Ramen culture quickly spread all over Japan, and ramen noodle dishes unique to local regions emerged throughout the country. For example, in the Hakata region (Kyushu Island, which is south of Japan), one of the most famous ramen dishes is Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen (an emulsified and rich pork bone soup with thin and hard noodles.) In Sapporo (the largest city in Hokkaido, the most Northern Island), Sapporo Ramen is unique with curly relatively thick, yellow noodles in miso-flavoured soup, typically featuring corn and a piece of butter. The richness, saltiness, flavor and other characteristics of soup as well as the size and texture of the noodles vary dramatically from region to region. Because there are variations even within the same region (for example, from shop to shop), a lot of details are necessary when talking about a particular type of ramen. So when you tell us what type(s) of ramen you want to make, please give us as many details as you can.
The flour used for ramen noodle is predominantly wheat flour with high protein content (usually between 10-13%). There are many variations of ramen noodles from different ingredients, to shape, size, texture, colour and flavour.
Ramen noodles can largely be categorized into three types by the amount of water added to flour in mixing when making dough. The texture tends to be softer as more water/liquid is contained. Low water ratio noodles (25-31% to the weight of flour) tend to be hard in texture and thin in size. Medium water ratio noodles (32% – 39%) tend to be relatively soft and medium in size. High water ratio noodles (over 40%) tends to be soft and chewy, similar to udon noodle. The softer the texture, the bigger the size of noodle tends to be, and vice versa.
Modifying a few percentages of water ratio would make a big difference in texture. There can be unlimited number of variations.
People’s Ramen preferences vary by region in Japan. By serving Ramen shops all over Japan, Yamato has accumulated different kinds of Ramen recipes to appeal to every taste. In the Ramen course, you will learn how to make good Ramen noodles by using Yamato´s Ramen noodle-making machines. When you complete the course, you will be able to create ideal and original Ramen dishes that you can serve to your customers with confidence.
Many popular Ramen shops have their own soup-making secrets that they never want to disclose. While noodle quality is getting more attention among Ramen fans, the flavor of the soup is still extremely important for Ramen dishes. To make your Ramen shop successful, you need a perfect balance between noodles and soup. Yamato offers hands-on training for Ramen soup making. Just by attending the course, you will be able to learn recipes for various kinds of soup and acquire the skills necessary for professional Ramen soup making.
The most typical topping for Ramen is braised or barbecued pork, known as Char-siu. In the Ramen course, you will learn how to cook Char-siu from scratch. You will also learn about other toppings such as Menma (slender strips of pickled bamboo shoots) and boiled and seasoned eggs.
Udon has a long history in Japan. There are many theories when people started eating udon, but one thing we can be sure about it is it has been around for hundreds of years in Japan. Over the years it has slowly evolved and many variations of udon emerged in different places throughout Japan. Some of these regional udon noodles got popular nationally, and a few of them even globally. The most famous and popular udon of all is called, “Sanuki Udon”. “Sanuki” is an ancient name for Kagawa prefecture where this noodles became popular. Typically, Sanuki udon tends to be thick in size and very chewy in texture. The color is white, and the length tends to be long. Some big restaurant chains featurin this type of udon have opened locations that grew in popularity overseas. Because of its unique texture, production of good udon noodle requires a process, called aging/resting to optimize the condition of dough.
Udon noodles served in hot soup, which is generally made from fish ingredients (dry sardine, kelp ) and kaeshi, which is typically soy sauce seasoned and aged.
Udon noodles served cold with special dipping sauce. As this style of udon noodles are typically chilled with ice, the texture becomes hard, which requires the noodles to be cooked longer than other dishes..
Udon noodles served hot with special dipping sauce. Udon noodles, although typically washed after being cooked to rub off starch from the surface, are served without washing for this type of udon because the noodles are served in the water they were cooked in. This also makes kama-age udon the quickest cooking udon.
Udon noodles are served either cold or hot with a separate special sauce. Customers pour the sauce over the noodles and stir before eating. This is relatively new and popular for its simplicity.
In the Udon Training Course, you will learn how to make good Udon noodles, starting with understanding the ingredients: wheat, water and salt. Each step in the process of Udon making is taught through hands-on practice. You will also learn the proper usage of Yamato´s Udon noodle-making machines. The purpose of the course is to give you enough skills that you will feel confident serving Udon to your customers.
The curriculum focuses on making healthy and additive-free soups and sauces for Udon. After acquiring basic knowledge about the ingredients and how to use them, you will be taught Yamato’s original Udon soup and sauce recipes.
Among the dishes enjoyed by the people during the Edo period included broiled eel, sushi and tempura, but their consumption did not compare to that of soba and none of them were as widely and frequently eaten throughout the year. Soba was popular not only among the general public but also with the feudal lords. Judging from the fact that it made an appearance in a variety of literature including haikus and senryus (satirical poems), it is clear that soba had become pervasive and added an amusing element to the peoples’ lives.
Sobakiri, prepared by kneading buckwheat flour with water, came to be called soba for short. The noodle form of soba actually appeared before 1590 when Ieyasu Tokugawa was compelled to move to the Kanto region and took possession of the Edo Castle.
Waterwheel mills, which offered a revolutionary process to the manufacturing of flour products, became common during the Edo period. In addition to the increase in the planting of buckwheat crops under the Cultivation Promotion, a variety of factors such as the drastic growth in productivity due to the development of waterwheel mills and improvement in soba kneading technologies supported the foundation for the increased soba consumption.
White-coloured sarashina soba is produced by using refined flour prepared with the center part of the seeds.
By including more of the part closer to the husks, soba becomes darker. There are also some special kinds of soba in which powdered tea or yuzu are added to the dough. It is interesting to see the different styles of craftsmanship in the varieties of soba. In addition to cut soba, there is a number of ways to enjoy the flavors of buckwheat in Japan, including sobagaki (buckwheat dumplings) and oyaki (pan-fried buns).
In the Yamato Noodle School Soba Course, you will learn how to make Soba by hand and by machine. Handmade Soba may have better taste and texture, but it costs more and takes more time than machine-made Soba. Practical experience with both methods will help you understand the difference between them so you can decide which one would be most appropriate for your shop.
Also you will be taught the proper way to make good soup or sauce for Soba noodles. You will begin by preparing stock with ingredients such as bonito and seaweed. With Yamato’s method, you can make additive-free and tasty traditional Soba soup and sauce that you will feel confident serving to your customers.