Soups and noodles are different depending on the region in Japan. A typical shoyu (soy sauce based) ramen called "kitakata ramen", has thick curly noodles. Even hough it is the same shoyu ramen, the Tokyo version often has thinner, curly noodles. Tonkotsu (pork bone broth based) ramen is ramen soaked in pork bone broth. Tonkotsu ramen is characterized by the white cloudy soup and the generally straight thin noodles. Other kinds of ramen are shio (salt) ramen and seafood ramen.
The toppings on the ramen have their own character depending on the shop. The standard ingredient is roasted sliced pork. Menma are fermented bamboo shoots with a crunchy texture. Other toppings are green onions, bean sprouts, eggs, corn, kombu (edible seaweed) and so on.
The spoon-looking thing served with a noodle bowl is called a renge (Chinese soup spoon). Some people use the renge in order to avoid splashing the soup or to cool down the noodles by placing the noodles on top of it for a short while before eating them.
It Is Okay to Make Noise
In many countries it is bad manner to make noise while eating, but in Japan it is perfectly acceptable to make a slurping sound when eating ramen.
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