Eating in Japan is easy, but eating like a local can be a bit more challenging!
Join us this month and we’ll introduce you to some of Japan’s tastiest ramen types that you'll want to enjoy again and again. Your Local Favorites Japanese Ramen Pack features seven delicious instant ramen, including:
This month, 5AM Ramen - a ramen tour operator in Tokyo - reviewed our Local Favorites Ramen Pack and called it "deliciously diverse." We've partnered with 5AM Ramen to host a special instant ramen giveaway for you!
Spoiler alert! Let's unbox and take a closer look at all seven instant cup noodles in September's Local Favorites ramen subscripton box.
Note: We list all main allergens on an information sheet included in our Ramen Pack. If you’d like to view this information before you subscribe, please email us.
Tonkotsu (pork bones) ramen originated in Fukuoka, Kyushu (southern Japan). The broth is made by boiling pork bones and other ingredients for hours, resulting in a cloudy and rich soup. Typically, tonkotsu ramen is topped with chashu (braised pork belly), menma (preserved bamboo shoots), negi (green onions) or moyashi (bean sprouts).
Maruchan Seimen’s Tonkotsu Ramen replicates a typical Tonkotsu Ramen well in that it has a “toro” (smooth and thick) like quality to it. The noodles are chewy, as is the preference in Fukuoka. In fact, the technology to produce these special noodles is patent-protected!
Ramen toppings include chashu pork, scallions and wood ear mushroom. If you want to add something extra to your tonkotsu ramen, we recommend boiled cabbage, as it goes really well with the tonkotsu broth.
“These noodles are special – with a wonderful bite to them, you wouldn’t guess they’re instant ramen noodles.” - Frank, 5AM Ramen
As ZenPop is based in Osaka, we may be partial to this Osaka branded shoyu ramen!
Shoyu ramen consists of a ‘clear’ (as in not milky, like tonkotsu), brown soup flavored with soy sauce (shoyu). The broth is usually made with chicken bones, although it may contain other meats depending on the region, and vegetables. Shoyu ramen is common all over Japan, although it is especially popular in the Kanto region (Tokyo) as it is said to have originated in Yokohama.
This Osaka ramen is a collaboration between Sankei Newspaper and Japanese instant-noodle maker, Acecook. They created this ramen in 2011, as there was no popular regional ramen in Osaka at the time. The cute illustration on the package is also unique as it features characters from Jarinko Chie (Downtown Story), a manga set in Osaka that debuted in 1978.
The broth is made with pork and vegetables to create a sweet and salty soup, enhanced by a special seasoning oil. One of the key ingredients of the soup is locally Osaka-grown onion.
Ramen toppings include agedama (crunchy bits of deep fried flour-batter), flavored chicken mince and scallions.
“The broth is a bold and tangy soy sauce with a hint of spice.” - Frank, 5AM Ramen
A classic chicken-based soy sauce ramen from Myojo Foods. The special chicken oil really takes the umami flavor to the next level! Ramen toppings include seasoned pork, pickled bamboo shoots and scallions. We recommend adding a boiled egg too.
“Much like the Osaka instant ramen, this one carries a tangy soy sauce flavor. But there’s an extra richness that sticks to your lips thanks to chiyu (chicken oil).” - Frank, 5AM Ramen
Tanmen is a light and salty ramen that hails from Tokyo. It’s made with traditional Chinese-style noodles in a light and salty chicken broth and served with plenty of vegetables! This Tan Men from New Touch roughly translates as Nostalgic (natsukashi) Vegetable (yasai) Tan Men. It’s made with an authentic shio (salt) based chicken broth and generously topped with vegetables. Ramen toppings include cabbage, corn, carrots and chives. We recommend adding a few drops of rayu (Japanese chili oil).
“...a salty bright broth and plenty of vegetables with plenty of crunch... It’s light but packed with flavor and textures.” - Frank, 5AM Ramen
Soumen (そうめん) are thin Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. As they can be served hot or cold they’re a popular noodle dish in Japan all year round. Acecook’s fragrant Yuzu Soumen is made with a traditional Japanese-style soup soup of bonito, kelp, shiitake mushrooms and dried sardines, with the added accent of yuzu (ゆず) - a citrus fruit that is a hybrid of mandarin orange and the ichang papeda. Ramen toppings include egg, scallions and flower shaped kamaboko (fish cake). At only 219 calories, it’s a good option for a healthier lunch or dinner, or even guilt-free midnight snack!
“It’s powered by yuzu citrus, which provides a wonderfully aromatic and sweet flavor…” - Frank, 5AM Ramen
Another delicious tonkotsu ramen from southern Japan. The non-fried noodles are the authentic Hakata-style bari-kata (or very hard) - bari means “very” and kata “hard”. When you enjoy a bowl of ramen in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, you’ll often be asked for your noodle firmness preference:
Ramen toppings include chashu, sesame seeds and chives. To experience the true Hakata-style Tonkotsu Ramen, make sure you don’t overcook the noodles (just 60 seconds!)
“This instant ramen more than adequately replicates this Hakata style ramen. The broth is a silky pork bone soup that’s rich, but also gentle.” - Frank, 5AM Ramen
Shin-shoga or “new ginger” is planted during spring and harvested during the summer. Shin-shoga is less spicy than normal ginger and is used to make the type of pickled ginger that you eat with sushi.
Founded in 1899 in Tochigi Prefecture, Iwashita is Japan’s major ginger pickle manufacturer. Pickled ginger can be enjoyed as is or with okonomiyaki, takoyaki, tamagoyaki or yakisoba!
Sanyo Food’s Iwashita Shin-shoga Shio Yakisoba is a newly released yakisoba (friend noodles) for the Japanese summer. The new ginger lends a mild spiciness to the dish. You’ll also enjoy a refreshing sourness from the vinegar, which is also where the pink color comes from! This simple, but delicious, yakisoba is only topped with cabbage.
“Perhaps this one reminds me most of the summer. It’s a salt-based yakisoba, with the highlight being young ginger (shin-shouga).” - Frank, 5AM Ramen
~~~Giveaway now closed! Thanks to everyone that participated and congratulations to our two lucky winners!~~~
We've partnered with 5AM Ramen this month to bring you a special giveaway for our fellow ramen lovers! Good luck
To enjoy these seven tasty bowls of authentic Japanese instant noodles, subscribe to September’s Local Favorites Japanese ramen box. Available until the 31st August or while stocks last.
Join Frank from 5AM Ramen as he shows you the very best ramen joints in Tokyo, Japan. You'll eat delicious ramen and enjoy it like a true local!
You can choose from various ramen tour options, like the Ramen Kitchen Experience, The Ultimate Ramen Tasting Tour or Insider Ramen Tour. He can even cater to your gluten free, vegan or vegetarian requests.
Frank is truly a ramen expert, so if you can't get to Japan right now to join his tour, check out his YouTube channel to get your ramen fix!