of letting them soak in the soup too long.
✅ Remember that it’s okay to drink the soup directly from the bowl.
8. Drink the remaining broth.
As you do so, you may feel a mixture of flavors in your mouth. However, keep in mind that the remaining soup may be quite salty.
💡 In some restaurants, you may ask for more noodles to enjoy along with the broth that’s left in exchange for a small fee.
9. Leave your chopsticks across the rim or next to the bowl.
Avoid putting them into the bowl, as this practice is believed to bring misfortune.