Originally published at Tokyo Stories, October 10, 2008

Eating those dried ramen noodles packs? Here’s what ramen is supposed to be like. Sure, Japanese eat dried instant ramen noodles too, and often. But for real ramen, we go to a ramen-ya (ramen seller). You had better be hungry at a ramen restaurant, because standard ramen servings in Japan are huge.

You can spice up your plain noodles from the pack and the powder broth mix. Add some sesame seeds, an egg (cooked or raw) or curry powder.

The Ramen Tokyo website specializes in ramen restaurant reviews. I discovered a review of a ramen-ya in my neighborhood. It’s under the tracks.

The reviewer says: “The vegetable ramen was quite tasty, frequently some places throw a bunch of veggies into a simple chicken stock and call it vegetable ramen, however this tasted a level up from that and the noodles were ample, this is a dish for two people to share.”

(PHOTO CAPTION) A ramen “restaurant” in the Akihabara electronics district of Tokyo , sells instant ramen, makes it, and serves it to you. You can purchase extra toppings.
(PHOTO CAPTION) Sakura restaurant opened in 2006, then opened a second location. But the newer outlet closed in January 2008.

There seems to be only one other instant ramen restaurant in Japan, in Okinawa.

But we can always get our ramen in cans, cold or hot, from vending machines.

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