The word “ramen” comes from the Chinese word, 拉麺, but ラーメン is a Japanese dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a rich soup, often flavoured with soy sauce or miso (soybean paste), and uses toppings such as sliced pork, nori (dried seaweed), menma (pickled bamboo shoots), and chopped spring onions. 


Ramen soup is generally made from stock based on chicken or pork, combined with a variety of ingredients such as kombu (kelp), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), niboshi (dried baby sardines), beef bones, pork bones, chicken bones, dried shiitake mushrooms, and various vegetables. Some ramen shops cater for vegetarians.
Most noodles are made from four basic ingredients: wheat flour, salt, water, and kansui which is a type of alkaline mineral water. Noodles come in various thickness, length and shapes also. 
Every ramen shop has its own distinctive combination of soup, noodles and toppings and people often have strong opinions about their favourite ramens.
Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation of ramen, such as the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen of Kyushu and the miso ramen of Hokkaido. 

Instant noodles, often called “2 minute noodles” in Australia were invented in Japan and called インスタントラーメン or 即席(そくせき)ラーメン.

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