If ramen... don't forget these too...
In Japan, it is a must to try some heavenly good ramen. There are more than 1000 ramen shops in Japan, some are really good, some can be not worth a try at all.
Even in the TV, you see from time to time the variety programmes would introduce all shots of ramen. You name it, they have it.
It is not uncommon for Japanese, even not with a big stomach, would order one more side dish except that big bowl of ramen. In fact, you will see common set meal of Ramen + Rice. Damn huge portion, I tell you. -_-"""
The most common side dishes would be these two...
Gyoza. Typical dumpling in Japan is fried until the bottom of the dumpling skin are crispy, yet the top part of it maintained a very good chewy texture.
This one was ordered in Ippudo, one of the most famous ramen in Japan. They have branches all around Japan. Original from Hakata, Kyushu.
I've only tried gyoza in Japan a couple times, vegetarian version, before this one. The past two times were just so-so experience for me, especially the skin, not what I was looking for. So, I thought Gyoza in Japan was nothing special. Couldn't understand why a lot of people always crazy on Gyoza so much.
But, this one... totally changed my mind.
I decided to try a meat gyoza for the 1st time in Japan.
The gyoza was only the side of one bite, about 1/2 size of the normal gyoza.
I was sceptical with it. Looking good... but worried that I would get another disappointment.
Finally, one bite into it...
GOSH!!! It was a good cultural shock for me. Not a scent of smelly pork inside. In fact, the filling inside was just a bit... to give a good magic to the whole skin wrapping it. The inner was so juicy, that it blended really smooth with the skin.
Now, the main cast here became that thin yet chewy layer of skin. The bottom was burnt till the degree of just crispy, but not over-burnt. The whole texture is not too oily. With a dip on the ume miso, it was another different new taste o it.
It was really good, I would say.
It was a fun to eat Gyoza with Ramen... I never knew it can be such a good combination.
I'm going back again for it, for sure, with my mum. ^_^ I felt so guilty the only time I brought my mum to a ramen shop, was a big failure. She didn't has good impression on Japan's ramen, till now. It is time I make the correction.
Another popular side dish...
A small bowl of rice with topping like char-siew or mentaiko.
Ippudo is from Kyushu, so I believed the Mentaiko would be good. So, we ordered one just to try.
Ah~~~ this is totally nice. Not the previous so terrible taste of Mentaiko rice that I ordered in another so called famous ramen shop.
There are many way you can eat this bowl of rice...
First, you can scoop a bit of the mentaiko on top just to taste if it is a fresh one. (This was a good one, though not the supreme one that another kuishinbo bought from Kyushu for me. :P)
Then, with the crispy seaweed that was attached with, I wrapped the rice with some mentaiko in it. (Viola, an appetite provoking hand-rolled sushi. Oo la la~~~) Here, the seaweed played the magic.
Now, at this very moment, the spiciness and the unique texture of this uncontered small round Mentaiko started to give you the umph.
So, third, mix everything together to become a half bowl of mixed Mentaiko rice. Have 2 scoops...
Ah wait... it was a bit too dry. What should you do?
Simple, just simply add a few spoons of ramen soup in it, and you have a very yummy bowl of mentaiko "risotto". Ha!!!
To end it... just simply finish the soup till the last drop.
There you are...
A side fun you can have beside the main cast... Ramen.
So, next time when you go to a good Ramen shop, remember to order some side dishes to give colour to your bowl of ramen meal. ;) Don't forget to tell me your experience. I would love to explore new way of eating in a Ramen shop. ^_^
Have a nice weekend everyone.
I'm so hungry now, after a 2-h gym.
Yap, I started my gym again after I stopped for 4 months.
Saw my own stomach today, wanna puke!!! Wuek!!