Champon: Noodle Soup that Nagasaki City Boasts
Do you know the meaning of the Japanese word Chanpon (ちゃんぽん), also spelled Champon? The term Champon originally means mixing up different things.
For example, if one goes for a drink somewhere, orders some different varieties of alcoholic beverages, and drinks them all,
the alcohols come together in the person’s stomach, and Japanese people call this Champon (ちゃんぽん).
But in another case, if one says I want to eat Champon, the one probably refers to a noodle dish with fried pork, seafood, and vegetables.
Nagasaki Champon (長崎ちゃんぽん)
The latter one is a specialty dish of Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture called Nagasaki Champon (長崎ちゃんぽん).
Nagasaki Champon is a bowl of noodle soup similar to Ramen, featuring thick wheat noodles and various garnishes.
Nagasaki Champon usually garnishes itself with over ten varieties of toppings.
Typical ingredients include pork, vegetables (like cabbage, leek, bean sprout, and cloud ear mushroom), seafood (like shrimp and squid), and thinly sliced Kamaboko fish cake.
The cooking of Nagasaki Champon is quite different from Ramen. Specifically,
- First, the ingredients are stir-fried with lard
- Next, the fried mixture is simmered in a cloudy whitish broth made with chicken and pork bones
- Then, special thick wheat noodles for the dish are added and cooked
As with Ramen, Nagasaki Champon comes with the noodles using a Kansui (かん水) alkaline saltwater called Touaku (唐あく).
If you plan to go on a trip to Nagasaki City, I highly recommend visiting the Chinese restaurant known as the birthplace of the Champon noodle soup named Shikairou (四海樓).
Shop Information: Shikairou (四海樓)
- Address: 4-5 Matsugae-Machi, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Pref. (MAP)
- Open: (Monday to Sunday) 11:30 to 15:00, 17:00 to 21:00 (Last call for food: 20:00)
- Closed: Irregular holidays (often on Tuesdays)
Where to Eat
The Champon specialized restaurant chain that originated in Nagasaki City, Ringerhut (リンガーハット), has over 700 locations throughout Japan,
where you can enjoy an authentic bowl of Nagasaki Champon noodle soup. Also, the dish is available in instant noodle form.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia ちゃんぽん )