Do you like ramen and think you have already tried all varieties of them? Then, as you might already know but have you ever heard about COLD RAMEN?
Cold ramen or “Hiyashi Ramen” which means cold ramen in Japanese can be found in Yamagata prefecture, which is in the northeast part of Japan. Hiyashi Ramen is cold ramen with Shoyu (soy souse) flavoured beef broth, surprisingly served with some ice cubes. Ingredients are some vegetables, grilled beef, and so on, like ordinal Ramen, but once you taste it, you will see it is completely different from any other ramens that you have ever taste!
Usually, ramen contains plenty of fat or grease which gives ramen deep taste and aroma, but it will set and get disgusting texture when it is cooled down. So, how Hiyashi Ramen is made? Is it without a deep taste of ramen? Of cause, not like that. It certainly has a deep and satisfying taste. On making broth, they get rid of entire fat and grease from the soup, and add vegetable oils instead. By using oils Hiyashi Ramen has a deep and refreshing taste. And one of the biggest uniqueness of it is the ice cubes in the soup. You will be shocked by looking at it because Hiyashi Ramen seems exactly what you imagine how ramen is, except ice cubes. Since ice cubes melt while you are eating, usually the soup of Hiyashi Ramen has a slightly stronger taste so that it will be best after ice cubes melt. So, you should probably taste noodles first, and then enjoy soup after ice cubes melt. Or some restaurants serve ice cubes made of the same soup so that the taste of the soup will not get weakened.
By the way, don’t you think why they created Hiyashi Ramen?
The history of Hiyashi Ramen started in the early 1950s. There was one soba noodle restaurant in Yamagata prefecture (Yamagata Soba is very famous still now), which served very good cold soba noodles with stewed meat. One day, a guy eating cold Soba asked the owner if he could make cold ramen like cold soba. Of cause, the owner thought it was difficult because the fat or grease which are essential for ramen get set if you cool it down, but he wanted to please his customer. He studied very hard and tried for a year, and finally invented the method that is mentioned before.
Some of you might be surprised, but Yamagata prefecture becomes very hot during the summertime, not likely to other prefecture in the northeast area. In the daytime, during the summer period, you might not want to eat anything hot there. BUT, locals wanted to enjoy ramen whole year, including the summertime. That desire led them to create Hiyashi Ramen there.