Nagasaki's "Soul" Food Champon

April 8, 2020

 

 

Have you ever heard of Champon Noodles which originated in Nagasaki more than a century ago? A Chinese chef running his own restaurant called 四海樓 Shi Kai Ro (literally means Four Seas Building) in Nagasaki used Chinese food called肉湯絲麵 as a reference and devised this signature food for Chinese students who were financially weak therefore could not afford to get enough daily nutrition. Champon solved this problem. It has a lot of ingredients from vegetables, meat to locally caught seafood such as pork, shrimp, wood ear mushrooms, cabbage, onions, carrots, bean sprouts, fish paste, corn, and noodles, which also vary depending on local backgrounds even within Nagasaki.

 

Other than mainstream Nagasaki Champon, you can find Obama Champon and Hirado Champon in Nagasaki Prefecture. The most prominent difference of Hirado Champon is that the chicken stock is blended with locally famous flying fish stock. In Nagasaki, the flying fish stock is called “AGO” in their local dialect. This is no less delectable.

 

  They tried to contrive sales strategies to spread Champon all over Japan. However, Tonkotsu Ramen was already indigenous in Fukuoka Prefecture, there was little room available for Champon, only to retreat itself. Except for Oita and Fukuoka Prefectures, it went well. Then, Champon made a foray into Shikoku Region. But there, it ended up prostrating itself before Sanuki Udon.

 However, the efforts which Ringer Hut made finally led Champon to a big success with its as many as six forty-six chine restaurants across over Japan, bringing it to a nation dish.

 

 Nowadays, people can buy Champon in supermarkets or convenience stores. They are sold in a frozen food section. This is also a good way to not only enjoy delicious and reasonable food but also get a lot of nutrition to wade through this tough self-control season against coronavirus.

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