Top Local Ramen Styles

Posted by Addah Aquino on

Sushi, sweets, bentos and more - on Oyatsu we have already introduced you to countless staple dishes of the Japanese cuisine. But there is one more dish that deserves some recognition and it is time to give it just that: Japanese ramen. The steaming hot bowl of noodles, meat, vegetables and delicious broth is Japan’s soul food. It warms up your body and fills your stomach at the same time. But ramen does not equal ramen and the number of different variations is countless. That is why we want to introduce you to some of the local ramen versions out there and show you how unique each bowl of ramen can be. Enjoy!

Hakodate Ramen

Hakodate ramen Our first noodle bowl comes from Hakodate in Hokkaido which is famous for its delicious ramen recipes. In fact, Hakodate is proud to call shio ramen (ramen that uses a salt-based broth) its own creation. Whether that is historically true or not is hard to tell, but what is sure is that the region around Hakodate is known for its lighter and thinner ramen broth when compared to other cities. Hakodate ramen usually has well-known toppings like pork, bamboo, various vegetables and occasionally seafood.

Sapporo Ramen

Hokkaido ramen For our next ramen dish we’re staying on the island of Hokkaido, but moving on to its capital Sapporo. The northern city is famous for its local ramen variations. The most popular broth here is miso-based and is especially suitable to warm you up and boost your immune system in the cold winters of Hokkaido. The ramen that you can get here are usually very rich and filling since fat is added in the form of pork, oil or butter. Hokkaido ramen is a must-try for all visitors of Japan.

Yokohama Ramen

Yokohama ramen The north of Japan isn’t the only place to get a good bowl of ramen, so let’s take a closer look at what Yokohama has to offer. Yokohama ramen is oftentimes called Iekei ramen and is actually the creation of one sole restaurant. At Yoshimuraya you can get a thinner ramen variation that is based on shoyu, Japanese soy sauce. The noodles are thin and served together with pork, seaweed, spinach and occasionally a hard-boiled egg. As a customer you may even get to choose the thickness of your noodles and the richness of your broth; that’s Japanese customer service at its best!

Kitakata Ramen

Kitakata ramen The last ramen style we want to introduce you to comes from Kitakata in Fukushima prefecture. Kitakata ramen isn’t hard to find: the city is famous for having the highest per-capita number of ramen restaurants in Japan. No wonder that so many people travel there to get a big bowl of the local ramen. The broth is usually a tonkotsu broth which uses pork bones to create a rich and strong flavor. Kitakata ramen noodles are thick and served with lots of meat and spring onions. But since there are so many different ramen shops to choose from, almost any version of ramen imaginable can be found in Kitakata.
Making ramen might be simple - after all you only have to combine broth, noodles and a handful of other ingredients - but it is still one of the staple dishes of Japan. Its simplicity allows chefs to get creative and come up with completely new recipes. Ramen definitely never gets old and is still one of the most loved dishes of Japan. What are you favorite local ramen styles and which ones would you like to try? Let us know in the comment section down below!

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