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Nagasaki Champon Noodles

Champon (ちゃんぽん ), also known as Chanpon, is a noodle dish that is a regional cuisine of Nagasaki, Japan. Due to the inspiration from Chinese cuisine, it is also a form of Japanese Chinese cuisine. Champon is made by frying pork, seafood and vegetables with lard; a soup made with chicken and pig bones is added. Ramen noodles made especially for champon are added and then boiled. Unlike other ramen dishes, only one pan is needed as the noodles are boiled in the soup. Depending on the season and the situation, the ingredients differ. Hence the taste and style may depend on the location and time of year.

History

Champon was first served by Shikairō (四海楼), a Chinese restaurant in Nagasaki. According to the restaurant, it was based on a dish in Fujian cuisine, tonniishiimen (湯肉絲麵) In the middle of Meiji period, the owner saw a need for a cheap, but filling, meal that suited the palates of hundreds of Chinese students who came to Japan for schooling opportunities. Nowadays, champon is a popular specialty food (or meibutsu) of Nagasaki.

Nagasaki Champon Noodles
Champon is made by frying pork, seafood and vegetables with lard; a soup made with chicken and pig bones is added. Ramen noodles made especially for champon are added and then boiled. Unlike other ramen dishes, only one pan is needed as the noodles are boiled in the soup. Depending on the season and the situation, the ingredients differ. Hence the taste and style may depend on the location and time of year.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 115 g thinly sliced cooked pork, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 115 g squid, cleaned and sliced into rings
  • 115 g scallops, cut into 1 cm thick slices
  • 115 g small shrimp, peeled
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced into 5 cm long pieces
  • ½ onion, peeled and cut into ½ cm thick slices
  • 115 g shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 115 g cabbage, cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ cup sake
  • 2 litres ramen soup base, hot
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 spring onions , trimmed and sliced on an angle into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 packages (about 170 g each) fresh-frozen ramen noodles (see Ramen Noodles for substitutes)
  • 1 tablespoon ground sesame
Instructions
To prepare the champon soup
  1. Heat the sesame oil in a saucepan over high heat.
  2. Add the pork and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the squid, scallops, and shrimp, and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds more.
  4. Add the carrot and onion, and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the shiitake mushrooms and napa cabbage, cooking and stirring for 1 minute.
  5. Add the sake and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the ramen soup, salt, soy sauce, and mirin. Cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the milk and spring onions. Cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat.
To prepare the ramen
  1. Fill a large stockpot with water and place over high heat. Ready 4 large bowls on a work surface.
  2. When the water boils, add the noodles. Stir the noodles for about 10 seconds, so they separate and cook evenly.
  3. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the noodles are cooked through.
  4. Drain the noodles into a colander and divide them among the 4 bowls.
  5. Pour a quarter of the champon soup into each bowl, over the ramen.
  6. Make sure the pork, seafood, and vegetables are divided evenly.
  7. Garnish with ground sesame and serve piping hot.

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