What’s Ramen

Ramen has distinct styles according to the area, and has been developed over time.

Useful terms to enjoy Ramen

 

Shio

Shio ramen soup is a light, clear broth seasoned with salt. It is typically made from chicken broth, but can also be flavored with other meats such as pork. Shio ramen is the oldest and most fundamental style of ramen. It consists of an amber-tinted soup base made from salt, chicken, fish, vegetables and sea weed. This ramen’s selling point is that, because the base is not boiled very long, the soup stays clear; this allows you to savor the natural, individual flavor of each ingredient. Thus, shio ramen has the lightest taste out of all four ramen variations.

 

Miso

Miso ramen’s soup is flavored with soybean paste (miso), resulting in a thick, brown soup with a rich and complex flavor. The style originated in Hokkaido where the long cold winters spurred the need for a heartier type of ramen soup, but it has spread to the point where it can be found pretty much anywhere in Japan.

 

Shoyu

“Shoyu” basically means soy sauce in Japanese. The soup is usually made of chicken broth but often contains other meats such as pork, beef or fish depending on the region. Shoyu ramen is the most common type of ramen and is usually what is served when the menu does not specify a specific type of soup. The soup consists of vegetable and chicken foundation with some soy sauce. The soup is clear brown and has a light, but firm taste. Despite its salty flavor, the abundance of soy sauce gives it a slight difference from its shio-based cousin.

 

Tonkotsu

Tonkotsu is directly translated into pork bones. You get the soup by boiling porkbones for a very long time, resulting in a very white soup base perfect for ramen.

 

Tantan
Going off tangent from the traditional ramen style, is this “Tan Tan Men”. This type of noodles originated in Szechwan, where people love spicy food. Using many different spices such as peppers and chili oil, the fried minced meat packs a punch of spice on top of the spicy sauce, making it a very attractive option for spicy gourmets.

 

  • Paitan
    The “Paitan” soup is a chicken based broth. It is made from the process of not boiling the soup while it is cooking to increase its transparency, and it has a very delicate flavor.
  • Tanmen
    “Tan Men” is a style originated in Japan where you simmer fried meat and vegetables in a salt based soup, poured on top of the noodles. The salt based soup is made with a very light flavor, making it very easy to eat. “Tan Men” offers both meat and vegetables which means this is a very healthy style of ramen.

Ramen Restaurants in Vancouver By Region style

Asahikawa

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Mainly blends soysauce into seafood and pork, or chicken broth soup. The noodles are usually thin and wrinkled.

Sapporo

Danbo・Menya Japanese Noodle・The Ramen Butcher
The Miso Ramen is known for their strong miso flavor topped with garlic. Many restaurants use vegetables fried with lots of lard and garlic to add more flavor to the soup.

Hakodate

Danbo・Menya Japanese Noodle・The Ramen Butcher
Hakodate style uses medium thick, straight noodles and usually comes in Tonkotsu or chicken broth based Shio soup.

Kitakata

Danbo・Menya Japanese Noodle・The Ramen Butcher
Kitakata is known for their Shoyu flavored soups with Tonkotsu, chicken broth, and dried fish broth in the base. The noodles are wide, wrinkled, and chewy.

Tokyo

Danbo・Menya Japanese Noodle・The Ramen Butcher
The classic and the standard Shoyu Ramen. Usually adding Japanese “Dashi” into Tonkotsu or chicken broth soup, and using wrinkled noodles.

Yokohama

Yah-Yah-Ya Ramen
Yokohama is better known for “Ie-Kei Ramen” or “Home Style Ramen”, a viscous, salty, and fatty tonkotsu-shoyu style pioneered at Yoshimuraya in 1974. It is said that there are more than 250 restaurants that serve this type of ramen.

Hidatakayama

Hida Takayama Ramen
This style uses chicken broth, bried bonito soup, and vegetable soup base, added to a blend of soysauce and “mirin”(sweet sake). Usually uses thin flat noodles.

Fukuoka(Hakata)

Danbo・Menya Japanese Noodle・The Ramen Butcher
Uses Tonkotsu based cloudy soup and super thin straight noodles. The toppings are usually green onions and Cha-Shu, as well as cloud ear mushrooms. Also, Hakata Ramen often has an option called “Kaedama” where you can order another portion of noodles to eat with your leftover soup.

Kumamoto

Danbo・Menya Japanese Noodle・The Ramen Butcher
Tonkotsu and chicken broth blended soup base is used in the Tonkotsu Ramen. The noodles are medium thick and has a very firm texture.