Forever and Ever, Ramen
Oklahoma Today|September/October 2020
Chefs are bringing a variety of true Japanese ramen to Oklahoma palates.
BECKY CARMAN

AFTER WORLD WAR II, staple food shortages in Japan sparked something so ubiquitous that it’s as likely to be in a Japanese family’s pantry as the dorm room of a stateside college student. Instant ramen, the flash-fried noodle packet invented by Momofuku Ando, was inspired by the casual Japanese stalls serving versions of the noodles-and broth dish while requiring nothing from a home cook but the ability to heat water.

Instant ramen is but one end of a vast ramen spectrum. Variations stem from different regions, ingredients, cooking techniques, and toppings. In the past few years, restaurants in Oklahoma have tackled the laborious process of whittling down these options to assemble their own perfectly slurpable menus, bringing far-less-than instant ramen to the state.

For JeffChanchaleune, James Beard Award semifinalist and chef-owner and partner at Goro Ramen in Oklahoma City’s Plaza District, his restaurant is a manifestation of those instant noodles from childhood coming home to roost.

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