In this brief guide, we’ll address the search query: “Is ramen Japanese?” Also, we’ll explore what ramen is, what the nutritional content of ramen is, and what are the health benefits of eating ramen.
Is ramen Japanese?
Ramen is a noodle dish of Chinese heritage that was imported into Japan, in the twentieth century.
It is believed that Chinese food peddlers introduced Ramen noodles to the Japanese in port cities where they found employment. Wheat noodles were regarded as quick nourishment for those too poor to eat richer foods, and this is considered to be the first contact the Japanese had with ramen noodles.
Despite the harmless nature of a culinary import, the backdrop of its rise in popularity was not so innocuous.
In the early twentieth century, the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China were at odds with one another, and towards the end, soldiers that had returned to Japan after fighting abroad found they had acquired a taste for Chinese cuisine.
As a result, ramen rose in popularity, and many ramen dishes were prepared, such as soups with different flavored stocks, and sauces.
In actuality, ramen can range from being comfort food to a gourmet specialty, and its popularity has spilled over into other countries.
What is ramen?
In a strict sense, ramen is a noodle soup. It can be served with various types of foods, and it is most commonly served with a broth, or with other chilled foods such as hard-boiled eggs, kimchi, or steamed vegetables.
Ramen noodles are made from wheat flour, that has been soaked in alkaline water and mixed with salt. The alkaline water can be achieved using potassium and/or sodium carbonate. Like many types of noodles, it comes in an assortment of lengths, thicknesses, and sizes.
Some salts can provide it with characteristic coloring, and it may be regarded as high or low quality, based on its appearance.
Ramen can be flavored with many ingredients such as broths, stocks, sauces, salts, vegetables, meats, and other ingredients. There are many variations of ramen, and many regions in Japan have their signature ramen dish, which reflects the region’s particular culture.
What is the nutritional content of ramen?
The exact nutritional content of a ramen dish will depend on the ingredients it is cooked with, and the recipe that is followed.
For reference, a bowl (707 grams) of ramen will provide, on average:
- 954 calories – of which 315 are sourced from fat
- 48 grams of protein
- 35 grams of fat (54% of the recommended daily intake) – of which 12 grams are saturated fat (60% of the RDI), 0.1 grams are trans fat, 6.3 grams are polyunsaturated fat, and 13 grams are monounsaturated fat
- 111 grams of carbohydrates (37% of the RDI), of which 6 grams are dietary fiber (24% of the RDI), and 6.7 grams are sugars
- 227 milligrams of cholesterol (76% of the RDI)
- 2691 milligrams of sodium (112% of the RDI)
- 833 milligrams of potassium (24% of the RDI)
Additionally, the same portion will supply 66% of the RDI of vitamin A, 9% of vitamin C, 9.5% of calcium, and 54% of iron.
What are the health benefits of eating ramen?
When consumed occasionally and in moderation, ramen can provide a few select health benefits. However, it should be noted that these health benefits apply to fresh ramen, and not instant noodles, which are ultra-processed.
Ramen can be a source of energy, as it is rich in carbohydrates, which are necessary for many day-to-day activities that require taxing physical activity.
When combined with foods that are high in fiber and vitamins and minerals, ramen dishes can also be a source of various bioactive compounds.
Similarly, when coupled with meat, ramen recipes can also be a source of protein. Protein is essential for immune function, recovering from injuries and surgeries, and maintaining healthy muscle mass and other bodily functions.
However, ramen should be consumed sparingly, as it is a source of carbohydrates and it may be high in sodium.
Also, when prepared with rich foods, it can be high in added fat. Added saturated fats are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and circulatory problems.
A high intake of sodium is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, stomach cancer, kidney stones, heart disease, and other disorders.
We encourage our readers to be mindful of their caloric intake and their nutritional needs. As such, we advise them to consume ramen as a small, sporadic part of a balanced diet, that is combined with aerobic exercise.
In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the search query: “Is ramen Japanese?” Also, we’ve explored what ramen is, what the nutritional content of ramen is, and what are the health benefits of eating ramen.