Reimen Beat the Heat
Turns out cold treats can be savoury, too!
Try a bowl of reimen for a refreshing summer dish that’s also a hearty meal.
Soy Sauce Maple Vinegar Ramen with garlic chili oil
For $13, you can savour Touhenboku’s Soy Sauce Maple Vinegar Ramen tossed with sweet and sour soy sauce and spicy garlic chili oil.
The cold ramen is served with tender chicken chashu (braised chicken) and kinshi tamago (thin omelette). The dish is also topped with seasonal summer vegetables such as sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, bean sprouts and pea sprouts, and it’s accented with sesame seeds. This meal is ap- pealing to Eastern and Western palates and is available until the end of September only at the Queen & University location. See the inside back cover (p. 47) of this issue for a special promotion.
At Santouka, the global ramen chain, consistency is key. They use the same recipes worldwide, all created by the head chef in Japan. Enjoy a crowd-pleasing bowl of Salad Ramen, served with a subtly sweet sauce that adds dimension to this refreshing dish. It can be ordered spicy or regular, and is served with shrimp or tofu for $13.45.
Santouka Ramen | www.santouka.co.jp/en | 91 Dundas St. E., Toronto | 647-748-1717 | Open: Daily 11 am–11 pm
Goma Cold Noodle
Torontonians rejoiced when Okinawa-based Ryoji opened its first international branch in Toronto’s Little Italy. Goma Cold Noodle, their summer spe- cial, starts with Okinawa soba, a thicker variation of ramen. Complemented by a bold sesame sauce with lime and chilli peppers, this dish satisfies your tastebuds for $10. Don’t miss their drink specials for the full Okinawa experience.
Kinton Ramen is serving up traditional fare with an emphasis on simplicity and authentic- ity. Chilled Ramen, a tsukemen-style dish, is the summer feature item. Noodles topped with pork shoulder and nori are paired with a quail egg, wasabi and chopped green onion, which should be mixed with the dipping sauce. This cool dish is $11.90 and
available at all Kinton branches.
Kinton Ramen | www.kintonramen.com
<Kinton 1> 51 Baldwin St., Toronto | 647-748-8900 <Kinton 2> 668 Bloor St. W., Toronto | 416-551-8177 <Kinton 3> 402 Queen St. W., Toronto | 647-350-8666 <Kinton 4> 5165 Yonge St., North York | 647-350-7887 Open hours vary depending on the location.
Ryus Noodle Bar
Cold Salad Ramen
raditional with a twist is what you’ll find at Ryus Noodle Bar, and their Cold Salad Ramen is no exception. Starting with an original recipe for the noodles created by the owner, this dish is served with a spicy homemade sesame sauce and premium toppings. As a special promotion, both the regular and large size are $12.25 right now.
Ryus Noodle Bar | www.ryusnoodlebar.com
33 Baldwin St., Toronto | 647-344-9306
Open: Mon–Sat 11 am–10:30 pm • Sun 11 am–10 pm
Cold Yuzu Shio
Family-friendly Ramen Raijin serves up a unique mix of sweet and savoury with their Cold Yuzu Shio Tsukemen. Yuzu and honey-marinated lemon slices create a light, citrusy-flavoured broth, and are complemented by noodles coated with a home- made aromatic oil. Toppings like chicken, sprouts and leeks create a well-balanced bowl for $11.95.
Ramen Raijin | zakkushi.com/raijin
3 Gerrard St. E., Toronto | 647-748-1500
Open: Sun–Thu 11:30 am–11 pm • Fri–Sat 11:30 am–12 am
Why reimen might be this summer’s next food craze
Craving a bowl of ramen on a hot summer day? Luckily, you can indulge in your favourite bowl of noodles and satisfy your craving for a cool treat. Reimen, or cold ramen, is very similar to traditional ramen, but it is rinsed and chilled before serving. There are many different varieties of reimen, each with its own unique ingredients and preparation methods, but they all have two things in common: their cool, refreshing tem- perature and their delicious taste.
Summers in Japan are quite hot and humid, meaning people have to search for ways to keep cool. While there are plenty of snacks and desserts to help beat the heat, options for main courses can be limited. Traditionally, in Japanese cuisine, main dishes are hearty and served hot. But when it’s so hot you can’t bear the idea of warm food, reimen gives you the best of both worlds: everything you love about ramen but served in a fresh and cooling manner.
Aside from the obvious benefit of enjoying cold noodles in hot weather, reimen has numerous health and wellness benefits. As the weather heats up, digestion can become sluggish and weak. Reimen is often topped with fresh, seasonal vegetables, which are loaded with fibre to help keep your system moving. Rice vinegar, another common component of reimen, also contributes to a stronger appetite, which is essential to good digestion. What’s more, rice vinegar not only adds a bright pop of flavour to the dish, it also improves blood sugar and has antibacterial properties.
Reimen has had a long evolution. Since egg noodles have been a key component in Japanese cuisine for hundreds of years, many different styles of reimen have developed over time, and each style has its own unique history. Many insist that reimen gained popularity because restaurants wanted to continue to capitalize on ramen’s popularity during the hot summer months.
Historically, cold noodles like soba or udon were already popular in Japan, so cold ramen noodles were destined to be a hit. And this summer suc- cess is now available in our city, too.
A few years ago, Toronto’s ramen noodle craze was at its peak. During this “ramen boom,” many new restaurants opened up, and many eager customers would face long lineups for a taste of their favourite steaming hot bowl of noodles. And, what with Toronto’s various multicultural influences, ramen dishes were soon reinterpreted and reimagined in many unique ways. Borrowing from different cultures and dif- ferent food styles, it seemed that the possibilities were truly endless.
Since then, ramen has remained a favourite for Toronto foodies. And with the arrival of sum- mer and the ramen craze still going strong, reimen is set to be the next big thing in Toronto’s food scene.
There are three main styles of reimen, each with its own unique characteristics and history
Tsukemen takes reference from cold soba where the cold noodle is dipped into a broth, creating a pleasantly mild tempera- ture. First introduced in the 1950s, when chefs started serving ramen using cold soba methods, it rose to popularity in the 1970s.
Hiyashi chuka style
Hiyashi chuka, “cold Chinese,” is a dish inspired by Chinese cold noodles in the early 20th century. Topped with fresh veg- etables, this colourful dish is also known as Cold Salad Noodle. Enjoy this dish as is—no extra dipping or mixing required!
Mazemen (or yu soba) is more heavily sea- soned and served with heartier toppings. Maze is the Japanese word for “stir,” so the dish should be stirred before eating. Some believe it has Taiwanese influences, with the cold temperature being a modification.