All about Hokkaido Top Ramen
What is your image of Sapporo? Snow festival? Beautiful scenery? Well.. to me Hokkaido is the paradise of Ramen. Hokkaido ramen is distinctive according to its area.
“Sapporo” ,”Hakodate” and “Asahikawa” are collectively called “Hokkaido three major ramen”, and in recent years “Kushiro Ramen” and “Muroran Curry Ramen” has also done PR activities to target the fourth major ramen in Hokkaido.
Interestingly, there is not much in common between them, since each Ramen’s individuality is strong. Thus, it is difficult to find a common feature with “Hokkaido ramen”. Especially, the base soup is different from each other according to its area.
Three different base soups according to region
Before you visit Hokkaido, you would better memorize this sentence. Asahikawa is soy, Sapporo is Miso and Hakodate is Salt. Although many stores offer all these three soups, different region has their own mainstream taste.
Often, Hokkaido ramen has heavy and reach flavor, with a lot of oil usage. There are many Ramen based on pig bones, and fish-based soup stock is used depending on the area. In Asahikawa Ramen, flavored heated oil is applied to the soup poured in the vessel. Because of that, the soup is covered with a film of oil on top of the soup, so it prohibits soup from cooling down. It is said that wisdom of Hokkaido locals, who overcame the cold weather has been applied to their Ramen culture.
More about Sapporo Ramen – Miso Ramen with Bean sprouts
Before the war, salt based soup was well known and after the war, a soy based soup from boiled big bones (tonkotsu) spread for a while. After that, Miso ramen was devised and became popular, spread nationwide.
Typical example of miso Ramen uses fried vegetables, lard and garlic, and soup is usually made with stewed pork bone soup with miso soup dissolved. Also, Miso ramen often carries bean sprouts (moyashi) since harmony of this topping really tastes good. Main noodle used for Sapporo ramen is hyper hydrated medium-thinned crumb noodles.
More About Asahikawa Ramen – Soy Ramen with Lard oils
Before World War II, mild and refreshing taste was welcomed and became a sub-stream of Sapporo Ramen. However, after the war a unique culture focused on soy sauce based ramen has been spread.
A representative example of soy based ramen is soy sauce with pork pones, chicken straws, vegetables. The ingredients are simple compare to other ramen, but there are variations such as vegetable ramen. Many lard oils are floating. Main noodle used for Asahikawa ramen is medium-thinned noodles with low water content.
More about Hakodate Ramen – Mild salt base ramen
There is a ramen culture with the longest history in the country, and it is said that the flow of Chinese noodle dishes is still taken over. There are few ramen specialty stores, and ramen is often offered at Chinese restaurants.
Salt base Ramen is based on mild pork bone soup, but with low fat. Although Hakodate is the production area of kelp, their ramen rarely using fish and shellfish as soup base. The ingredients are often simple. Unlike other noodles in Hokkaido, noodles are hyper hydrated medium-sized straight noodles with multiple additions.
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