MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When you think of ramen, you probably think back to a nice, cheap meal in college.
But we’re not talking about what you ate in the dorms.
“Absolutely not,” United Noodles owner Eric Fung said. “It’s supposed to give a person the feel of complete four food groups in one dish.”
WCCO viewers voted the ramen at United Noodles in Minenapolis as the best in Minnesota.
The word “ramen” comes from the Chinese words “la” and “mian,” or “pull noodle.” How ramen became an iconic dish of Japan is still a bit of mystery.
“The prevailing story is that a Japanese chef learned ramen from a Chinese cook,” Fung said.
Today each bowl of ramen has four base ingredients: Broth, noodles, toppings and tare (or seasonings). The tare at United Noodles has over 20 ingredients, but the broth is king.
“While other ingredients are the star of the dish, the broth is the soul,” Fung said.
“Every two days we start a new broth with bones broiled for two days,” United Noodles chef Paul Johnson said.
Their signature dish called the “Dramen ramen,” topped with pork belly, caramelized onion, black garlic oil, leeks, soy egg and bamboo shoots.
“The flavor they put in it here is just awesome,” Minneapolis Fire captain Brian Jacobsen, who stopped by for lunch, said.
If you want to make your own ramen, you can get the ingredients in their super market. United Noodles serves as one of the largest Asian super markets in the country.
“United Noodles becomes a one stop shop for a lot of chefs top chefs in the twin cities and find that new ingredient,” Fung said.
It’s the ramen they’re serving up from the kitchen that makes United Noodles some of the best Minnesota has to offer.
United Noodles originally started as a noodle factory in 1972 by a family friend who came to America from the Philippines. Today United Noodles serves 40,000 bowls of ramen in a year.