If you've tried just one mouthful of this soupy, savoury gem, then its recent rise in popularity will make complete sense. And if you haven't, you soon will. There are all sorts of places here in Ireland serving up these noodle-y goodies, places just like the aptly named Ramen, Eatokyo's and the Korean inspired Hailan's.
The basis of all ramen
There's all sorts of different ramen types out there, but they all basically follow the same formula – a broth, veggies, bouncy noodles and some form of topping. And it's this last bit that the versatility of the dish comes from – you'll find everything from seafood and marinated eggs to belly pork and spring onion crowning bowls across the world.
But the secret to a delicious ramen is in that broth. While noodles and choice of toppings are key, it's the soup – that's be slowly simmered – that coats everything, and takes it all to the next level.
Although it's only shot up here in the last few years, ramen has been kicking around for ages. It's commonly associated as being a Japanese creation, but its true origins are thought to be Chinese. In early 1900s China, restaurants served up noodles, toppings and broths flavoured with salt and pork bones. This spread to Japan after WW2, when soldiers returned home from Chinese posts with all the know-how.
Since then, ramen has become a bit of a cultural icon in Japan. Instant ramen-style noodles were voted the best Japanese invention of the 20th century, and there's even a ramen museum in Yokohama. And while we don't have a dedicated institution here in Ireland, we've got a few awesome places serving up this noodle-packed delight.
A ramen for everyone
If ramen means a deep bowl of rich broth, noodles, veg and toppings to you, then Eatokyo should rank high on your list of priorities tonight. Their Seafood Ramen is a classic, where seafood sits in a vegetable broth topped with flakes of fried salmon, prawn and squid, and garnished with fresh seaweed and rich shiitake mushrooms.
However, if you're in the mood for a lighter option check out Ramen's version. Their Ramen Souper Soup has a street food focus, where fresh mangetout, carrot, courgette and onion are met with a hit of chilli on light, springy vermicelli noodles.
For a sophisticated, refined and authentic take try Haikan's Tonkatsu Ramen, where a hearty, creamy broth packs in steamed spinach and seaweed. Its deep savoury punch is finished off to perfection with succulent slices of braised belly pork.
Tonight, make the ramen plunge. Check out all the great options here on Deliveroo.