Seven Must Eat Ramen Bowls – Shio Ramen Edition
This is a "ratero" series modeled on "meshitero," the activity of posting mouthwatering images of food (meshi) at times people are most likely to be hungry. In this ratero series, we introduce ramen for each day of the week! This time, the second in the series, it is shio (salt) ramen. There is quite a variety in the look and taste of shio ramen depending on who makes it. We will introduce some beautiful bowls offered by various ramen shops.
- Kurama, Offering a Soup with the Intense Flavors of Three Type of Salt
- Onisoba Fujiya's Shio Ramen with Deep Flavors with "Oni" DNA
- Shinka's Finely Honed Standout Shio Soup
- Hulu-lu, With Soup and Noodles Reflecting Skills from a Famous Shop
- Men Kurabu's Bowl Full of Kindness and the Natural Flavors of the Ingredients
- Kishin, a Shio Specialty Shop Where the Chef’s Skills Shine in the Balanced Dashi Stock and Distinct Flavors of the Ingredients
- Goryokaku, with Light flavors Full of the Umami of Hokkaido
Kurama, Offering a Soup with the Intense Flavors of Three Type of Salt
The Shio Ramen (750 JPY) at Kurama in Minami-Kashiwa, Chiba, is a ramen made with three carefully selected salts: salt from Ishigaki Island, Umami salt, and Aguni salt. The ramen is made with great attention to detail, such as the inclusion of aromatic Marunaka soy sauce as a secret ingredient to the soup to add a hint of sweetness. The noodles with a high water content have a smooth texture that can be addictive. Natural salts add a kick to the soft soup made by bringing out the umami of dried scallops and other ingredients.
Onisoba Fujiya's Shio Ramen with Deep Flavors with "Oni" DNA
The Oni Shio Ramen (800 JPY) is a shio ramen that is made with thorough attention to detail, with a combination of five different salts in the sauce that is changed according to the season. A seafood dashi stock is added to attain complex flavors that are light but have a kick. This shop is famous as the one that was opened by the entertainer, HEY! Takuchan, after winning the newcomer's award in the NRA Cup Batopuri Competition at the 2011 Tokyo Ramen Show.
Shinka's Finely Honed Standout Shio Soup
The main shop of Shinka is located in Machida. The Shio Ramen (750 JPY), with a soup created through the synergy of umami flavors of whole free range Sansui chicken from Okayama and Koshu free range chicken from Yamanashi. It has a perfect combination of more than 30 different types of umami from the free range chicken, ago flying fish and other ingredients finished with five different types of salt including seaweed salt from Kochi and salt from Vietnam. The char siu pork marinated in a salt sauce and cooked slowly at low temperatures is a wonderful addition to the flavors. The richly aromatic noodles made of domestic wheat are slippery and smooth. This restaurant gets extra points for its dedicated noodle factory across the street that ensures the noodles are served at the optimal stage for taste and aroma.
Hulu-lu, With Soup and Noodles Reflecting Skills from a Famous Shop
From the ramen battleground of Ikebukuro, we introduce the Shio SOBA (780 JPY) at Hulu-lu, a ramen shop opened by someone who trained at Chabuya, which is now closed but retains dedicated fans. The soup with golden chicken fat shimmering on the surface is made by cooking whole chicken and chicken bones together, and balancing the flavors with a salt sauce with fish stock made primarily with dried sardines. The interior of the shop is decorated Hawaiian-style reflecting the owner's love of Hawaii. The homemade noodles are made with water from Hawaii. The noodle dishes are all made to high quality with soups made with free-range chicken and no additives and homemade noodles made with whole wheat flour. The Pirikara Maze SOBA (790 JPY) is a healthy dish made without any oil. This restaurant has many female customers who come on their own.
Men Kurabu's Bowl Full of Kindness and the Natural Flavors of the Ingredients
Men Kurabu prides itself in its homemade noodles that are made with no additives and rested for three days to enhance the flavors and texture, and its soup that brings out the tastes of the ingredients. The Shio Ramen (450 JPY), with chewy and smooth homemade thin noodles that bring out the seafood flavors that have seeped into the soup, is served with negi scallions and sesame, which enhances the fresh taste unique to shio ramen. It is also distinguished by its double soup, that combines a meat stock made from knuckles, whole chicken and chicken bones and a light and soft seafood stock made from bonito flakes and dried sardines.
Kishin, a Shio Specialty Shop Where the Chef’s Skills Shine in the Balanced Dashi Stock and Distinct Flavors of the Ingredients
The Noko Tokusen Tsukemen (1,080 JPY), in which the skills of the owner trained at traditional Japanese restaurants shines, is a voluminous dish with 260g of noodles and plenty of toppings including flavored boiled eggs, char siu pork, and steamed chicken. The mild yet rich soup with the sweet flavors of vegetables goes perfectly with the substantial homemade noodles. Its spectacular soup that superbly balances a stock of carefully selected ingredients, such as Hyuga chicken, and a seafood dashi stock made from scallops, seaweed and other items, is also notable. Together with the super-thick and chewy homemade noodles, it makes for tsukemen noodles that are at once bold and delicate.
Goryokaku, with Light flavors Full of the Umami of Hokkaido
The last dish we introduce is the Ramen (750 JPY), at Goryokaku, a Hakodate shio ramen shop in Ogikubo. A light yet bright soup made by combining meat stock from knuckles and chicken bones and seafood stock is served with firm, thin noodles. Toppings include chashu pork as well as fu wheat gluten. The owner is from Hakodate in Hokkaido, and the shop only serves Hakodate's famous shio ramen. The ramen made of mostly Hokkaido ingredients, including noodles procured directly from Deguchi Noodle Manufacturing Company in Hakodate every day, the makombu seaweed in the stock from Hakodate and scallops from Sarufutsu in Hokkaido, is delicate yet full of umami flavors.
Shio ramen is a type of ramen you can really taste the flavors of the ingredients in. So it is definitely worth trying the tastes of each shop that are achieved through great thought and effort. [This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 04.04.2017]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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