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Ramen

While ramen may have a reputation as a cheap, dorm-food staple stateside, in Japan (and increasingly throughout the States) it's a much-revered noodle soup dish that comes in a vast range of varieties — heck, Lucky Peach even devoted its inaugural issue to the subject. Sold fresh or (more commonly) dried, alkaline, wheat-based ramen noodles transform from brittle (in dried form) and crisp to tender and slightly chewy when cooked.

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