Champon 長崎ちゃんぽん

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  • Loaded with various and colorful ingredients, Nagasaki Champon is a hearty and comforting noodle dish you can quickly put together!

    Nagasaki Champon served in a ramen bowl.

    Originated in China and introduced in Japan in the 50s, Champon (長崎ちゃんぽん) is a popular noodle dish filled with miscellaneous ingredients and a hearty soup. Served piping hot, the contrasting textures and flavors and the broth are what one needs to lift the mood or kick a cold. It is absolutely delicious and heartwarming.

    Watch How to Make Nagasaki Champon

    Loaded with various and colorful ingredients, Nagasaki Champon is a hearty and comforting noodle dish you can quickly put together!

    What is Champon?

    Champon (ちゃんぽん) is a noodle soup dish consisting of pork, seafood, and vegetables served on top of the noodles. The owner of a Chinese restaurant Shikairō (四海楼) in Nagasaki first created this dish based on a Chinese dish tonniishiimen (湯肉絲麵). He served this quick, cheap, fulfilling dish to the Chinese international students during Meiji Period.

    Since then this dish became a regional dish in Nagasaki. It’s often called Nagasaki Champon (長崎ちゃんぽん) and loved by people all over Japan.  You can find Nagasaki Champon specialty restaurants like Linger Hut (リンガーハット) throughout Japan and outside the country. There is also Linger Hut in San Jose here in California.

    If you’re curious about the word Champon, which definitely doesn’t sound Japanese, one theory is that the word was derived from Hokkien word chia̍h-pn̄g (食飯), which means “to eat a meal”. Another theory is that the word was derived from Malay or Indonesian word champur, which means “mixed”.

    Nagasaki Champon served in a ramen bowl.

    Ingredients for Champon

    1. Champon Noodles

    A big noodle company Myojo (明星) has a noodle package specific for Nagasaki Champon. It comes with 2 servings of noodles and soup base.  I usually make my own soup so I only use the noodles and toss away the MSG-packed soup base.

    Chamon Noodles

    For those who can’t access this noodle package at Japanese or Asian grocery stores, you can use other types of fresh ramen noodles, dried ramen noodles, or Chinese noodles that have similar thickness to spaghetti noodles.

    2. Soup Base

    Typically the soup base for champon is made of the combination of pork and chicken broth/stock.

    I don’t usually have pork bone/stock handy, so for this recipe, I use the combination of chicken broth and dashi which yields a bit lighter broth.

    When I make pork broth from Rafute or Okinawa Soba, I try to make Champon the next day using the leftover pork broth. It really gives a flavorful soup for the noodles and I highly recommend!

    Chicken Stock | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    You can follow my homemade chicken stock recipe here.

    By the way, the addition of milk might surprise you in this recipe. However, it is what gives the creamy color and a light sweetness of the Nagasaki Champon soup.

    3. Toppings

    Champon toppings usually include pork belly slices, seafood such as shrimp, squid, clams, and all kinds of vegetables, typically cabbage, onion, carrots, snow peas, bean sprouts, etc. You don’t have to follow my recipe to a T by using the exact ingredients. Consider my list as suggestions. The ultimate goal is to create a bowl of noodles with colors, body, depth and contrast. Though keep in mind that root vegetables, if you use any, need to be thinly sliced or pre-cook ahead of time, since all the ingredients must be stir fried in a quick manner.

    Nagasaki Champon served in a ramen bowl.

    Champon Noodles on Kodoku no Gurume

    I was inspired to make this hot noodle recipe after watching the popular Japanese TV drama – Kodoku no Gurume (孤独のグルメ) [Season 6: Episode 7]. The protagonist Gorō-san had a bowl of Champon at Nagasaki Hanten (長崎飯店) in Shibuya. It looked SO DELICIOUS that I had to share my version.

    For those of you who are not familiar with Kodoku no Gurume, the main character Gorō is a Japanese salaryman who is in sales.  As a salesperson, Gorō travels across Japan for his work and on each business trip he visits various restaurants and street booths to sample the local cuisine. Each chapter features a different place and dish.

    Kodoku no Gurume 6

    This TV drama has been around for years in Japan, and currently Season 7 is on air. Unfortunately, it is not available on Netflix like Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories here in the States, but it’s available on Netflix Japan and other sources. Maybe Netflix USA will pick it up if there’s enough interest for the drama. You can find some of the older seasons available in DVD format on Amazon.

