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Things you are doing wrong when eating ramen

A few rules of thumb are necessary to tackle this unwieldy food

Ket Krader | Bloomberg 

Ramen, Ivan Ramen, Food, Chopsticks
Ivan Orkin adds toppings of various ingredients to a bowl of ramen at Ivan Ramen in Tokyo. He is the founder of Ivan Ramen, which has two locations in New York. Photo: Bloomberg

For fans, is a thing of beauty, taut in a steaming rich broth, ready for

Yet devouring a bowl of can be... daunting. Few inspire such a cult-like following, and yet it’s kind of unwieldy to eat. Do you slurp up the long noodles, or attempt to “cut” them up with your Do you copy the guy that picked up his bowl and drank from it, or has he just never been to a before?

For some general rules of thumb, we turned to Ivan Orkin, founder of Ivan Ramen, which has two locations in New York. Orkin, a white guy from New York state and a star of Season 3 on Chef’s Table, started his career in Tokyo by watching experts cook; he caused a sensation when he opened his own shop in the Japanese capital.

Orkin has spent years studying the art of and knows exactly what — and what not to do — with your precious bowl of Here are his rules, in his own words.

  •  You’re letting it get cold: The first rule of is to eat it while it’s hot. No smart person would push aside a fresh-from-the-oven pizza to start eating salad, right? The majority of arrives with a hot broth, which means can overcook if they sit for too long. 

  •  You’re battling your noodles: When a bowl of is placed in front of you, the will probably be coiled together. If you take a moment to untangle them with your chopsticks, pulling them out of the coil, they’re easier to eat. If you just grab a large section of the tangle, the will flight you back — they’ll all come along, and then you can’t fit the bite into your mouth. 

  •  You’re not slurping: Do not be afraid to slurp your In Japan, it’s expected. For one thing, it cools hot down. you can slurp are also the sign of a broth with enough fat to cling to them. If you can’t slurp — if the noodle feels dry — the broth isn’t rich enough. 

  •  You’re biting off more than you can chew: A lot of people make the mistake of grabbing a giant pile of that they can’t really handle. Rule of thumb: Take a smaller amount than you think you want. You do not want to be sucking into your mouth and then biting them in half so that some falls back into the bowl. Plan for a full — but not overwhelming — mouthful of

  •  You’re not paying attention: I like to think of preparation as an action sport, an interactive activity. If you’re lucky enough to sit at a bar that overlooks the kitchen, watch them build the bowl. It’s a surprisingly complex procedure for something that seems so simple. 

  •  You’re not taking toppings seriously: When I go to a shop for the first time, I choose the bowl that the place is most famous for. I will go easy on the toppings. I want to know if I like the flavour of the and what the fuss is all about. If I go back, then I see if they have a special, and that’s when I experiment with toppings.

  •  You’re ignoring your beverage: Be ready to drink a tremendous amount of water with your Or beer. Or both. There’s a lot of salt in the broth, whether you know it or not, and if you don’t drink water, you are going to feel crappy, I guarantee it. In Japan, they sell a special black oolong tea that helps you digest the pork fat in tonkotsu  

  •  You’re minding your manners too much: It’s okay to drink the broth from the bowl. It’s considered a compliment to how good the broth is. But finish it at your own risk; those broths are flavour bombs, packed with sodium. Another thing that is okay to do is to ask for extra if you’ve finished the ones in your bowl. Last, have a stack of napkins handy, can be a bit of a mess. That’s why is so popular. 


© Bloomberg

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