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Champon
Mixture of Japanese Dishes and Chinese?
Date:30, Sep, 2019
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


In Nagasaki, it is pretty difficult for you to spend a month without meeting any champon. At least, I suppose so. It is said the champon restaurants outnumber the ramen in Nagasaki. And you will find a champon restaurant when you walk in Nagasaki streets unless you go closing your eyes. Close eyes and walk? I'd like, if anything, to ask why you have to act such strangely in Nagasaki.

What is Champon? you might ask. In a sense, it is easy to explain what it is. You know ramen, don't you? Champon looks just like ramen.



Shikairō Champon
File: Shikairo Nagasaki Japan05s.jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on December 23, 2011)

Of course, champon is not ramen. Naturally! What differs? The noodles are so unique. They are mostly thicker than ramen noodles. They say we are hard to name it Nagasaki Champon without making the noodles in accordance with the rules established in Nagasaki. And you can add whatever as the ingredients. Vegetables, seafood, and pork. Why? Champon means a mixture in Japanese language. So you are free to add anything you like when you cook a champon yourselves.

When did the first champon appear in Nagasaki? There are various theories, and I'd tell you one of them.

In the middle of Meiji era, there was restaurant Shikairo in Nagasaki. And there was a male cook who'd originally come from China. He was also the keeper. A lot of Chinese students in Nagasaki came to his restaurant everyday. One day, he longed to let them full with an inexpensive dish which reminded them of their hometowns. What dish would do? Thinking many times led him to make the first champon. You might think champon is a mixture of Japanese dishes and Chinese in a sense. I agree with you. In Nagasaki today, you can still find the restaurant he started.





 

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