The myth of slurping your Japanese noodles is widespread, to slurp or not to slurp when eating Ramen? Well, there is a good reason to slurp; the added air carries the aroma and flavours of the ingredients around the mouth; heightening the sensory experience. Slurp for the same reason that a good sommelier would, when tasting a new wine. Of course, there is a noise limit here; unless you are home alone. Nobody likes to be sat next to a slurper, in a Ramen bar; so keep it down. There is a great guide to slurping here, from a Ramen bar in New York.
Slurping also allows the Ramen to cool down, so you don’t burn yourself. The atmosphere of a genuine Japanese Ramen bar, is created by the steam and rush as the chefs focus on serving the bowl piping hot. This is one dish in Japanese cooking where you must be at your table and ready to eat when it is served, to appreciate the freshness and taste immediately.
If you are keen to discover how to make your own Ramen at home, I teach a special Japanese cooking class as part of my Street Food course; the focus is developing the perfect Ramen stock. In the meantime, enjoy that amazing Ramen stock aroma and eat in style this Winter.