Ramen is soul food. The big soothing bowls of cloudy broth and bouncy noodles are so warming, comforting and nutritious, they must almost have curative powers.
Finding good quality Japanese ramen in Italy used to be a chore, but not anymore – sushi has almost been bumped by the noodle soup as most popular edible Japanese export. These days we're swimming in it here in Italy, enjoying options like Ramen Misoya, Zaza Ramen and Bottega Del Ramen.
We're talking about a bowl of rich broth that is potently savoury and steaming hot, cradling bouncy noodles, simmered meat and mounds of vegetables. While the ingredient options are infinite, the pillars of the bowl are constant – broth, Chinese-style wheat noodles and finally, the array of toppings.
Ramen is all about umami, a food category described as savoury, sweet and sour, and with a direct Japanese translation of 'deliciousness'.
Ramen has a long and storied past. It was introduced to Japan by Chinese tradesmen in the 1800s, and was quickly adopted by street food stalls. But it was during the Second World War that ramen really rose to fame – easy to make and super nutritious, it became a staple of the Japanese diet. Since then ramen has evolved. It's a dish adored by millions – and obsessed over by more than a few.
As any ramen-head will know, the broth is at the heart of this one. This nectar can be made from a menagerie of ingredients like chicken, pork, fish vegetables, but the magic comes from letting it simmer, to create the thick richness that we all know and love.
The eats you'll find at Ramen Misoya are meticulously loyal to the Japanese traditions and packed with flavour. When you opt for their Ramen Hokkaido, you'll find a miso tare with a pungent and dense pork and chicken broth, alongside zingy garlic and ginger, soy and bamboo shoots, spring onions, and meaty pork chop seasoned with miso.
If you prefer a taste of the sea, head to Zaza Ramen. The Fish and Seafood creation has a mix of shrimp, clams, squid and gurnard, and garnished with fresh ginger, sweet semi-dried tomatoes and a hearty fish stock seasoned with fresh ginger pesto.
And that's not all, Bottega Del Ramen is the place for you if you're looking for something a little lighter – the Shoyu packs in grilled vegetables, earthy mushrooms and nitamago chashu. It is deceptively simple, but there's a lot going on beneath the surface.
If you need your daily ramen, check out your options here on Deliveroo.
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