One of the most exciting things about ramen is that you can really immerse yourself in it and learn about the local flavors that make this iconic noodle dish so special. Variations in broth, noodles, and ingredients make each dish unique. What better way than to visit some special ramen towns in Japan? These five areas have been recognized as food hubs, and there are countless ramen shops to visit and enjoy. Get ready to experience the best ramen in Japan.
Tokyo is considered one of the original styles of ramen and is at the heart of Japan’s ramen history. That’s why in the capital you’ll find some of the oldest ramen shops in the country, as well as some of the most famous chefs! Tokyo’s ramen market is highly competitive, which means there are plenty of great ramen options to enjoy across the city, from small shops outside the main train station to large establishments scattered across the city.
Tokyo Ramen originated in China when immigrants made their favorite noodles at home in the 20th century. This recipe was adapted and developed into the Tokyo Ramen we know today. Tokyo specializes in ramen made with soy sauce (soy sauce), which makes heavy use of dashi to provide a rich umami flavor, as well as chicken, pork, or vegetable broth. To contrast the rich dark color of the broth, expect a variety of colorful toppings such as minced green onions, sliced pork, menma (bamboo shoots). Other signature dishes include a soy-marinated boiled egg and a piece of nori (seaweed) as a side dish. Get ready to fall in love with Tokyo Ramen, the only problem is choosing a restaurant.
What could warm you up better than a hot bowl of ramen during the snowy winter in Hokkaido? Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, is known for its rich miso ramen, which usually consists of medium-thickness wrinkled noodles and plenty of chicken or pork. Although a relatively new addition to the Sapporo ramen scene in the 1950s, this particular style of miso ramen has become so synonymous with the city that you’ll have no trouble finding a bowl you love to sink into.
Sapporo miso ramen is usually served with sweet corn, butter, bean sprouts, minced pork, and garlic. Occasionally, you’ll also find local seafood such as scallops, squid, and crab toppings. Unlike many other styles of ramen, the ingredients are deep-fried and cooked in a broth before wrapping the noodles. Often a layer of hot lard is added at the end so that the soup underneath can stay warm for as long as possible. This bowl of ramen will keep you warm and full as you explore all that Sapporo has to offer.
Along with Sapporo Ramen and Hakata Ramen, one of Japan’s three ramen dynasties, there are many ramen shops in western Fukushima Prefecture. In fact, the per capita share of ramen restaurants is one of the highest in the country, as ramen is Kitakata’s signature breakfast! One of the most unique things about this ramen is the noodles. Considered a style of Chinese noodles, the texture is firmer, wider, flatter, and more curly than typical ramen noodles. You’ll find them smoother than regular noodles, and it’s super fun ramen to gobble up quickly! Kitakata ramen is usually based on soy sauce (a source of soybeans), and served with pork broth and niboshi (dried sardines), but this can vary widely from shop to shop. The water used comes from nearby Iideyama, which adds to the deliciousness of the flavor. Also enjoy hearty char siu (roasted pork belly), chopped chives, and bamboo shoots.
Head straight to the southernmost island of Kyushu to taste this creamy specialty. In Fukuoka’s Hakata district, you can try the eponymous Hakata ramen, a pork bone ramen that has made a splash in the local and international food scene. The characteristic milky broth is made from pork bones cooked at high heat for many hours, resulting in consistency and a cloudy appearance. The broth is paired with thin noodles to provide more texture or a softer noodle style in five different firmnesses depending on preference. It is also totally acceptable to order a second batch of noodles with broth, generally not recommended in other ramen cities. This is because the noodles are thin and quickly absorb the soup and become mushy, so be quick to add more! In terms of ingredients, Hakata ramen has quite a few minced green onions and sliced pork, but other ingredients such as hard-boiled eggs can often be added. You can also try Nagahama Ramen, which originated in Fukuoka around the same time. It’s very similar, but it’s sure to be interesting to compare the two!
Hiroshima Onomichi Ramen is delicious and refreshing ramen. With a soy sauce base made from chicken bones and small fish from the Seto Inland Sea, you’ll find two things special about this ramen. The first is Floating Hebra, a silky post-bacon that adds flavor to a light broth. For this reason, you’ll find this ramen is piping hot and best eaten. Second, in this ramen, you’ll find the flat, springy wheat noodles soak up all the delicious broth for a very hearty dish. Toppings usually include scallions, roast pork, and bamboo shoots, but you’ll find different ones at different ramen restaurants.
Read this out too: http://japanandjapanese.com/4-unforgettable-…-winter-getaways/