Although ramen noodles originally came from China, they"ve taken root and evolved in unique ways all over Japan and has given rise to a truly diverse range of ramen varieties. In recent years, local varieties of Japanese ramen have become more well known internationally, leading to a dramatic increase in the popularity of Japanese ramen in some countries. One such slightly-offbeat variety of ramen is well loved in Kochi. It"s known as nabeyaki ramen. Boiled in a large pot, the thin, al dente noodles are served in a chicken stock and soy sauce soup characterized by its light but powerful umami flavor. Toppings include chicken, fish cakes, green onions, and raw egg that give nabeyaki ramen a distinctly different taste compared to typical ramen.
Nabeyaki ramen was created not long after the Second World War. A certain local cafeteria began a delivery service, and had the idea to keep the ramen hot by serving it in a heat-retaining "nabe"-style pot instead of a normal bowl. It was conceived from the thoughtful desire to provide people with the hottest, most delicious ramen possible. Eventually, nabeyaki ramen became a staple menu item and spread to other restaurants. Even now, 50 years later, it"s a beloved local soul food known as "the hottest ramen in Japan." Nabeyaki ramen is served at over 30 restaurants centered in Susaki City, including not only ramen shops and local cafeterias, but even coffee shops, izakaya pubs, and Korean barbecue restaurants.