Sapporo Miso Ramen

Sapporo Miso Ramen


While in Sapporo, Tadashi and I took a detour from our regional hot pot hunt to check out a famed local dish: the city's signature miso ramen. This is a city that boasts countless ramen joints, two ramen yokocho (old and new) -- narrow alleys chock-a-block with tiny ramen shops, counter service only -- and the "Ramen Republic," a ramen theme park occupying the entire floor of a shopping mall. Why all the hoopla? Let's start with the broth, thick, complex and rich as gravy, slow cooked from pork, ground pork and kombu, maybe also with dried scallops and niboshi, and finally mixed with miso. Then consider the fresh egg noodles, thin like spaghetti but squiggly, lemon-yellow from all the yolks, and satisfyingly toothsome. Now add the toppings: sautéed cabbage and bean sprouts, thinly sliced negi, pickled bamboo shoots (menma) and thick -- in one joint, 1/2 inch thick -- slices of roasted pork. Sprinkle dried, sliced tongrashi (red chilies) and you're set. It ain't light -- we're talking a load of pork fat -- but it's ain't overpowering either. All the flavors were balanced and absolutely delicious. On a bone-chilling Sapporo winter day I can't imagine anything more satisfying. Find the ramen shops Tetsuya and Keiyaki the next time you're in town.

Posted by Harris Salat in Japan | Permalink | Comments (6) | Email | Print

Comments (6)

Hi Harris, I love following your blog. I read your article in the latest issue of Gourmet Magazine too. Just FYI, the Japanese word for "red chiles" is usually Romanized as "togarashi." Or for the pedantic, "tôgarashi" since the "o" is pronounced as a long vowel. Lee-Sean
Thanks for your comment, Lee-Sean. Interesting... When I asked Chef Ono about this, he told me that in downtown Tokyo lingo, you pronounce it "ton-garashi." (Can you tell we've been spending a lot of time together? :) )That goes for the seven spice mixture, too -- in Shitamachi, never say "shichimi" or "shichimi togarashi." Just "tongarashi." On the other hand, in the rest of Japan... I appreciate the fix! ... Harris
Wow! I guess you are right. I looked up "tongarashi" in the Japanese dictionary, and it showed up as a variant of "tougarashi." It just never came up in the "textbook" Japanese I learned in college or the three years I lived down in Kyushu.
Hi, ramen is not made with eggs, they only contain wheat. It's a common mistake because of the colour, but the yellow colour is the result of a reaction of the wheat with the alkalain water (kansui) that it is cooked in.
As much as the Japanese discussion is useful (for us learning Japanese) - the important thing here is the food. And whilst ramen may not be considered high-class Japanese cuisine - it's the everyday food that makes Japan a fantastic place to visit and experience all sorts of food. Japan would most probably be a disappointing place to visit if you're a vegetarian however. EVERYTHING (almost) has meat or meat products as a main ingrediant or in the sauces. Thankfully, I love my MEAT.
Thanks for your comment, Adelaide. One thing I'll add is that Japan has a deep and delicious vegetarian eating tradition, so I think vegetarians would do very well... h

Post a Comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Email This Story

Email this article to:
Your email address:
Message (optional):