Are You a Ramen Enthusiast? You’ll Love Tsukemen, Delicious Dipping Noodles

Amélie Geeraert
Kokoro Media
Published in
3 min readFeb 13, 2024

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Tsukemen is a noodle dish derived from ramen. It is an established theory that tsukemen came out of staff meals of the ramen restaurant Tai-sho-ken in Tokyo in 1955, and has kept growing in popularity ever since.

The noun “tsukemen” is formed by the nominalized word of the Japanese verb “tsukeru,” which in this case means “to dip,” and the Japanese noun “men” which means “noodle.”

The Difference between Tsukemen and Ramen

You probably are already familiar with ramen, which is a hot noodle dish of Chinese noodles in soup, topped with sliced roast pork, soy-simmered bamboo shoots, and other toppings.

Ramen

Tsukemen is another noodle dish of cold noodles accompanied by hot or cold soup for dipping (its flavor is thicker than the usual ramen soup). You must dip the noodles into the soup aside. The portion of noodles is also usually bigger than ramen.

Tsukemen noodles are thicker than ramen noodles, and have a firm chewy texture, because they are tightened in cold running water after being boiled. The Japanese have a propensity to be particular about the natural taste and texture of the ingredients, and this method of cooking reveals the original flavor and texture of the noodle itself.

Tsukemen

How to Order Tsukemen In Japan And How to Eat Them

First, you need to find a good tsukemen joint. There are shops specialized in tsukemen, and ramen shops that also serve tsukemen.

Hot spots for tsukemen and ramen in Tokyo are concentrated in the Ikebukuro, Nakano, Shinjuku, and Takadanobaba areas.

Inside the shop, you will usually find a ticket vending machine near the entrance. You first need to purchase a ticket corresponding to what you want to eat, and then give it to the staff.

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Amélie Geeraert
Kokoro Media

Living in Japan since 2011. I love interviewing inspiring people.