National Ramen Day Date in the current year: April 4, 2024

National Ramen Day April 4 is a great day to indulge in some delicious ramen because it is National Ramen Day, also known as National Ramen Noodle Day This unofficial holiday celebrates a delicious Japanese noodle dish that has become very popular in many other parts of the world.

Ramen consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a broth with various flavorings and toppings. The name of the dish derives from the Mandarin Chinese lamian, “pulled noodles”, although ramen uses a different type of noodles, which are cut rather than pulled. The first recorded mention of the word ramen is dated 1928; it can be found in the book How to Prepare Delicious and Economical Chinese Dishes by Seiichi Yoshida.

Modern ramen is believed to have originated in Yokohama Chinatown sometime in the beginning of the 20th century. However, similar noodle-based dishes had existed in Japanese cuisine long before that. The first specialized ramen shop opened in 1910 in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. It employed twelve Cantonese cooks from Yokohama and served ramen adapted to Japanese tastes.

The popularization of ramen, both in Japan and abroad, began after World War II, when Japan was temporarily occupied by American troops. In 1945, Japan had an extremely poor rice harvest, and the United States flooded the market with cheap flour, a significant portion of which was made into ramen noodles. Gradually, ramen became a popular dish associated with urban life. Its popularity was further boosted by the invention of instant ramen noodles in 1958.

Today, ramen is one of the most iconic Japanese dishes that has become popular in many other parts of the world. There are countless varieties of ramen, depending on the region and even specific vendor, but most of them consist of four basic components: noodles, broth, tare (a sauce used to flavor the broth), and various toppings.

Ramen noodles are traditionally made from wheat flour; they come in various lengths and shapes. Ramen broth is usually made from pork or chicken, although fish and vegetable stock can also be used. Tare comes in three main types: shio (made from cooking alcohol, umami ingredients and salt); shoyu (shio flavored with soy sauce); and miso.

Finally, ramen toppings are so plentiful that it is nearly impossible to list them all. They include, but are not limited to, barbecued or braised pork, seafood (scallop, squid, crab), bean sprouts, butter, fermented bamboo shoots, chopped green onions, flavored eggs with runny yolk, various types of seaweed (nori, wakame), sesame seeds, mushrooms, various types of fish surimi, pickled plums (umeboshi), corn, spicy pickled mustard greens, bok choy (Chinese cabbage), daikon, pickled ginger, and many more.

The origins of National Ramen Day are unclear, but the holiday seems to have been around since at least 2017. You can celebrate it by going out to your favorite ramen place, getting creative with ramen recipes at home, host a ramen cook-off, stocking up on various brands of instant ramen, and spreading the word about the holiday with the hashtags #NationalRamenDay, #NationalRamenNoodleDay and #RamenNoodleDay.

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National Ramen Day, food days, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, National Ramen Noodle Day, Japanese cuisine