Tag Archives: ramen

New Official Ramen Character: Baby Star Ramen Bee-Chan retires

ramen, new official ramen, baby star ramen, bee-chan, rinkya, japan

There’s a new official Ramen character for Baby Star Ramen. Bee-Chan retires. It’s the third character generation. It has appeared on December 20th. It’s a boy who is proud of his shop. He loves music and dancing, and eats Baby Star Ramen when he’s hungry. However, he hasn’t have a name. That’s why there’s a campaign until January 9, 2017. The winner will get 1 million yen (there will be a lottery). There’s another price: 360 Ramen meals, meals for a year. A maximum of 100 people will be the winners (also by lottery).

The winner name will be announced in the “Baby Star Character Name Ceremony” next January 31, 2017.

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Japan Word of the Day #91 – Okawari (second helping) and Kaedama


Today’s Word is: Okawari (おかわり) and Kaedama

In Japan, the phrase used to ask for refill or second helping is okawari(おかわり).”
You can use it for both beverages and food.
To be polite to servers, you’d generally want to add “onegai shimasu,” or “–wo kudasai” at the end of the phrase, in which both means “please.”

In ramen shops, there are special refills called kaedama (替玉).”
Kaedama is used to request refill for the noodle only.
So if you finish the noodle first, and plenty of broth is still in the bowl, you can just add another serving of noodle, which makes it better deal than ordering a whole another bowl of ramen. (Most kaedama is priced around 100-150 yen)


Image source: Nicovideo, Tabelog

Japan Word of the Day #62 – Menma (Ramen Topping)

Today’s Word is: Menma (メンマ)

Menma refers to fermented/pickled bamboo shoots that are widely used in Asian cuisine. In Japan, it’s most commonly used as a topping for ramen.



The yellow bamboo shoots in the ramen bowl above are called menma. This term only applies when it’s pickled in this way. Unprocessed, fresh bamboo shoots are called takenoko.

In the beginning, pickled bamboo shoots of this kind were called “sinachiku (シナチク),” where sina meant “Chinese,” and chiku meant “bamboo.” Sinachiku was already popular as ramen topping before WWII, especially in Kanto area.
However, in 1950’s, a Japanese import company was accused by Taiwanese sinachiku company regarding the fact the product is marketed as “Chinese bamboo,” while it’s made in Taiwan. So in order to resolve this conflict, the Japanese import company changed the product name to “menma,” which is combination of “men (noodle)” and “ma (short for machiku, a special kind of bamboos that grow in Taiwan and southern China.)”

Image source: Wikipedia

Weirdest instant ramen packages from Japan

Japan has a variety of instant ramen available in any supermarkets, convenience stores, 100 yen shops, etc. Some of the brands even made their ways outside Japan, such as Sapporo Ichiban and Maruchan.
When you go to some local areas, you’ll find some of the weirdest instant ramen on shelves. Here is a list of 14 weirdest ramen packages!

1) Beware of bears! Ripe’n’Dry Hokkaido Ramen


Just so you know, there isn’t any bear meat in this product. I assume Fujiwara Seimen, the maker of this ramen, used the bear image because Hokkaido is known as a home for many brown bears.
The ramen is supposedly very tasty, the noodle has been dried naturally for 3 days, and its texture is comparable to fresh ramen noodle.
Available on Amazon: salt flavor, soy sauce flavor.

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Japan Word of the Day #14 – Naruto (not anime)

Today’s Word is: Naruto (なると)

I received a question the other day asking what this is called in Japanese.



This is narutomaki, or simply a naruto.
Narutomaki is cured fish surimi (ground fish paste) reshaped into solid cake, with texture similar to that of imitation crab. You see these in a lot of Japanese ramen and soup dishes.
When you look at each slice of naruto, it has that distinct pink spiral pattern. Since this spiral looks like Naruto whirlpool, which is a common phenomenon seen in Naruto Strait, the name narutomaki was given to this food. (maki means a roll)


Naruto whirlpools in Naruto Strait


Naruto Strait is located between Awaji Island and Shikoku

It gives a nice color to otherwise monotonous dish like ramen!


Image sources: Wikipedia, Taikenda

Watch this Nissin Cup Noodle Transformer Robot Dance and Sing!

Happy 4th ofJuly! Is everyone having a great time today? For people who celebrate United States’s Independence Day, this is the day you’d want to feel happy and cheery. Catch up on shopping at Rinkya if you haven’t done so recently! Or maybe read some of Rinkya’s Buzzfeed posts for fun read.

Today I’m going to show you fun video clips of NISSIN Cup Noodle Robot Timer!

Here’s our buddy, NISSIN 40th Anniversary Cup Noodle Robot Timer.
It’s basically a ramen noodle transformer that’ll make your 3-minutes wait for ramen more enjoyable.
Watch the following video to see its dance and talk! It transforms, dances, gives you a fortune of the day, tells you about ramen trivia and ramen idioms.

Indeed, it works very hard to keep us entertained for 3 minutes!
For people who can’t view the video, here’s the transformation’s before and after.

Nissin-Cup-Noodle-Robot-Timer-Transformer-Rinkya-Japan2 Nissin-Cup-Noodle-Robot-Timer-Transformer-Rinkya-Japan3 DSC_7833a

So adorable, isn’t it?
NISSIN celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011, and this was one of the prizes for their lottery campaign. Only 10,000 lucky winners were able to adopt the robots!
Bid on NISSIN Cup Noodle Robot Timer 40th Anniversary Edition!

But wait, there’s more! In the following year, 2012, NISSIN did another birthday campaign.
This time, they had Cup Noodle Robot Timer Trio: Soy Flavor, Curry Flavor, and Seafood Flavor.

Each of the three flavors has different characteristics. The Soy Flavor Cup Noodle Robot Timer has an ability to play rock-paper-scissors with you. The Curry Flavor Cup Noodle Robot Timer is a hard-boiled guy (see the mustache?) with bold and fun personality. The Seafood Flavor Cup Noodle Robot Timer is a pretty lady with gentle personality.
Watch all three of them perform a dance and talk at the same time!

Nissin-Cup-Noodle-Robot-Timer-Trio-Transformer-Rinkya-Japan2 Nissin-Cup-Noodle-Robot-Timer-Trio-Transformer-Rinkya-Japan3 Nissin-Cup-Noodle-Robot-Timer-Trio-Transformer-Rinkya-Japan4

If I have all three of them, I’ll just play with them one by one, and my noodle will probably be very soggy afterward… 😛
Browse on Yahoo Japan Auction for all listings of NISSIN Cup Noodle Robot Timer Trio: Regular, Curry, and Seafood! Find the one you like and bid on it!

*Each listing usually only sells one of the three robots, not all three in a set, so be aware of that!

Enjoy your holiday, have fun, and be safe!