How would you like to try “Nagasaki Champon”, a local noodle dish from Nagasaki whose name means, “to mix”?

2019-04-03 Yuri Suzuki   Food & Drinks, Nagasaki,

It is cheap and highly nutritious! This local dish was developed from Chinese cuisine.

There was a time period called “Sakoku” (literally meaning, national isolation) in which Japan did not have any kind of relationship with other countries. At that time, the only place that had a cultural exchange with a foreign country was Nagasaki. This has greatly influenced the food culture there as well.
“Nagasaki Champon,” a representative noodle dish from Nagasaki is said to have been created for Chinese exchange students in Nagasaki by people who had come from the Fujian Province in China. This dish, made by cooking abundant vegetables and scraps of meat together with Chinese noodles in soup, is highly nutritious! It was also very cheap, so it became a popular dish from that time on.

The word “Champon” originally meant, “Mixed”.

There are various theories regarding the origin of the name “Champon.” In the dialect of the Fujian Province, China, “janbon” means “an easy meal,” while the Portuguese word “champon” means “to mix.” In Okinawa they use the word “chanpuru” to say, “to mix.” It is unclear which of these are the correct roots for Nagasaki Champon, but nowadays it is common in Japan to use the word “champon” to mean mixing different things. Languages are very interesting, aren’t they?

Might the roots of Kyushu ramen be in champon?

The noodles used in Nagasaki Champon are thick and the dish includes many other ingredients like vegetables, meat, shrimp, squid, kamaboko, etc. The soup is a rich broth made of chicken bones and “tonkotsu,” or pork bones. Kyushu is famous for their “Tonkotsu Ramen,” and it is said that its roots are in Nagasaki Champon.
If you ever visit Nagasaki, make sure to give “Nagasaki Champon” a try. It will fill you up!



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