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Champon (ちゃんぽん): Nagasaki’s Famous Noodle Dish

Champon (ちゃんぽん) is a popular stir-fried noodle soup dish originally from Nagasaki Prefecture (Kyushu Region).

It can now be found at restaurants all throughout Japan.

The dish consists of noodles mixed and cooked together with a huge variety of vegetables, meats, and/or seafoods, and then cooked/served in a rich broth.

The name is thought to be derived from the Mandarin Chinese word “chanpeng” (攙烹). “Chan” (攙) means “to mix”, and “peng” (烹) means to cook by boiling.

Read on for more interesting info about champon:


champon ingredients

The main ingredients of champon are:

  • Noodles
  • Various vegetables
  • Various seafood
  • Pork

There are technically no rules as to what ingredients can be used to make champon.

For typical/classic Nagasaki style champon, a thick, chewy type of ramen noodle is used (i.e. “Chinese Noodles” or chuuka-men  中華麺). You can sometimes find noodles sold in stores that are specifically labelled as “champon noodles”.

The soup is usually made with pork and/or chicken bones.

Some typical vegetables used are cabbage, green onions, and bean sprouts. Common seafoods include squid, shrimp, clams, and oysters (in winter). Shredded pork is also often added.

Location / Types / Where to Eat

Champon is originally from Nagasaki City, in Nagasaki Prefecture.

It has since spread to various other parts of Nagasaki and Kyushu, with many areas have their own local/special variation. Champon is also now found all throughout Japan, thanks in large part to the fast food chain called “Ringer Hut“.

The so called “big three” champon variations are: Nagasaki Champon, Obama Champon, and Amakusa Champon.  Read more about them below:

Nagasaki Champon (長崎 ちゃんぽん)

nagasaki champon

Nagasaki Champon is the original champon, and still the most popular type throughout the country. It was originally based off a noodle dish from Fujian Province in China (see more history below).

Today’s Nagasaki Champon features thick noodles, and large number of ingredients served in a rich soup. Typicaly ingredients include cabbage, pork, kamaboko (fish cake), shrimp, green onion, bean sprouts, and more.

Obama Champon (小浜 ちゃんぽん)

obama champon

Obama Champon is named after small onsen town in Nagasaki Prefecture called Obama Town. It is not named after the former President of the United States. 😂

Obama Champon evolved from Nagasaki Champon. Its main feature is its pork or chicken soup that uses dashi stock made with local anchovies. It is also common to add raw egg as a topping.

Amakusa Champon (天草 ちゃんぽん)

amakusa champon

Amakusa Champon is named after the Amakusa Islands in Kumamoto Prefecture (just south of Nagasaki).

Champon was originally brought to Amakusa from Nagasaki by a travelling chef. It was adapted to use local ingredients which typically includes many types of seafood.

History / Origin of Champon

The original champon restaurant Shikairou (四海樓) has had some upgrades over the years

Champon was invented in Nagasaki over 100 years ago, sometime in the early 1900s (Meiji Period).

At the time, Nagasaki was the only open port in Japan, so many foreigners were in the area, including many Chinese workers and students.

A Chinese restaurant owner/chef named Chen Pingshun (陳平順) created the dish as a cheap, filling food option for the many international Chinese students in the area.

It quickly became popular with the students and other locals as it spread throughout Nagasaki. Chen was from Fujian province in China, and the dish is said to be loosely based on a Fujian dish called “Tangrou simian” (湯肉絲麺) in Chinese.

The original restaurant is still in business — it is called Shikairou (四海樓). If you are in Nagasaki, make sure you check it out! (Google Maps link)

In 1974, a chain restaurant opened called “Ringer Hut” which specializes in Nagasaki champon. THey opened shops all across the country, helping spread the popularity of the dish. Ringer Hut currently has over 500 locations across Japan!

How to make Champon

Making champon involves a lot of ingredients, but is technically not too difficult.

It basically involves stir frying all the ingredients together, then boiling everything together in a soup. Add some noodles in, and you’re done!

The hardest part would be to actually make the broth from scratch (i.e. from pork/chicken bones, etc.). Of course, if you’re at home, you can cheat and use some instant soup stock. 😉

Here is a easy to follow, step-by-step champon recipe from Kurashiru:

Easy Nagasaki Champon Recipe (ちゃんぽん)

Course: MainCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Make champon at home with this easy recipe. You can add/omit any ingredients you want

Equipment & Ingredients

  • Equipment
  • Pot

  • Frying pan

  • Knife and cutting board

  • Chopsticks

  • Main Ingredients
  • Raw ramen noodle … 1 serving/ball

  • Hot water … Appropriate amount

  • Pork belly (sliced) … 50g

  • Bean sprouts … 80g

  • Seafood mix (frozen) … 80g

  • Cabbage … 50g

  • Carrot … 30g

  • Kamaboko (fish cake) … 50g

  • Soup ingredients
  • Water … 500ml

  • Chicken soup base (powder/instant) … 2 teaspoons

  • Soy sauce … 1 teaspoon

  • Milk … 50ml

  • Salt and pepper … a pinch

  • Sesame oil … 1 tablespoon


  • If necessary, thaw the frozen seafood mix according to the instructions on the package.
  • Cut the cabbage into bite-sized pieces, and cut the carrots and kamaboko into thin strips (see vegetable cutting techniques).
  • Cut the pork belly into approximately 3cm wide pieces.
  • Heat a frying pan on medium heat, add sesame oil and stir-fry the seafood mix.
  • When the color changes, add the cut up ingredients and the bean sprouts and stir-fry.
  • When they start to soften, add all the water, chicken powder, and soy sauce, then simmer everything together on medium heat for about 5 minutes until the ingredients become soft.
  • Add milk, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, and boil the noodles according to package directions. Drain well
  • Put the cooked noodles into a bowl, add the soup/ingredients and it’s done!
  • Enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • Add other vegetables or seafood/meat of your choice!

Fun Facts

  • November 3rd is “Champon Noodles Day”
  • Tonkotsu Ramen broth is said to have originated, or been inspired from Champon
  • Korean “Jjamppong” (짬뽕) is said to have similar roots as champon, and is most likely named after the Japanese version


Have you ever tried champon before? What did you think of it?

Leave your thoughts and comments below!

Chef Goku

Chef Goku

Chef Goku is the founder and sole operator of The Chef Dojo. He loves Japanese food, and has lived in and out of Japan for many years. He started this blog in 2018 to share everything he learns about Japanese food and cooking. He is also a self-certified Japanese knife nerd. Contact Chef Goku

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