Fukuoka (pronounced Fookoka) is renowned for the quality of its food, which is saying something in Japan. Particularly its Ramen. Ramen is a broth, made from pork bones, to which noodles are added together with vegetables and meat or seafood. It is a dish whish has been popularised in England by the Wagamama chain, whose product, unfortunately, is nothing like the real thing.
Tonight I’m treated to the Fukuoka ramen speciality. Its a shared dish which is served in a cauldron which is placed on a burner in the centre of the table. There is some debate as to the nature of the meat in the dish, which is described variously as “hormones” “intestines” and “stomach lining”. The meat is white and looks suspiciously like tripe. The vegetables are cabbage and spring onion (the green part, which we would throw away). The dish is eaten in two stages- at first with just the vegetables and meat, plus some tofu. Once the meat has been eaten, more broth is added to the cauldron and when this has come to the boil, noodles are added, which are eaten separately, with the customary Japanese slurping.