Japanese Noodle Soup: Nagasaki Champon
Do you know the meaning of the Japanese word “Chanpon (ちゃんぽん)”? which is also spelled Champon. Actually, the term Champon originally means to mix different things together.
For example, if one goes for a drink somewhere, orders some different varieties of alcoholic drinks, and drinks them all, the alcohols mix together in the person’s stomach, and Japanese people call this “Champon (ちゃんぽん)”.
In another case, if one says “I want to eat Champon”, the Champon probably refers to a Japanese noodle dish with fried pork, seafood, and vegetables.
Nagasaki Champon (長崎ちゃんぽん)
Actually, the “Champon (ちゃんぽん)” I introduce here is a specialty of the city of Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture, called “Nagasaki Champon (長崎ちゃんぽん)”.
Nagasaki Champon is a noodle soup similar to Ramen and is characterized by its thick wheat noodles and a rich variety of ingredients used.
In fact, over 10 different kinds of ingredients are usually used in the noodle dish Nagasaki Champon.
And typical ingredients include pork, vegetables like cabbage and bean sprouts, seafood like shrimps and squid, and thinly sliced Kamaboko fish cake.
The cooking process of the noodle soup Nagasaki Champon is quite different from that of ramen.
Specifically, ingredients are first stir-fried with lard and the fried mixture is simmered in a cloudy whitish broth made with chicken and pork bones. Then, special thick wheat noodles for Champon are added to the soup and simmered.
The noodles for Nagasaki Champon are made using a type of “Kansui (かん水)” called “Touaku (唐あく)”. By the way, Kansui is the alkaline saltwater used in the making of noodles for ramen.
If you have a plan to go on a sightseeing trip to Nagasaki and are interested in the noodle dish Nagasaki Champon, I highly recommend visiting the restaurant known as its birthplace “Shikairou (四海樓)“.
Shop Information: Shikairou (四海樓)
- Address: 4-5 Matsugae-Machi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture (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
A Nagasaki Champon specialty restaurant chain, “Ringerhut (リンガーハット)”, whose main shop is located in the city of Nagasaki, has over 700 branches around the country.
Therefore, it is relatively easy to find the restaurants in Japan where you can enjoy a tasty, authentic bowl of Nagasaki Champon noodle soup.
Also in Japan, Nagasaki Champon is available in instant noodle form.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia ちゃんぽん )