Let’s Make Ramen by Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan

A Comic Book Cookbook

  • Title: Let’s Make Ramen: A Comic Book Cookbook
  • Author: Hugh Amano
  • Illustrator: Sarah Becan
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Copyright Date: 2019
  • Age ranges: 12- up

Creating in the kitchen is a popular hobby for all ages and the opportunity to learn how to make unique and international dishes is even better! This hybrid, comic book cookbook is a delightful opportunity to learn about a different culture, the history of a Ramen- which is growing in popularity in the United States, and try some new recipes. The book begins with an introduction of the author, also a chef, Hugh Amano and the comic illustrator, Sarah Beacon.

Hugh Amano is an executive chef at Sterling Bay and was educated at the New England Culinary Institute (LinkedIn). He is also the author of Adventures of Fat Rice. According to Sarah Becan‘s website she is an “illustrator, designer and comic artist” and “she likes to draw food”. She was also involved in the Adventures of Fat Rice project. Other work from Beacon include I Think Your Saucemone, The Complete Ouija Interviews,and Shuteye: Six Tales of Dreams and Dreamers. I encourage you to check out each of these titles as they sound intriguing. Links to more information on each are embedded in the text.

There is just so much good to say about this unique book! It is a cookbook, it is a history, it is an introduction to a different culture, it is shares the perfectionism and artistry that is Ramen, and it is filled with over 40 different recipes! Let’s Make Ramen includes a brief introduction, history of the unique dishes and culture, an about the author, and a complete index of recipes. Each page is FILLED with gorgeous illustrations. Most important, this duo make the possibility of making Ramen seem doable, as each recipe is shared with step-by-step instructions and the explanative images.

Slideshow images include: “A Brief History of Ramen” (p. 2), an example of the gorgeous chapter intro splash pages (p.1), instructions on how to make seafood broth (p. 69), a Japanese Raman-YA (p. 15), the story of the Onsen Eggs (p. 106), introduction on how to enjoy Ramen (p. 7), like many other cookbooks this comic cookbook shares pages on necessary pantry ingredients for Ramen making (p.16),

Curious to learn about little more about America’s recent and growing interest in Ramen? Check this New Yorker article, “America’s Ramen Obsession, from Maruchan to Momofuku” (link in embedded in text). Or take a little virtual trip to Japan and learn about the a day in the life of a Ramen Chef.

Let’s Make Ramen is an excellent edition to a collection for so many reasons. It represents a unique example of a hybrid book that combines history, facts, comics, and recipes. The book instructs on how to prepare Ramen in simple, yet detailed, instructions making the process a possibility for teenage readers. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Japanese culture, travel, or those teens who love to scroll Pinterest looking for recipes to try. Just imagine how amazing your Instagram feed will look with a picture of a perfect bowl of Ramen that made by you!

Awards and nominations

  • Long listed for the Best Art of Eating Prize
  • Named One of the Best Cookbooks of the Year by the Chicago Tribune
  • One of YALSA’s Great Comic Books for Teens
  • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Food & Cookbooks

Sources: Amazon & Goodreads

Read-Alikes

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Going Vegetarian by Rachel Meltzer Warren MS. RDN. Curious about what it takes to become a vegetarian or a vegan? Warren, a “nutrition writer, educator, and counselor”, shares a healthy and safe path in taking on the new lifestyle. The book contains an introduction from Warren, who became a vegetarian at 12 years old, and everything from what to do while eating out, to recipes, to how to ensure you are receiving enough nutrients.

Hack Your Cupboard by Alyssa Wiegand and Carla Carreon shares elegant recipes that require simple pantry ingredients. This cookbook shares tips for family recipes, dorm room dishes, and cooking in your first apartment. This is a great title to check out of the library or purchase for use through young adult life stages.

All of the books area available at FCPL so stop by to check on out today!

References:

Amano, H., Becan, S. (2019). Let’s make Ramen: A comic book cookbook. Ten Speed Press.

“Hugh Amano”. (LinkedIN). Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hughamano/

“Let’s make Ramen: A comic book cookbook”. Amazon.

“Let’s make Ramen: A comic book cookbook”. Goodreads.

Rosner, H. (2018). “Americans Ramen obsession, from Maruchan to Momofuko”. The New Yorker.

“Sarah Beacon” (2018). Retrieved from: https://sarahbecan.com

Warren Meltzer, R. (2014). The smart girl’s guid to going vegetarian. Sourcebooks Fire.

Wiegard, A., Carreon, C. (2019). Hack your cupboard. Zest Books.

6 thoughts on “Let’s Make Ramen by Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan

  1. Rachel – this book looks so interesting! Thanks for sharing it. I can see the comic book aspect of it appealing to kids who maybe don’t love reading and wouldn’t want to pick up a traditional cookbook. It would be a lot of fun to read this with a group of students and then have a cooking class afterwards where they could make their own ramen bowls. In my teaching days, I used to do a “Cooks and Books” class with younger kids that used picture books that had a food element (think “The Sandwich Swap” by Rania Al-Abdullah) Each book was paired with a hands-on recipe for kids to make. It was a lot of fun for all involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great book that I already added to my TBR list. My oldest son would love this as Ramen is his go-to meal when he’s in the mood for something fast and somewhat filling (probably the same for most college kids), but I know my youngest would also like this as he’s into finding fast and easy recipes these days to try on the family. 🙂 He’d love the cartoon illustrations and the history part as well. Last year I read ‘Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando’ by Andrea Wang. This would be a great tie-in for “Let’s Make Ramen”.

    Sara, thanks for mentioning “The Sandwich Swap”. I’ve added this to my TBR list as well. I had no idea that Queen Rania had written a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have always been fascinated with the way traditional Asian food is as much about the art as it is the nutrition. I’m anxious to read this book!

    Like

  4. I’ve never heard of this book but what a great concept! I love the idea of using graphic novel format for a cookbook; the illustrations are so neat (I’ve always had a soft spot for illustrated food so this is right up my alley 🙂 ). What a great concept! I think young readers interested in cooking but with little-to-no experience would enjoy this book a lot, as it does make the concept of ramen more accessible and fun (and cooking, for that matter!).

    Like

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