Tampopo-How to enjoy Ramen

This scene from Tampopo is amazing. The English translations are a little different but pretty good.

Do you move the pork to the side for later? Do you tap the pork?


One fine day…

an old man and I
went out for a bite.

He’d studied ramen for 40 years

and said he’d initiate me
into the art.

Sensei, soup or noodles first?

First contemplate the ramen.

Carefully observe the whole bowl

while savoring the aroma.

The jewels of fat
twinkling on the surface…

the menma shoots
glistening with fat…

the nori darkening
with moisture…

the scallions floating on top.

Above all, the stars of the show:

three slices of roast pork,
modestly half submerged.

Now then, with the tips
of your chopsticks…

smooth out the surface
and caress the ramen.

What for?

To express affection.

Then point your chopsticks
at the roast pork.

Go straight for the pork?

No, at this stage merely tap it.

Nudge it lovingly with the tips.

Slowly pick it up

and nestle it
in the broth to the right.

This next part is very important.

l want you quietly
to apologize to the pork.

“Until we meet again.”

“Until we meet again”?

Stupid book!

Makes me hungry for ramen.
– Hang tough.

We’ll be there in two hours.
We can chow down afterwards.


Keep reading.

At last we begin eating,
starting with the noodles.

At this point…

while slurping the noodles,

be sure never to take
your eyes off the pork.

Gaze at it with affection.

The old man
took a bite of menma

and chewed it awhile.

Then he took
a mouthful of noodles.

Then, still chewing the noodles,

he took some more menma.

Only then did he sip the broth.

Three times in succession.

Then he slowly sat up straight.

He sighed and then,
as if making a momentous decision,

took the first slice of pork

and tapped it lightly
on the side of the bowl.

Does that have
some special meaning?

What meaning?
Just draining the liquid off.

– Let’s stop.
– Why?

Your stupid book’s
making me hungry too.


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