Many recipes online suggest that at some point I should sauté some onions or scallions with vegetable oil and add them to the broth that is meant to go with the ramen. I know of toasted sesame oil and burnt garlic oil used as topping, but the sautéed onion sounds like some kind of culinary westernization to me. Is this practice proper Japanese cuisine or not?
I don't recall ever seeing regular onions in my ramen in southern Japan (but scallions, maybe--it was many years ago, so it's hard to remember). As for topping oil, the only one I ever saw was "Chinese fire oil", which was usually provided on the side for addition at the customer's discretion. I loved the heat from the fire oil but could only stand at most a few drops. It's the hottest stuff I've ever tasted. I brought home the bottle I had, and I still have it (though the wife and kids don't like anything anywhere near that hot, so I haven't used it in years and it's very likely rancid now). In the two years I lived there I only managed to use a few ml. I can't imagine that the 5 oz. bottles at the grocery store and on Amazon are the same stuff. Here it is: