Slurping noodles the Asian way

When faced with a bowl of noodles in hot soup in Asia,

  • Asian customs dictate that you make slurping sound when you down that bowl of soup. It makes it easier to drink, and the resulting sound of satisfaction will make the owner proud. This is considered customary.
  • Western customs dictate that you drink relatively quietly. But if you do that in Asia at a noodle place, it is totally weird to the locals, but normal back home.

What do you do? Slurp or no slurp?

Do people in Asia really slurp?

I don’t know. I guess eat my noodle relatively quiet, but not dead quiet.

I haven’t gotten the hang of slurping, and find it especially difficult to not burn my lips when eating a soup with lots of oil on the surface.

Any advice? Maybe I need to watch Tampopo again.

Isn’t that the point of slurping, though? Sucking in some air with the liquid to cool it?

How about lifting the bowl to drink the soup? It’s customary in China, but said to be uncouth in Korea. I to do it with every Asian cuisine except Korean, but I might be transgressing custom in some situations.

I despise when people slurp in NA. In fact, I’ll often move tables. I’m utterly repulsed, and it’s very uncommon to experience in Van. That’s just how I feel, sorry if it offends. And yes, I’m aware that it’s customary in other parts of the world.

What is “NA”? Northern America? So you only despise when they do it in North America?

Yes. You’d have to be an idiot to be offended when in other parts of the world where it’s customary.

Well, it depends. Doesn’t it? I won’t call them idiots. You don’t have to fundamentally accept something just because it is customary. I am offended at anyone eating dogs. It does not matter if the person is doing it in England (illegal) or Korea (legal). I can give many other examples, but I think you understand my point.

Anyway, so what if someone slurp their noodle in a Japanese Ramen house in North America? Yes, it is in North America, but it is in a restaurant which is culturally acceptable. Or do you only mean Western restaurants in North America? How about the reverse? An Italian restaurant in Japan? Just curious. (sorry, sometime internet can make it sounds like someone is arguing with you. I am not arguing with you. I am just curious how each of us thinks).

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I’m also wondering if “Asia” is a vast generalization. I’ve always heard you were supposed to slurp for Japanese noodles, though honestly none of my Japanese friends tend to do it. (Maybe because they’re women?) And none of my Chinese relatives have ever slurped their noodles.

If you go somewhere where they knowingly do something that you don’t like, and you’re then offended by it… then you’re a special person, IMO. (not you, just generally).

All form of slurping in NA I find reprehensible, no matter where… maybe it’s just a thing for me. Who knows.

I will do a scientific comparison next time I have my bowl of noodle, to see “slurping” affect the degustation. So far I’m in the non-slurp camp.
I’ll post my result when I have it. :wink:

I still disagree this point. I agree that sometime we go with the culture, but I don’t think culture trumps everything. I think an American should not be offended that a Japanese bow to them instead of shaking their hands. I get that.

However, if I go to a country with slavery, then I think I can still be offended by slavery. Yes, it is not about food, but my point is there is something which “cultural” does not fully justify the said behavior.

Interesting. Thanks.

We’re talking about food… not slavery.

I am a non-slurper. I’ve tried and I find I end up wearing too much broth in the end - with all those noodle ends flying around during the slurp.

I also don’t have any Asian friends that slurp (as someone else said) - makes me wonder if it isn’t as common in Asia as the hipster crowd like to profess. Or maybe it is a “blue collar” custom in Asia that is going out of vogue.

Those that profess the benefits of the slurp relate it to the slurping of wine when wine tasting - makes the fine broth particles coat the whole mouth thus increasing the ability to taste the broth complexity… whatever :wink:

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Did you read this part I wrote: “Yes, it is not about food, but my point is there is something which “cultural” does not fully justify the said behavior.”?

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I have a related question – how are you supposed to eat the noodles? That little spoon with the flat bottom that they usually give you is pretty useless. Once I saw some people eating the noodles with chopsticks while using a regular soup spoon to rest them on, and I’ve started to eat them in that way. It keeps the dripping to a minimum. But what’s the best/correct way to eat them?

I think the way you do is pretty common. One can use the spoon to minimize dripping and splashing. Moving the head closer to the bowl to devour the noodle is another method.

but it is in a restaurant which is culturally acceptable - that’s a new one.

There’s a Pyongyang restaurant in Shanghai. Does that mean the manager can lock patrons inside the restaurant while they’re eating?

(this happened while I was eating duck bbq in the actual Pyongyang, by the way.)

OK, I tried it tonight with my pork noodle. To slurp properly, I need to suck up a lot of air, a soup has a lot fragrance helps a lot, we eat somehow with our nose too, the action slightly enhances the tasting. On the other hand, since the habit is not very natural for me, after slurping the whole bowl of noodle, it was simply tiring.

I have this spoon fork for noodles that my partner hates…I found it kinda fun.