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Why is Ramen so Popular in the US?

Why is Ramen so Popular in the US?

Old Apr 8, 12, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by JeremyS1973 View Post
Santouka is in California too, pretty much any place there is a Mitsuwa Market they will have Santouka or another Japanese ramen restaurant inside with other Japanese food stalls.
Same for Vancouver. However, Santouka is probably one of the best here.

Having said that, regional variation counts for a lot and it may not be exactly the same in Cali. For example, Din Tai Fung in HK is superb but when I try it in Bellevue (Seattle), I'd consider it sub-par.
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Old Apr 8, 12, 10:34 pm
  #62  
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So, has anyone had any good ramen in San Francisco proper? There are a bunch of places in Japan Town, but none really remind me of the stuff I can get in Japan. I like Hapa Ramen, which is about as close as I have gotten to the real deal here, but it's still a bit off.

Maybe I just need to drink more beer before I go out for ramen.
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Old Apr 8, 12, 11:12 pm
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I lived off of ramen in college. I used to add whatever cheap veggies that the local Asian supermarket had. It's not bad when you mix in some veggies and hot sauce.
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Old Apr 8, 12, 11:20 pm
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When we happen to be shopping at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, we will some times grab noodles at Goma Tei (http://www.gomatei.com/). Honolulu is full of great noodle shops!
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Old Apr 8, 12, 11:26 pm
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Originally Posted by rjque View Post
So, has anyone had any good ramen in San Francisco proper?.
Halu on 8th Ave & Clement in the Richmond is good. It's a small joint and always crowded, but well worth the wait.
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Old Apr 9, 12, 10:23 pm
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Originally Posted by rjque View Post
So, has anyone had any good ramen in San Francisco proper? There are a bunch of places in Japan Town, but none really remind me of the stuff I can get in Japan. I like Hapa Ramen, which is about as close as I have gotten to the real deal here, but it's still a bit off.

Maybe I just need to drink more beer before I go out for ramen.
I like Saiwaii Ramen, Nombe, Namu, Kirimachi, Ramen Parlor (San Mateo), Ramen Halu (San Jose) and Katana-ya.

Here is a link to Melanie Wong, goddess of ramen of the Bay Area, list.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 6:48 pm
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by braslvr View Post
I'm wondering if you are Korean? The lack of salt in the food there was extremely noticeable and hard for me to handle, and never a shaker on the table. The only place I've had the opposite problem as you.
Eh? Korean food is some of the saltiest in the world. You may not have noticed it because of the even stronger flavors of pepper and garlic, e.g. in kimchi. The few foods that are bland (rice, bindaeduk, dubu/tofu) are meant to be eaten with something saltier...hence the side dishes and soy sauce on tables.

The high sodium content in Korean food is one of the main reasons for higher rates of stomach cancer in Korea.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
I don't ever want to know.

There are quite a few western-looking folks pouring soy sauce into Pho. I've seen enough of those in Central Texas. )
Hmm...I rarely if ever saw soy sauce on the table at a real Vietnamese Restaurant.

Fish sauce is ok to add into Pho if the broth is too bland for your taste, but never soy sauce, that would surely ruin a bowl of Pho, eww.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by nycflyer View Post
The high sodium content in Korean food is one of the main reasons for higher rates of stomach cancer in Korea.
I agree Korean food are on the saltier side, because of lots of fermented veggies and fish are consumed. But, the high rates of stomach cancer is probably attibuted to Kimchi and the hot pepper in the Korean diet
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Old Apr 10, 12, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by imm2b View Post
I agree Korean food are on the saltier side, because of lots of fermented veggies and fish are consumed. But, the high rates of stomach cancer is probably attibuted to Kimchi and the hot pepper in the Korean diet
Japanese food is much less spicy than, but just as salty as, Korean food...both cuisines feature pickled vegetables, salted fish etc. The incidence of stomach cancer for both Koreans and Japanese rank at the top of the charts:

http://www.wcrf.org/cancer_statistic...statistics.php

http://pmj.bmj.com/content/81/957/419.full.pdf

It's possible capsaicin (chili peppers) contribute to the effect but I think the link between salt intake and gastric cancer is better established. Much of the salt in the Korean diet does comes from kimchi...average daily sodium consumption is > 150% higher than the WHO recommended daily max.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809241/
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Old Apr 10, 12, 8:45 pm
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Originally Posted by nycflyer View Post
Eh? Korean food is some of the saltiest in the world. You may not have noticed it because of the even stronger flavors of pepper and garlic, e.g. in kimchi. The few foods that are bland (rice, bindaeduk, dubu/tofu) are meant to be eaten with something saltier...hence the side dishes and soy sauce on tables.

