Ramen originated in China, then traveled to Japan in the early 1900s, where shotgun shops sprang up to serve businessmen and women on their lunch breaks. Whether in summer or winter, the Japanese stood at counters with their mouths hovering over bowls of piping hot soup. North Texas, then, is about 100 years behind the trend, but we’ve fully embraced it now. Thing is, in a city of steaks and hamburgers, a proper bowl of ramen can still prove elusive. In its simplest form, three components make or break a bowl of ramen: the broth (made from chicken, fish, pork, or a combination of all three), the noodles (from thick and straight to curly and thin), and the toppings (seaweed, pork, soft-boiled egg, scallions, corn, ground meat, bamboo shoots, and fish cakes). Ramen differs from region to region in Japan. It’s essentially a culinary tabula rasa that gives the noodle maker room to experiment. Here are the five best results in North Texas, the finest looking bowls we’ve seen. None is a classic Japanese presentation. But, then, there is no such thing as a classic Japanese presentation.