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Not long ago ramen was something only poor university students ate to get by on a study night. How things have changed, with several restaurants in Barcelona wholly dedicated to the delicious noodle-based soup. But ramen bars aren't likely to start sprouting up daily like the rate of burger joints around town. That's because, unlike the pre-packaged noodles you remember from your uni days, ramen is actually a dish that requires more skill and dedication than just slapping together some ingredients and whacking them onto the grill. While it is a humble dish served and eaten quickly, it's simmered slowly and can be enjoyed as a delicacy. So what's in the bowl? Home-made broth – often with chicken or pork, but it can also be made with different kinds of seafood or dried fish (and there are vegetarian options) – seasoned with 'tares' (sauces or flavours that define the type of ramen you're getting and can include soy, miso, etc.), wheat noodles, and toppings, among which you might find bacon, marinated boiled egg or bamboo. Ramen is a starter, a soup, and a main course all in one.