    Whether you have access to Kodoku no Gurume or not, I want to share all the delicious foods the main character Gorō-san enjoyed in the show and I hope you would join me in cooking up these dishes.

    Kodoku no Gurume Recipes Series on Just One Cookbook 

    Nagasaki Champon served in a ramen bowl.

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    5 from 2 votes
    Nagasaki Champon served in a ramen bowl.
    Champon
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Cook Time
    20 mins
    Total Time
    40 mins
     

    Loaded with various and colorful ingredients, Nagasaki Champon is a hearty and comforting noodle dish you can quickly put together!

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: noodle soup
    Servings: 2
    Ingredients
    Soup
    Meat & Seafood
    • 2 oz pork belly slices (2 slices)
    • 2.5 oz shrimp (73 g, 4 pieces)
    • 2 oz squid (56 g)
    • 1 Tbsp sake (divided)
    • 1 tsp soy sauce
    Vegetables and Other Ingredients
    • 6 pieces dried wood ear mushrooms (4 g)
    • 2 inches carrot
    • ¼ onion
    • 5 oz cabbage (145 g, 2 leaves)
    • 1 oz snow pea (28 g, 8 pieces)
    • kamaboko fish cake
    • 4 oz bean sprouts
    • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (for cooking)
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • tsp kosher salt
    • 11 oz champon noodles (311 g)
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients. To cook the noodles (Step 23), bring a large pot of water to a boil over low heat.

      Champon Ingredients
    2. In a medium pot, combine 2 cups chicken stock/broth and 1 cup dashi.
      Champon 1
    3. Add 1 Tbsp sake, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp granulated sugar and bring to a boil.
      Champon 2
    4. Once boiling, add ¼ cup whole milk and ⅛ tsp white pepper.
      Champon 3
    5. Taste the soup and see if you need to season with kosher salt. I added about ½ tsp salt. Saltiness varies depending on the chicken stock.

      Champon 4
    6. Cut the pork belly into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Add 1 tsp sake and 1 tsp soy sauce.
      Champon 5
    7. Add 2 tsp sake for shrimp and squid (or here I put 1 tsp sake for each bowl of shrimp and squid). Set aside for 5 minutes to remove the unwanted smell.
      Champon 6
    8. Score the squid in the crisscross pattern by making parallel diagonal lines. Make sure not to cut it all the way through.
      Champon 7
    9. In a small bowl, add dried wood ear mushrooms and just enough water to cover them. Re-hydrate until soft and squeeze to remove the water. Cut into smaller pieces.
      Champon 8
    10. Cut the carrot into thin slabs and cut in half lengthwise.
      Champon 9
    11. Cut the onion into slices.
      Champon 10
    12. Remove the core of the cabbage leaves. Then cut into strips and then smaller square pieces.
      Champon 11
    13. Remove the strings from snow peas and cut in half. Thinly slice the kamaboko fish cake.
      Champon 12
    14. Heat the wok on medium high and add 1 Tbsp sesame oil.
      Champon 13
    15. Once hot, add the pork belly and cook until no longer pink.
      Champon 14
    16. Add the shrimp and squid and cook no longer opaque.
      Champon 15
    17. Then add the onion and carrot, and stir fry for 1 minute.
      Champon 16
    18. Add wood ear mushrooms and cabbage and stir fry for 1 minute.
      Champon 17
    19. Add the kamaboko fish cake, bean sprouts, and snow peas and stir fry for 1 minute.
      Champon 18
    20. Season with freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine.
      Champon 19
    21. Add the soup into the wok.
      Champon 20
    22. Taste the soup and see if you need to adjust with salt. I added ⅛ tsp kosher salt.
      Champon 21
    23. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Make sure to separate the noodles first before adding to the boiling water.
      Champon 22
    24. I usually cook the noodles 15-20 seconds less than what the package instruction recommends. Pick up the noodles (or drain the noodles into a sieve) and transfer them to serving bowls. Make sure to drain the water well so it won’t dilute the soup.
      Champon 23
    25. Add the toppings and soup and serve immediately.
      Champon 24
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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