Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

You're eating your ramen wrong

You know the delicious Japanese noodle soup bowls? You've been eating them wrong.

Chef Mitsuhiro Tozaki has opened Auckland's first ramen "lab" to help teach diners the art of sucking and slurping noodles.

"First you savour the aroma and appreciate the presentation, then you take a spoonful of soup, which has taken hours to prepare," Tozaki said.

"You then start eating the noodles by sucking them up...don't be afraid to make slurping noises because it shows you are really enjoying."

Only then will you have the full and complete experience of enjoying ramen noodles.

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish, consisting of wheat noodles served in meat broth flavoured in soy sauce or miso, and topped with ingredients such as chashu (sliced pork), nori (dried seaweed), red ginger and spring onions.

Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation, from miso ramen in Hokkaido to tonkotsu in Kyushu and Sapporo ramen.

Tozaki, a former mechanic who returned to Japan to learn the art of cooking ramen from a master, said he hopes to come up with new flavours that would become Auckland's own variety.

Ramen Lab opened last month at Huron Street in Takapuna.

Tozaki's wife, Fumiko, who is front of house said: "One of the reasons we call our restaurant Ramen Lab is because we will be experimenting with flavours, and getting a dish that is most suited for New Zealand.

"For those who want to learn the art of eating ramen noodles the Japanese way, we will also show them how."

However, in good news for silent slurpers, she added: "Every Japanese knows ramen and every Japanese would have eaten ramen.

"It's nothing fancy, so there's no right way or wrong way to eat ramen," she said.

- NZ Herald

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