British Columbia

Soup's up! More and more ramen restaurants opening in Vancouver

Some big-name Japanese chains have recently opened locations in Lower Mainland

Workshop Vegetarian Cafe

Spicy Tan Tan Ramen from Workshop Vegetarian Café, a new ramen restaurant in North Vancouver. (@workshopvegcafe/Instagram)

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If you're looking for ramen in Vancouver, you won't have to look very hard.

On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson says new restaurants serving the Japanese noodle soup are opening up practically every week.

"It's actually getting hard to keep up with all the new ramen restaurants that have opened up all over the Lower Mainland lately," she told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.

Some are franchise locations of huge Japanese chains like Yah Yah Ya and Ramen Gojiro. Touhenboku is part of a chain as well, but one that originated in Toronto.

To fill the gap for vegetarian and vegan diners, who can find it hard to find suitable options at many restaurants, Workshop Vegetarian Café is now open in North Vancouver.

"It offers everything from matcha-based baked goods to avocado on its house made bread made with naturally fermented yeast," Johnson said. "There's the Nama Shoyu Ramen, which consists of a cremini-mushroom broth and a truffle-shallot oil. It also has Osawa raw shoyu. This is unpasteurized soy sauce that is aged in cedar kegs for four years.

"Then there is an organic spicy Tan Tan Ramen, which is made with a butternut- squash-sesame broth made with chickpea miso. It comes with a house-made chili oil as well as kale, scallion, and a nut medley made with walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and mushrooms."

And if you're looking to make ramen at home — and we're not talking about an instant noodles cup — it's definitely doable.

Hana Etsuko Dethlefsen, author of the recently released cookbook Let's Cooking, says that the most important ingredient when it comes to making ramen is time.

If you're looking for a cookbook, Dethlefsen recommends Takashi's Noodles, written by Takashi Yagihashi and Harris Salat.

With files from CBC Radio's On The Coast

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