FORT WORTH My 6-year-old loves ramen ... the instant kind. I introduced the college staple early in life and he asks for it constantly for breakfast. As a child, I also loved having a hot bowl of the salty broth and noodles for the first meal of the day.
Ramen, which has been around since the nineteenth century, is a Japanese dish consisting of Chinese-style noodles served in a broth. The flavor profile can vary depending on the region of Japan. Some broths are soy sauce based or miso based or meat based. The accompaniments could include seaweed, bamboo shoots, green onions, The instant kind didn’t become popular until it hit the grocery shelves in 1958.
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I didn’t get my first taste of home-made ramen until I was a teenager in the 1980s. Fortunately for my son, he’s been able to get the good stuff in Fort Worth. Luckily for me, all of these restaurants are in or near downtown and offer a quick way to get a great meal for lunch. Here’s the scoop:
Oni Ramen, 2801 W. 7th St, Fort Worth, TX 76107
The Classic Ramen ($9.50) with its “signature miso” broth is the way to go when dining at this West 7th Street eatery. Chef Jesus Garcia’s broth, made with pork, chicken and a soybean paste, is highlighted with pork belly, bamboo shoots, corn kernels, bean sprouts and green onion.
Good to know: Children 12 and younger can enjoy a “Little Oni” ramen. A small bowl with choice of one meat and vegetable.
Hoya Korean Kitchen
Hoya Korean Kitchen, 355 W. Third St., Fort Worth, TX 76102
While Hoya’s menu focuses on Korean dishes, don’t underestimate the restaurant’s humble ramen offering, especially if you need a quick fix for lunch. For $6, you get a bowl of spicy broth filled with ramen noodles, assorted veggies topped with an optional fried egg.
Good to know: You can add chicken or tofu for $2 more or beef ($3) or shrimp ($4) to your bowl.
Hanabi Ramen, 3204 Camp Bowie Blvd. #106, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Hanabi offers authentic Tokyo ramen. Start with the Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen ($9.50), a creamy pork broth with noodles, pork belly, bamboo shoots, green onion, egg and takana, and pickled mustard greens. However, Chef Ito Takao says that the secret ingredient to his ramen is love: “There is no seasoning better than love.”
Good to know: You can get a spicy version of this dish to clear your sinuses.