Ramen, Ramen, can you tell them apart?
The distinct feature of Tokyo style ramen is in its broth – light and soy-flavoured chicken broth with a touch of dashi. It is said to originate from the old streets of Tokyo, where the soup is quickly sipped down. Good for those who are not keen on the salty and oily miso.
Kogashi means that is has a burned miso flavour, and is slowly gainly its popularity here. You will find a blackish aromatic oil made from charred crushed garlic found at the top of the broth. Topped with bamboo shoots and kikurage (wood ear mushroom), the result is simple yet amazing.
Sapporo is the most popular form of ramen, especially in Singapore. It is from the capital of Hokkaido. And as Hokkaido is known for its very cold winters, the broth is very rich and salty miso which warms the tummy in the chill. The ramen is typically topped with sweetcorn, butter, beansprouts, fine pork and garlic.
From the southern island of Kyshu, this is one of my favourties. Milky white broth with extra extra straight and medium thin noodles. So it is a big contrast from the yellowish, curly, instant noodle lookalike Sapporo.
Kitakata noodles are thick, flat, curly and almost feel like you are eating a bowl of udon. It is served in pork and niboshi (drief baby sardines) broth.
Hakata ramen originates from Fukuoka city in Kyushu, with a rich, milky broth because it is cooked with pork-bone for long hours. A distinct feature in its topping – sesame seeds, and others such as pickled greens and ginger left on the side.
So, can you tell one ramen from the next yet?