Kanako's Kitchen

Tampopo & The Ramen Fetish

Posted in Uncategorized by Francisco Toro on August 4, 2010

You’ll have noticed that Kanako has never added a Ramen recipe to this blog. This scene, from the hilarious 80s Ramen cult comedy Tampopo, pretty much explains why:

A seemingly simple noodle soup with pork and a couple of vegetables, it turns out the intricacies of making a perfect bowl of Ramen contain multitudes. As the dish’s sprawling Internet following suggests, Ramen is the focus of some decidedly weird fetishism in Japan (and beyond). Particularly in Tokyo, Ramen draws a level of obsessive attention-to-detail that all but bars amateurs from even attempting it.

To make a long story short, Ramen is not home cooking. Unless you’re a pro, this is a dish best reserved for when you’re dining out.

Tampopo, by the way, is great fun. Though the way-over-the-top Ramen stuff is front and center, the film really is a must-see for Japanese foodies of all stripes – scenes lovingly send up everything from Rice omelette making to Beijing duck skin pancakes to Europeans’ incomprehensible aversion to making a slurping noise as they eat pasta.

Do rent it if you get a chance. But do be warned, while most of it is quite good natured, some of the sexier scenes stray over from merely offbeat to downright disturbing.

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5 Responses

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  1. Emma said, on August 4, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    But where to find a great ramen place in Montreal….? I think I’m damned and never will be eating ramen again (that’s a great excuse to go to Sapporo again).

  2. Kanako said, on August 5, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Hi Emma,
    I’ve been to ramen place outside Japan only once in Paris.
    But it really wasn’t very good.
    Unfortunately it seems that we have to go back to Japan to have ramen….

  3. Poutine Pundit said, on August 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    I know of two places: Ramen Ya on Saint Laurent and Sumo Ramen in Chinatown. The former was good with a nice atmosphere, the latter wasn’t.

  4. Pascal said, on September 3, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Hey I didn’t know you had a cooking web site!!
    How come you’ve never mentionned it???
    Anyway I’m glad to see this and I will be checking it all the time now!
    And I love this movie!!!!!
    (If you want I have it on my computer 😉 )
    See you soon!!

    • kanako said, on September 3, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      Hi Pascal,
      I’m soooo sorry that I didn’t know that I didn’t tell you about this blog!
      Hope you enjoy this blog and Japanese cooking.
      See you soon


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