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What is Tsukemen?

July 29, 2018

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Hello everyone! And welcome to our latest class on ramen. We’ve covered Tonkotsu and Chuka Soba, but we haven’t talked too much about Tsukemen yet. Which is odd, because it’s probably the ramen that we eat the most here in Japan. Right in Kichijoji station, hidden behind a McDonalds is a crazy delicious tsukemen shop that we love, that we always wanted to film in, but it’s too tight and too dark to be able to film anything there. Fortunately, another shop we like, Katsumoto Kanda, invited us to shoot at their location, which is great, because they make aaaaamaaaaazing tsukemen. And they show two different kinds of noodles, which is great for the purposes of an educational video. Score!

We got to learn a lot about Tsukemen in shooting this video as well. Did you know that Tsukemen originated in Tokyo? While Tonkotsu was made famous from Fukuoka and Hakata, Tsukemen is the newest of the popular ramens. I think – from what a foodie friend told me – it originated in Ikebukuro, but I’m not too sure. I find it bizarre that it’s also considered a summer dish, because we eat it all year round. I understand that it could be better for summer because it’s less hot than a regular ramen. The cold noodles work on hot summer days, but they also work on breezy fall days, cold winter days, and light spring days as well. We did the research personally for the past couple of years and can confirm: tsukemen is dope all year round. Also, did you know Martina took me to a famous Tsukemen shop for my birthday two years ago? That’s how much we like it! Yes, we have tsukemen a lot.

I’m really starting to appreciate noodles more than ever before since coming to Japan, and I think what I said about how I consume noodles in other countries is true for me, and maybe for you as well? I’m going to see how I feel about noodles more now when I travel. I’m skeptical about rice noodles, which I love when they’re in soup, but do I like them for their own taste or just for the broth it’s in? I’ll let you known in a few weeks once I conduct my research. The point of this is, though, that I’m starting to discern things in noodles now that I wasn’t thinking about before. Their bite, their bounce, their wheatiness, their throat feel. If they’re salty, is their broth sweet? If they’re soft, is their broth salty? Katsumoto Kanda’s tsukemen offered two great noodles, one thick, one thin, with totally different tastes and textures, and we loved it! I hope you like it as well, if you give it a try. And we’re not just saying that because this was a sponsored video. We don’t promote restaurants we don’t think have delicious food.

If you’re looking for some more laughs, check out our bloopers below!

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What is Tsukemen?

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  1. I think you should go on a ramen tour in Tokyo and see which ones should make it into your list. I love your B-kyu gourmet video too, please make more of those i.e. what other types of B-kyu food are popular amongst the locals. <3

    1 day ago
  2. Hey Simon and Martina, I have been watching your videos for years, literally. One thing that have noticed is the change in style, especially when you moved to Japan, or additional animated texts. This video is the first time I really see it as an educational video (school ish) because you added the characters to the ingredients of the dish! I am planning a trip to Japan (inspired by your videos) and the one thing I’ve always gotten hung up on is learning to read the characters for restaurant food. I don’t need to know dog, shoe, or niece. I just need to learn how to read a ramen shop menu or an okonomiaki menus without ordering a bucket of cheese. Thanks, Simon and Martina!

    2 weeks ago