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SERVING JAPANESE PASTA
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The Japanese feel that their traditional fast food must be eaten immediately, before the piping hot broth has made the noodles limp. The slurping sounds that result can be strange to Western ears, but it is a sign of enjoyment in Japan. In fact, eating noodles slowly and quietly is offensive to the cook. The sound of hurried businessmen in dark suits slurping hot noodles in a Tokyo noodle bar can be quite shocking to Westerners, but it is considered good etiquette by local noodle aficionados.

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Noodle bars abound in Japanese cities, and many of them still offer te-uchi (hand-made) soba and udon. At the window of a steamy little noodle shop one cannot help but be fascinated by the sight of a Japanese chef kneading and slicing fresh pasta dough, the noodles rolling in a cauldron of boiling water, and a variety of tempting noodle dishes being served to eager customers. This is a rare instance when unless you make your own noodles you can actually get something better in a restaurant than at home.


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