Choosing the Best Ramen Bowl, Slurp Worthy TipsKatachiware Japanese Style Tableware
Choosing The Best Ramen Bowl. Ramen is defined as a bowl of steaming, soupy noodles topped with your choice of toppings that is tasty, filling, and incredibly good for you. However, what if you wrestle with the bowl that contains your delectable ramen? The sense of contentment, fulfilment, and enjoyment that your ramen will provide is gone. Thus, the ramen bowl becomes a critical aspect in determining your ramen experience!
Table of Contents
Brief Ramen History
Ramen’s recogniation as a traditional Japanese cuisine has grown exponentially over the past tenty years, to the point that you can now find ramen restaurants practically anyplace in the world and in Japan, there are more than 30,000 ramen restaurants spread across the country. Ramen’s history is complicated, and its roots as a Japanese or Chinese notion have been highly contested.
It is said that the history of ramen noodles is said to have begun in Japan and China around the turn of the twentieth century, and the noodle was originally called “Chuka Soba”, Chuka means Chinese and soba means buckwheat noodle in Japanese. The Japanese eventually altered it over time, and it became known as ramen.
After World War 2, Momofuku Ando invented instant noodles to feed the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in Japan. “Chicken Ramen,” Ando’s first instant ramen innovation, immediately became a type of comfort food and it because a hit, spreading across the country. The same Nissin Chicken Ramen is still available in supermarkets today.
Choosing the Best Ramen Bowl
When choosing the best ramen bowl, the size of the bowl matters a lot! If the bowl is unfortunately not the right size then your dining experience will definitely be affected. The following pointers elucidate this point clearly.
Ramen Bowl Sizes
The size of your ramen bowl has to be such that it will be sufficiently large to hold the contents well and still not be heavy to cause inconvenience to the eater. If your ramen bowl is shallow the contents can spill out or overflow and affect every morsel bite. If your ramen bowl has a narrow surface then the contents will be too crowded and this will affect the visual appeal of your ramen. And the visual appeal is everything to the eater. Or if the angle of your ramen bowl is not perfect then using chopsticks will become a complex affair
- 5-6 inches (19cm): This is an ideal size for a bowl of home-cooked packs of instant ramen. The bowl is just sufficient to hold some amount of toppings.
- 8 inches (20.5cm): This size is a common feature in almost all restaurants.
- 9 inches (23 cm): Slightly larger size than the above two sizes, this size is best suited to restaurants that are keen to offer their customers sizeable portions of the contents.
Varied sizes of ramen bowls have been introduced in the market and each one is best suited to a specific dining ambience. The diameter size of the ramen bowl varies from 7.5 inches to 9 inches. Listed below are the sizes alongside their suitability to different dining ambiences.
Optimum Holding Capacities
If you want to adhere to the Japanese belief then your ramen bowl should not be filled to its 100% capacity. The contents of the bowl should be restricted to 70% to 80% of its capacity. There are three reasons for this which included, avoiding chances of spillage and burning of hands or fingers, heightening the visual appeal of the contents and to make for easy movement of the bowl as well as ensure a firm grip on the bowl. Ramen Bowls come in three capacities elucidated as follows:
- 1000ml: This capacity goes with the 7.5 inches diameter size of the ramen bowl. This is just right to hold a single pack of instant noodles. You can have a few toppings to go with it but not more. This capacity will, however, fall short for people with larger appetites.
- 1350ml: This size is normally used in most restaurants. It is ideal in all respects; it fits a sizeable portion of the ramen, is easy to handle when filled and is also convenient to store when not needed.
- 1700ml: This is another size found in several restaurants and is meant for those with a larger appetite. It can carry larger portions of the contents.
Height of Ramen Bowls
The height factor also plays an important role in deciding the optimal ramen bowl. There are three different height parameters to cater to the needs of three sets of consumers. One needs to therefore choose the height best suited for the occasion.
The height most suited for household cooking is the smallest one that is 3 inches. This size goes along with a 1000ml capacity bowl which serves one single serving of ramen. The next height parameter is about 3.5 inches which is a normal feature in most restaurants. It is meant to serve larger portions of ramen as compared to home-cooked serving. The last size as far as height is concerned is 4 inches. Ramen bowls with 4 inches height are sufficient to hold a sizeable quantity of noodles, soup and toppings and are used in restaurants. It enables the chef to present his ramen preparation in the most aesthetic manner to customers.
Knowing Your Ramen Bowl in Detail
It is most likely for you to take your ramen bowl for granted as long as it serves the purpose it is meant for. However, there is much more to know about the best ramen bowl. There are several different parts of the bowl that have a unique name and each part plays a specific role to ensure a satisfying ramen dining experience.
Parts of Ramen Bowl
In Japanese, the names go as ‘Mikomi’, ‘Koen’, ‘Dou’, ‘Koshi’ and ‘Kodai’. The literal meanings are; the inside bottom, rim, body, waist, and foot.
- The Mikomi can hold a decorative design, coloured glaze or calligraphy which comes to your notice only when you finish the contents of your bowl.
