Get ready to slurp up some yummy goodness, because spring is coming early to Osaka! And we've got a mouth-watering spread of unique Japanese ramen for you to dig into. This month, we've handpicked some of the best seasonal flavors, regional specialties, and one-of-a-kind creations for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. So get your box and let's slurp!
Allergens: wheat, egg, soy, chicken, pork, gelatin Cooking time: 5 minutes Spring is coming early this year, but what’s coming even faster is exam season for students in Japan! With this in mind, Toyo Suisan released a new series of ramen this year: Ganbare! Jukensei (がんばれ！受験生), which can be translated as “Students, do your best!”. To give them lots of energy, they’ve combined those new releases with the classic Menzukuri series (麺づくり) and made a filling and satisfying cup! Those bonito flakes are a real hit! The medium-thick fried noodles come in a light broth made from bonito stock. It’s well-balanced, with lots of aromas (香る) and a lovely seafood taste (魚介).
Allergens: wheat, egg, dairy, soy, pork, gelatin Cooking time: 3 minutes Here’s another delicious cup… without ramen, from the Ganbare! Jukensei series because those flavors are limited edition only, and we wanted to make sure that you could give them a try and compare! The flavor, though, is completely different. First of all, it’s a cup of Wonton (ホットワンタン), which means that it’s filled with delicious Chinese Wonton dumplings! The aromas, too, are unique: a mix of Katsuobushi and Egg (かつおぶし香るたまごスープ) are used for the broth. If you’ve got the appetite, we recommend you a side-by-side tasting to really get a feel for the differences. This is what we love about instant noodles: the concept is simple and the same across thousands of available items, but every single one is unique! And when we get something really original like this, we want you to try!
Allergens: wheat, dairy, shrimp, pork, salmon, soy Cooking time: 3 minutes If you’re looking for a flavor-bomb, this is it. Rich and delicious yakisoba (焼そば) with charred soy sauce and a creamy butter flavor. Yakisoba are a popular type of noodles in Japan, they are often eaten in combination with one of Osaka’s specialties: Okonomiyaki. U.F.O is probably the most famous instant yakisoba there is. There is even a video game and a feature film about the yakisoba series, featuring the hero UFO Kamen Yakisoban! And they deliver on their reputation. With thick cod roe (たらこ), the charred soy really stands out and makes for a delicious meal!
Allergens: wheat, egg, dairy, sesame, mackerel, soy, chicken, pork Cooking time: 3 minutes Kuze Fuku Shoten was established in 2013 and is one of Japan’s best gourmet stores. They’ve worked with Sanyo Shokuhin to create a unique vegetable dashi (野菜だし) ramen. They are a salt-based ramen (shio ramen, 塩らーめん), made from a special vegetable dashi recipe from Kuze Fuku Shoten. The cup has a unique umami and is very fragrant. The noodles are on the thinner side, which works well with such a light broth, and topped with cabbage, bean sprouts, kikurage mushrooms and carrots and a 30% increase in toppings from the previous version!
Allergens: wheat, egg, dairy, sesame, soy, chicken, pork, gelatin Cooking time: 3 minutes Here we have a broth with very deep flavors from the Maru Uma series (まる旨). Acecook launched this series focusing on making every single cup more “umai”, delicious. Umai has a special meaning in Japan, and we’ve got a specific article about this on our blog. In this cup, the Umai-effect comes from the fragrant tonkotsu soup. It’s made from domestic pork back fat, and has an additional pork extract base paired with garlic and ginger for more aroma. To match the deep broth, Acecook added smooth and crisp round noodles and topped up the cup with wood ear mushrooms, sesame seeds, green onions and a little red picked ginger.
Allergens: wheat, egg, dairy, sesame, soy, chicken, pork, gelatin Cooking time: 3 minutes Let’s travel up north from Osaka, to Niigata prefecture, known for mountains and a lot of snow. It’s important to keep warm over there, and a hot cup of noodles certainly helps with that! Those are local ramen from "Niigata Nagaoka" (新潟長岡) in the Nomihosu (飲み干す) series, which features a soup that makes you want to drink to the very last drop of the broth. It comes with round noodles (as opposed to flat ones), that are quite smooth and go well with the soy sauce broth (醤油ラーメン). It is pork based and gets its fragrance from a unique mix of spices and ginger. For the toppings, you’ll find well-seasoned minced chicken, green onions, and ginger.
Allergens: wheat, egg, dairy, pork, chicken, mackerel, soy, gelatin Cooking time: 5 minutes Twice the concentration of dashi, twice the amount of flavor: that’s the philosophy Nissin followed for this delicious cup from the Donbei series (どん兵衛). Those are not ramen noodles, but Udon (うどん) with a smooth and chewy texture, and a refreshing Kansai-style soup made with two types of dashi, bonito and kombu. It features a wide variety of ingredients such as chopped abura-age, fried eggs, kamaboko, wakame seaweed, and green onions.