No.177 (12/10/10)

Nagasaki Chanpon is finally here in Tohoku

By Keiko H. Johnson
Staff Writer

One of the popular chain restaurants in Japan, Ringer Hut, recently opened their bistro at the food court in Jusco Aeon Mall, which is their first food booth to open in the Tohoku area. The Ringer Hut is a popular noodle shop which serves both the Chanpon noodle dish and Sara Udon, which are famous noodle dishes from Nagasaki Prefecture in the Kyushu region. Ringer Hut mainly distributes their business in the Tokyo area, as well as in the southern part of Honshu; yet, it has finally landed its business in Tohoku this summer.

The Nagasaki Chanpon is a Japanese noodle dish similar to the ramen noodle dish. Although the flavor of the soup and the texture of the noodles determine each flavor of ramen noodle dishes, the topping added to the Chanpon noodle dish separates it from those of ramen noodle dishes and is what makes this such a special dish from Nagasaki. Vegetables, seafood and pork are stir-fried together and put on top of the noodles in the pork-based white soup. As well as the ramen noodle, the dish has been one of the most popular dishes even among foreigners living in Tokyo and the southern part of Honshu in Japan. The stir-fried vegetables with pork and seafood add a nice rich flavor to its pork-based soup and blends well with the noodles in the bowl.

At Ringer Hut, not only the Nagasaki Chanpon noodle is served, but they also serve a dish called Sara Udon, another well-known cuisine of Nagasaki Prefecture. Its deep fried crispy thin noodle is not at all similar to the Udon noodles we normally consume. The ingredients used for the topping of Chanpon are used for the Sara-Udon, but with a thick-textured sauce instead of the soup. The rich textured sauce with stir fried vegetables put on top of the deep fried crispy noodles gives this dish a distinct texture and is a pleasant satisfaction to your stomach.

The Ringer Hut is located at the food court on the second floor of Jusco, Shimoda Mall. The menu is written in English and is on the cash register, so there is no need to worry about communicating in Japanese. The Ringer Hut offers a various mixture of set menus with side dishes. A set of pot stickers (another name for gyoza) goes well with either one of the dishes and it is by far the best set menu I have ever ordered. Enjoy the taste of Nagasaki while you are here in Japan!

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