Can You Drink Ramen

You have probably seen in a lot of anime series or Japanese movies characters eagerly taking a bowl of ramen and guzzling everything. However, it is natural to wonder whether this is part of social etiquette, especially if you find yourself in a Japanese restaurant. Hence, the question arises – “Can you drink ramen?”.

Drinking ramen is completely fine. Moreover, in Japan, it is a common sight to see a person drink the broth from a bowl as ramen is considered a quick meal and is often eaten by the Japanese during their lunch break. In some parts of Japan, this action is even considered to be a compliment to the chef.

Ramen bowl with chopsticks

Drinking Ramen Broth From a Bowl Is Fine and Not Against the Social Etiquette

If you are a fan of anime, you have probably noticed how Naruto eats his ramen voraciously straight from the bowl. Well, in reality, chugging ramen broth like Naruto probably wouldn’t be a pleasant sight, but seeing a Japanese person taking a bowl of ramen and drinking broth is a frequent occurrence. Here is how Japanese people most frequently finish their hearty ramen meals by drinking in different settings:

At local noodle housesDuring lunch breaks and other similar occasions, you will see Japanese people finish their delicious meal by drinking broth straight from the bowl. The Japanese are known for their punctuality, and it is a common sight to see workers quickly gulp the ramen broth down during their break. Also, it is not uncommon to ask for refills, especially if a person wants to make their ramen less spicy.
In restaurantsIn traditional Japanese restaurants, when you drink the broth from the bowl, such an act is seen as a gesture of compliment to the chef. However, usually, just a few sips are taken.
At homeIt is a well-known fact that people all around the world act more freely in their homes. However, after eating all the noodles and toppings, Japanese people use a spoon to consume all the remaining broth.

Traditional Japanese Ramen Broth Is Healthy

In addition to being incredibly delicious, traditional ramen broth is also healthy for a number of reasons. Here are some:

  • As you might know, traditional ramen broth is usually prepared by boiling chicken or pork bones until they are completely dissolved. Bones contain a lot of healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
  • The cartilage contains a natural compound called glucosamine which is used by our bodies to reinforce our tendons and ligaments. It is especially recommended to eat food with this compound if you have problems with your joints or ankles.
  • When preparing a ramen broth, different kinds of vegetables can also be added, which is automatically good for your digestive system.
  • All the fat from the bones that gets dissolved is unsaturated, which is the healthiest form of fat for our bodies. This means that a bowl of traditional shoyu ramen, for example, can really provide you with all the energy you need to complete your workday.

Finally, it would be a shame to leave broth behind. First of all, making a traditional broth is not easy by any means. You will need to boil all the ingredients for at least ten hours in order to achieve the right consistency. But most importantly, once you add all the toppings and seasonings, the broth will become even more flavorful, and it is without a doubt the most delicious part of this famous Japanese dish. Hence, if you are strict when it comes to table manners, try to relax a bit if you are eating this famous dish.

Instant Ramen Broth Is Not So Enjoyable Unfortunately

Traditional and instant ramen are two completely different dishes, and the majority of the Western world has gotten used to buying products like Maruchan or ordering ramen from Amazon. Unfortunately, these products cannot be compared to authentic Japanese dish, and as a result, the instant broth is nowhere near as good as the traditional one. However, nothing is stopping you from finishing it straight from the bowl.

One of the main reasons why instant ramen is so popular is the fact that it can be cooked in under five minutes. However, in such a short period of time, you will not be able to prepare a decent broth just with noodles and spices that come in the package. Therefore, if you want to make your broth more enjoyable, you should invest a little bit more effort. The best way is to add some traditional toppings like a soft-boiled egg, some vegetables, or even braised pork meat. This will make a huge difference, and the instant broth might even taste good.

However, Keep In Mind That Instant Broth Is Not Healthy

Unfortunately, instant ramen, in general, is an unhealthy product, and spices that come in small pouches are notorious for having high levels of sodium. Hence, I would advise you to use your own spices when cooking. If you are using the spices from the package, don’t feel bad about pouring the broth into the sink after finishing the noodles. Your body will be grateful for this action.

A block of instant ramen noodles

Traditional Japanese Ramen Is a Wonderful and Healthy Dish

If you haven’t tried authentic Japanese ramen broth, cooking it by yourself might be too big of a chore. However, there is bound to be a Japanese restaurant in your vicinity, and I definitely recommend visiting one and ordering one of many famous ramen recipes. Whether you are drinking straight from the bowl or using a spoon, it won’t matter. It will be equally enjoyable.