Menma vs. Shinachiku: Bamboo Shoots for Ramen

When it comes to the topping or garnish for soy sauce-based Shoyu ramen,

basics are roast pork slices Char-siu (チャーシュー), white fish cake with a pink spiral pattern Naruto (ナルト), and processed (seasoned) bamboo shoots Menma (メンマ), also known as Shinachiku (支那竹).

Menma vs. Shinachiku 

Shoyu Ramen

Both Menma and Shinachiku refer to the same thing made by Lacto-fermenting a species of bamboo shoot called Machiko (麻竹).

They are a food of Chinese origin, and 99 percent of the domestic consumption in Japan comes from the ones imported from China and other countries.

Menma or Shinachiku

Menma was once called Shina-Chiku (支那竹: meaning Chinese Bamboo). In its name, Shina (支那) is a historically used Japanese term for China, but it can be an offensive word.

In 1946, Japan received a formal objection to the term Shina from the Taiwanese government. As a result, the word Menma was newly created and became a replacement for Shinachiku.

Menma was named after the fact that Shinachiku commonly tops ramen. In its name, Men (メン) comes from Men (麺), meaning noodles, while Ma (マ) stands for Machiku (麻竹). 

Today, you can hardly hear the term Shinachiku used in Japan. Instead, the word Menma has been standardized, especially in the mass media relevance.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia メンマ )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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