Japan – Champon Noodles


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by Zayna Khan

This dish is noodles soup having many vegetables and fish, prawns, chicken with eggs and some seasonings. This dish is associated with Ramen noodles but it is having totally different good flavor. This dish is inspired by Chinese cuisine and is served world widely in many Japanese restaurants. It is served by adding different toppings like eggs, sesame seeds, Shichimi, Furikake, etc. Noodles of many different kinds can be used in this dish. Like we can use wheat noodles, white flour noodles, ramen noodles, egg noodles, etc. These noodles are dipped into a rich broth of meat we used in this noodles soup, most probably pork, fish, and prawns. Seafood is very versatile and added in many dishes of Japanese Cuisine. Chicken and other meat can also be added but these few pieces of meat are the traditionally and mostly used meat in this dish.

This dish has many types according to the addition of different ingredients, sauces, spices, etc. Sometimes, soup or broth of champion is made by adding pig bones, and then fried meat is added with vegetables.

This dish is originated from NAGASAKI, Japan. This is inspired by Chinese cuisine. Eaten in countries like Japan, Korea, and China. Some different areas of Japan have differently represented this dish. Some have soya sauce-based soup, Miso soup-based noodles dish, spicy noodles soup.

HISTORY

The first time this dish was served in Nagasaki was at the Chinese restaurant, by Shikairō. This dish was inspired by Fujian cuisine that is native Chinese cuisine. This dish was named ”HOT WATER MEAT THREAD NOODLES”. This was adopted by the Japanese from the Meiji Era and now champon is served throughout the world.

The name of the dish came up by Hookein word, CHIAH-PNG, which means TO EAT MEAT.

It is also said that this word champon derived from the Malay, CAMPUR, means MIXED.

Both the theories and the word have a meaning related to this dish. Because this dish has the addition of many meat pieces in it and it is a mixture of different ingredients.

JAPANESE VARIETIES OF CHAMPON

In Japan, different areas and cities have different flavored-based soup noodles.

1.Nagasaki Champon

Nagasaki champon has the best flavor in all the soup noodles because first of all this is the old traditional recipe of Native Chinese cuisine. This dish is very rich in flavors because it is made of pork and pig bones. The soup or broth of the champon is made up of pork and then vegetables like mushrooms, tofu, scallions, corns are added and shrimp or prawns are also added.

2.Tonniishiimen

This is an original Chinese recipe of soupy noodles from which the Japanese have invented their own dish Champon. This dish was cooked with fish and prawns with few vegetables like carrots and beans, etc. This was the dish that is even now served in Japan and China. Although the cooking methods and techniques are advanced. We cannot get the exact old taste.

3.Soya sauce based champon

This flavored champon is famous in Tottori.

4. Miso broth champon

This dish is based on authentic soup, Miso soup, and noodles with vegetables are added like champon. This dish is a fusion of two different dishes into a very delicious individual dish.

KODOKU NO GURUME

This is the very famous Japanese cuisine, seinen manga series of drama. It is adapted by television as a Chinese web series. The character Gorō Inogashira loves to eat champon noodles. This dish was hiped then by this web series. That was the bowl of Nagasaki champon noodles. Gorō Inogashira travels the Japan, visits restaurants, and tastes the local cuisine.

MAIN ELEMENTS OF THE CHAMPON

NOODLES

The classic Nagasaki champon noodles are prepared with white plain flour, similar to ramen noodles. It is thicker in diameter. The tight dough is prepared by twisting, rolling, pulling the dough then cut into desired shapes. This can be thin but in champon, thick noodles are prepared and then added into the broth of bones and meat.

Noodles are first cooked in boiling water with salt and oil to prevent stickiness. Then they are added into the broth with vegetables and some other toppings. It is served with many side dishes like eggs, some spices, sauteed vegetables, etc.

In Okinawa champon, noodles are prepared by rice flour. The rice flour noodles are added to Okinawa champon.

Noodles are popular in many cuisines :

  • Chinese cuisine
  • Japanese cuisine
  • Korean cuisine
  • Filipino cuisine
  • Italian cuisine

SOUP or BROTH

The main original soup base is made up of pork meat, or chicken but other options are also added like fish, prawns, etc. Usually, pig bones are added to make broth for a more delicious and rich taste. The extractions of bones are more good in taste than only meat. So meat with bones is used usually to make broth.

Some spices according to the recipe are added with meat and bones. Cook until the meat is tendered and bones are infused with broth. Then the meat is cut into small pieces and bones are removed.

Then fried pork slices, bacon, prawns, and vegetables are added to cook together. In the end, noodles are added and served with toppings.

The basic broth can be prepared by

  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Prawns
  • Pig bones

VEGETABLES

Vegetables are also added as the main element of the dish. Only vegetable champon can also be cooked. The vegetarian version of champon has vegetable stock with noodles and vegetable pieces. There are many vegetables you can add to this dish, but most probably used vegetables are :

  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Corns
  • Mushrooms
  • Welson onions
  • Brocolli
  • Snow peas
  • French Beans
  • Sprouts, etc.

TOPPINGS

There are various toppings like :

  • Sesame seeds
  • Sesame oil
  • Boiled egg
  • Raw egg
  • Poppy seeds
  • Nori seaweed
  • Pork belly slices
  • Shredded chicken
  • Daikon
  • Beni Shoga

OTHER SIDE DISHES

  • Miso soup
  • Chili paste
  • Japanese fried rice
  • Kushiage
  • Pan fried prawns
  • Pickled tomatoes
  • Bread, etc.

INGREDIENTS OF THE DISH

FOR SOUP

  • Dashi broth : 2 cups
  • Pork : 1 lb
  • Chicken broth : 2 cups
  • Mirin : 4 tbsp
  • Soya sauce : 6 tbsp
  • Rice vinegar : 6 tbsp
  • Sake : 2 tbsp
  • Salt : 1 tsp
  • Sugar : 2 tbsp

MEAT

  • Pork belly slices : 1 lb
  • Shrimp : 1 lb
  • Squid : 1 lb
  • Chicken : 1 lb

VEGETABLES

  • Onion : 1
  • Cabbage : 1
  • Peas : 1/2 cup
  • Corns : 1/2 cup
  • Beans : 1/2 cup
  • Carrot : 1/2 cup

OTHER INGREDIENTS

  • Champon noodles : 2 packs
  • Soya sauce : 1/2 cup
  • Mirin : 2 tbsp
  • Salt : 1 tsp
  • Black pepper : 1 tsp

COOKING METHOD

  • We need to cook broth, for that take dashi broth, chicken stock and pork bones in a cooking pot and add 2 glass of water with salt, pepper, soya sauce, rice vinegar.
  • Cook this broth for 20 minutes on medium high flame.
  • On other pot bring the water with salt and some oil, when it start to boil add champon noodles.
  • These noodles required 10 to 12 minutes to cook completely.
  • When broth cooked properly remove the bones and add vegetables and meat into the broth.
  • The vegetable and meat started to cook in broth then add soya sauce, mirin, sake, etc and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  • Then add champon noodles into broth and serve.
  • Serve in a bowl with raw egg on the top and same some sesame seeds.
  • ENJOY 🙂
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