Is Ramen Chinese or Japanese? A Historic Overview and Guide

Although the dish can be traced back to China, “shina soba” is thought to have been brought to Japan sometime in the 18th or 19th century. Eventually, through many evolutions of the dish, “shina soba” would come to be known as “ramen.”, and would eventually be accepted as a staple Japanese dish. The word ramen is a Japanese transcription of the Chinese lamian (拉麵). Nowadays, most people accept “ramen” as a Japanese dish, despite being inspired by “lamian” dishes. Why ramen was originally called “shina soba” Ironically enough, because ramen was originally imported into Japan and established in the country via Chinese immigrants, the original name for ramen, “shina soba” actually directly translates to “Chinese noodles.” I know, I know…I claim that ramen is commonly accepted (even by native Chinese) as a Japanese staple, but the original name for the dish was… “Chinese noodles.” (Actually, they were also called Chuka noodles, which is just another way to say Chinese noodles. ‘Chuka’ is a more modern way of saying Chinese in Japan, with ‘Chinese food’ being called ‘Chuka Ryori (中華料理))…as hilarious as all of that is, Ramen is seen as being Japanese because ramen has seen a strong evolution away from … Continue reading Is Ramen Chinese or Japanese? A Historic Overview and Guide