The high sodium content in Korean food is one of the main reasons for higher rates of stomach cancer in Korea.
I'm sorry, but I don't believe that. Neither did any of our team, and we were there for months. There was a fermented soybean soup that was adequately salted, and strips of nori seaweed occasionally which we fought over. I can't remember anything else that had even close to enough salt. Plenty of sugar though. Perhaps our hosts never selected saltier dishes when ordering, but that seems doubtful out of hundreds of meals. Japanese food in Japan is fine. No comparison.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 9:36 pm
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Originally Posted by braslvr View Post
I'm sorry, but I don't believe that. Neither did any of our team, and we were there for months. There was a fermented soybean soup that was adequately salted, and strips of nori seaweed occasionally which we fought over. I can't remember anything else that had even close to enough salt. Plenty of sugar though. Perhaps our hosts never selected saltier dishes when ordering, but that seems doubtful out of hundreds of meals. Japanese food in Japan is fine. No comparison.
If you're a self-proclaimed salt-o-holic who has to shake a lot of the stuff onto food at restaurants here in the US, then I understand why you'd think something was missing.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/dinin...l#post13965555

Korean food has few items whose main flavor is potato-chip salty (like the dried gim / nori you gobbled up). Saewoo and myeolchi jut (salted shrimp and anchovies) are very salty but are meant to be condiments. Sugar is added to some foods (eg bulgogi) but not nearly as much as salt is.
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Old Apr 11, 12, 6:42 am
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by imm2b View Post
Hmm...I rarely if ever saw soy sauce on the table at a real Vietnamese Restaurant.

Fish sauce is ok to add into Pho if the broth is too bland for your taste, but never soy sauce, that would surely ruin a bowl of Pho, eww.
Fish sauce is a totally different story.

I don't know why but the Vietnamese restaurants (i.e. Vietnamese owners and cooks) in the heart of Texas all have soy sauce on the tables.

Originally Posted by nycflyer View Post
Originally Posted by braslvr View Post
The lack of salt in the food there was extremely noticeable and hard for me to handle, and never a shaker on the table. The only place I've had the opposite problem as you.
Eh? Korean food is some of the saltiest in the world. You may not have noticed it because of the even stronger flavors of pepper and garlic, e.g. in kimchi. The few foods that are bland (rice, bindaeduk, dubu/tofu) are meant to be eaten with something saltier...hence the side dishes and soy sauce on tables.

The high sodium content in Korean food is one of the main reasons for higher rates of stomach cancer in Korea.
Originally Posted by imm2b View Post
I agree Korean food are on the saltier side, because of lots of fermented veggies and fish are consumed. But, the high rates of stomach cancer is probably attibuted to Kimchi and the hot pepper in the Korean diet
And you wonder why I asked about the heart condition of braslvr?

Originally Posted by nycflyer View Post
If you're a self-proclaimed salt-o-holic who has to shake a lot of the stuff onto food at restaurants here in the US, then I understand why you'd think something was missing.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/dinin...l#post13965555
Good catch, nycflyer! ^

Originally Posted by nycflyer View Post
Korean food has few items whose main flavor is potato-chip salty (like the dried gim / nori you gobbled up). Saewoo and myeolchi jut (salted shrimp and anchovies) are very salty but are meant to be condiments. Sugar is added to some foods (eg bulgogi) but not nearly as much as salt is.
Even though I am not into Korean food that much (except for Korean BBQ), out of the authentic Korean dishes I've tried, sugary food is much less than spicy and salty kinds.

Originally Posted by braslvr View Post
I'm sorry, but I don't believe that. Neither did any of our team, and we were there for months. There was a fermented soybean soup that was adequately salted, and strips of nori seaweed occasionally which we fought over. I can't remember anything else that had even close to enough salt. Plenty of sugar though. Perhaps our hosts never selected saltier dishes when ordering, but that seems doubtful out of hundreds of meals.
braslvr, could it be you and your team visiting the wrong part of Korea or your host ordered the wrong kind of Korean dishes?

I assume the soup you referred to is miso soup? Korean miso can be on the salty side. Certain varieties of Japanese miso are saltier as well.

Back to ramen, I've had more Japanese style than Korean. I haven't tried enough Korean style to tell if they are over-salty but generally speaking, they are too spicy for me.

Last edited by lin821; Apr 11, 12 at 12:02 pm Reason: a typo
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Old Apr 11, 12, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
braslvr, could it be you and your team visited the wrong part of Korea or your host ordered the wrong kind of Korean dishes?

I assume the soup you referred to is miso soup? Korean miso can be on the salty side. Certain varieties of Japanese miso are saltier as well.
The soup was Doenjang Jjigae, not like miso at all. It was one of my favorite dishes there. We ate 75% of our dinners at Korean BBQ places. Always 2 or 3 types of meat, kimchi, and a variety of side dishes. The beef was always marinaded in something very sweet, and the pork had no seasoning at all. Neither had any salt, and that was the biggest food problem. Meat needs at least some salt. The kimchi was usually ok, with only some of the sweeter varieties needing salt. Most all of the side dishes tasted saltless, and I never once saw the salted shrimp or anchovie condiments. I also never once saw ramen in a restaurant.
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Old Apr 11, 12, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by ByrdluvsAWACO View Post
Am I the only one who is horrified to read how much salt is in those Ramen packs? I'll never touch one again.
And yet the Japanese consume ramen (both in cheap instant form and actually prepared ones) than most people in the world, yet they have one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world.
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