"Sapporo Ramen" which originated from Sapporo city in Hokkaido, "Hakata Ramen" of Fukuoka city in Kyushu which characterized by the milky white pork bones soup, "Kyoto Ramen" with thick and richness soup, etc. are among the unique and famous local ramen in Japan. In addition, the thickness of noodles, the process of soup preparation, topping, etc. can be different as well. Today, we are going to introduce you the local ramen which you must try in Japan!
Sapporo Ramen in Sapporo, Hokkaido: The Origin of Miso Ramen
Sapporo ramen is the local ramen of Sapporo, Hokkaido. It is prepared by frying the vegetables with lard and garlic and boiling them together with the pork bone soup and miso, served with the boiled ramen noodle. This preparation method allows the soup, ingredients and noodle to be served together hot to warm up our body in this cold north area, Sapporo. The wrinkled noodles are commonly topped with corn and butter, some restaurant also has seafood toppings such as crabs and scallops. Even though Sapporo is said to be the originated place of Miso Ramen, many restaurants also serve Shoyu Ramen (soy sauce ramen) and Shio Ramen (salt ramen).
Hakata Ramen in Fukuoka, Kyushu: Restaurants with Refill System
Hakata Ramen is another representative local ramen in Japan with popularity rivaling Sapporo Ramen. The characteristic of Hakata Ramen is the richness of the thick soup prepared by cooking with pork bone for long hours. Hakata Ramen have thin noodles with toppings such as chopped onions and Cha Shu. Besides, garlic paste, sesame, red pickled ginger and other condiments are placed on the table for you to add according to your preference. Hakata Ramen restaurants often has a refill system which you can get a noodle refill known as “kaedama”. A few famous Hakata Ramen chain restaurants have branch restaurants outside of Japan, for instance Hakata Ippudo (博多一風堂) and Ichiran(一蘭).
Tokyo Ramen: Soy Sauce Base with Most Number of Restaurants
The characteristic of Tokyo Ramen differs by restaurant, however the numbers of Tokyo Ramen restaurant in Tokyo ramen is said to be the largest in Japan. Generally, the soup of Tokyo Ramen is made by adding the soy sauce to the chicken bone soup which is boiled with vegetables and pork bones. The noodle used are shrinking noodles, and the toppings are ingredients such as cha shu, menma (pickled bamboo shoot), leeks, Naruto (fish paste) etc. There are also shops which serve Tokyo Ramen with seaweed and half-boiled egg.
Kyoto Ramen: Topped with Kujo Green Onion and Cha Shu
It is said that there are three types of “Kyoto Ramen”: chicken bone soup with back fat, pork-based soup cooked with dark and thick soy sauce, and simmered chicken soup. Kyoto Ramen uses straight noodle, and common toppings are the soft Kujo green onions, cha shu, menma, etc. Some Kyoto Ramen restaurant chains include "Shinpuku Saikan (新福菜館)", "Tenka Ippin (天下一品)", and "Masutani(ますたに)".