- The ‘koen’ which is the rim should not be rough or sharp as it can hurt your lips while drinking the soupy content of your ramen. It is also preferable if it is not too thick.
- The ‘Dou’ is the body, the portion between the rim and the waist. This part is sometimes well decorated and needs to be appreciated alongside enjoying your ramen meal.
- After the ‘Koshi’ comes the ‘Kodai’; this part is the end portion of the bowl. The stability of the bowl is determined by this part and hence this has to be of the right circumference. Greater is the circumference greater is the stability offered.
The naming of the ramen bowl parts in Japanese dining is very similar to denote different parts of certain inanimate items like bottles, cans, or any cooking vessel with names of human body parts. For example, we often use words such as mouth, bottom, body, neck, skin or ear to specify parts of a bottle etc. Ramen bowls are no different!
Material Used in Your Ramen Bowl
You have options in deciding the material of your ramen bowl. You get them in ceramic, melamine or metal and each of them has its pros and cons.
Ceramic Ramen Bowls
Dishwasher Safe, Attractive & Unique
Ceramic ramen bowls are popular as they are beautiful to look at and you will never fall short in the wide array of designs. Each bowl varies as they are hand-made. Ceramic bowls cannot be mass-produced so the end user gets a personalised feel. Ceramic bowls are normally, microwave-safe as well as dishwasher-safe but it is best that they are hand-wash if you want to preserve them for longer periods. Easy to break or chip they should be handled carefully.
Wooden Noodle/Soup Bowls
Hand-Wash, Attractive & Unique
Commonly used in high-end restaurants, wooden bowls add a touch of class to any meal. Hand-crafted from a single piece of wood each bowl is turned, sanded and varnished with a food-grade lacquer. Not one bowl looks the same as the wood-grain varies in colour and texture. Wooden bowls are more expensive than most bowls and they offer a natural cozy warm feeling. Wood has zero thermal conductivity which allows the meal to remain warm longer.
Melamine Noodle Bowls
Economical, Hard to Break, Attractive
Melamine bowls are one of the most common bowls used. Melamine offers greater ease of handling and they look very similar to ceramic bowls. In a melamine bowl, the heat is not shifted to the bowl’s exterior which makes them easier to handle. Melamine is cheaper than other bowls and are made from a food-grade, BPA free resin. Extremely lightweight and less susceptible to breaking makes them a convenient option for serving ramen in commercial applications.
Stainless Steel Ramen Bowls
Highly Durable, Hard to Break
Stainless steel bowls are the least popular for serving ramen as the material has a tendency to transfer heat to the bowl’s exterior. In order to counteract this problem, double-walled stainless steel bowls are available where the heat gets locked within the bowl and the outer layer takes longer to get hot providing an easier option for handling. Stainless steel is easy to clan, dishwasher safe and difficult to break though when dropped it can dint which will spoil the bowl.
Ramen Bowl Types
As stated above, the best ramen bowls differ from one another in terms of size, capacity, height and material. The following information elucidates the names of varied ramen bowls that are normally served in Japanese restaurants. Other types include Tamadon, Koudaidon and Marukoudaidon.
Menbachi Bowls are the most popular bowls used for serving ramen, substantially deeper and wider allowing a decent meal portion.
Menbachi is the Japanese name for a noodle bowl. Due to the enormous hole created by the increased depth and width, this is type of bowl is a common design for ramen bowls. Menbachi bowls are ideally suited for recipes that have a greater proportion of soup compared to noodles, as their shape minimises the spilling of its ingredients.
Ohgigatadon Bowls have a steep fan shaped design which restricts the amount of ramen that can be added to the meal.
Although the bowl has a smaller capacity, it is popular in restaurants because it is simpler to store due to the straighter edges that allow for easier stacking. Although this type of bowl holds less soup, it is regarded as an attractive serving bowl and is chosen over broader bowls when noodles are the emphasis of the meal.
Tayoudon Bowls were introduced just before the turn of the century which is used as a “multipurpose” bowl.
They were created due to the rising demand for a bowl that could be used for a variety of soups in addition to ramen. Tayoudon translates as “multipurpose” bowl. Apart from regular ramen, the shape of these bowls allows them to be used for any type of soup or rice dish. With almost vertical edges, the bowl’s design produces a tall and deep vessel, making it a adaptable bowl.
Hira Tayoudon Bowls
Hira Tayoudon Bowls evolved from the Tayoudon design. The Hira Tayoudon, on the other hand, is shorter and flatter.
In comparison to the Tayoudon, which is intended to be used for a variety of purposes, the Hira Tayoudon is intended for bigger quantities of noodles. The bowl form and size, which are most frequently employed in restaurants, can emphasise that the bowl contains a substantial amount of food at a fair price.
On a Summarizing Note
After having read so much about the ramen bowl, we are pretty sure you will be able to choose the best ramen bowl that is offered to you for enjoying your ramen meal in a household or a restaurant! Want to learn more about ramen history, view more at wikipedia.org.