- CITY Sapporo City click here for more information about this city
- PREFECTURE Hokkaido prefecture click here for more information about this prefecture
Sapporo Ramen is classed as being one of the signature dishes of the Hokkaido region of Japan. The dish is best served when using a base soup that makes use of the miso flavor that intertwines with thick crinkled noodles. Toppings for this dish will include butter, corn and vegetables that can be combined with the flavors of the basic ingredients of fried onions, cabbage, fried pork and of course, noodles.
What is so special about Sapporo ramen?
Every bowl of Sapporo ramen soup that is served has been made entirely in the wok. This style of ramen is typically made by mixing the tare (sauce) together with the base broth before the noodles and toppings are added. The tare is caramelized with vegetables then the base broth is added. This method of cooking ramen requires a few extra steps and skill. Higher temperatures can be maintained by cooking in the wok to create a deeper and more aromatic flavor.
Tare- the Sauce
Tare, also known as Kaeshi is a strong and salty flavored sauce made from shoyu (also known as soy sauce), miso, shio (salt) in addition to other flavors that help to determine the particular style of Sapporo ramen. The best chefs familiarize themselves with the different types and hand-pick the essential ingredients such as the soy sauce and miso.
What is Miso?
Miso is a traditional yet versatile food. It comes as a textured paste full of rich and complex flavors. It has a consistency similar to that of hummus though the miso you will find is slightly denser while full of several important nutrients. It is available in dozens of varieties and is used for soups, marinades for meat and fish dishes, vegetable stir fries and so much more.
The Use of Miso in Japan and Elsewhere
Miso has featured as a staple part of the Japanese diet for hundreds of years. Japan’s biggest producer of this product is Marukome and they make more than 100,000 tons of miso every year. Due to the ever growing popularity worldwide of Japanese food the use of miso is also increasing.
The History of Sapporo Ramen
Ramen was first introduced into Sapporo by a Chinese chef, Wang Wencai in 1923 when he opened the Takeya Restaurant. In the beginning he served a light chicken broth with its flavor coming from the shoyu or soy sauce. With the onset of the Second World War everything changed, ramen had essentially disappeared as the luxury of eating out became a victim of the rationing that was in place at that time. Once peace was restored ramen became popular once again with new styles being introduced such as a thicker pork broth used in the Ryuho restaurant in 1946 and the following year in the Daruma-ken restaurant by Senji Nishiyama. His brother founded the Nishiyama Seimen Noodle Company in 1953.
At first the main flavor was a combination of the soy sauce and salt. In 1954 a customer asked for some noodles to be placed into his miso and pork soup and a new classic dish was born. It was given the title of Miso Ramen, and since then Miso Ramen has been the signature dish of Sapporo style ramen. The restaurant that started the dish, the Aji-no-Sanpei has continued with the same recipe since its first use in 1954.
Where to find Sapporo Ramen
When you arrive into Sapporo, it is likely you will arrive through the city’s airport, the New Chitose Airport. Here on your arrival are numerous restaurants open purely for selling you their version of this dish.
Ramen Dojo has ten ramen shops that serve Miso and Yashio ramen. They also serve shrimp and soy sauce ramen across their range of shops. They recommend the use of local ingredients from Hokkaido and are a well established brand of stores with its head office in Tsitoku-chu in Doto. They are particularly proud of their Fish Shrimp Soy Sauce Ramen. It has been classed as a masterpiece of local pride and contains locally sourced seafood from the waters around Hokkaido including scallops. Their stores are open from 9am until 9pm with last food orders being taken at 8.30pm.
This style of ramen soup has a rich attractive taste. The Ramen Sora is located in Sapporo city in addition to having restaurants overseas in locations such as Singapore and Las Vegas. This style of Sapporo Ramen uses thick noodles combined with a thick and easy to drink soup. You will enjoy the taste that feels like it melts in your mouth on its first tasting. The soup has been boiling for five hours to ensure the softness of its ingredients reach its customers in a perfect tasting soup. Ramen Sora is a stylish space with plenty of seating and opens daily from 10am until 8pm. They take food orders up until 8pm.
Keyaki is one of Sapporo’s miso noodle specialty stores that have been in existence for more than 20 years. The soup simmers for 10 hours before it is ready for customers to consume. In the fiercely competitive downtown area of Susukino in Sapporo the colorful look and appealing smell are part of the reason local people flock here. The other reason is the taste that appeals to the senses through the slow cooking process using only the finest ingredients. Keyaki is open daily from 9am until 9pm with last food orders taken at 8.30pm.
Ebi soba one vision
This restaurant is known for its shrimp soup style of ramen. The shrimp head is simmered gently to ensure the taste and flavor are condensed within the product. In addition to the soup the ramen is stuffed with all you can eat prawns contained within a glass. To add to the appetizing ramen you can decide whether to have very thick noodles that are more often associated with ramen soup or if you prefer you can choose thin noodles. Ebi soba one vision also has restaurants in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Sapporo they open daily from 10am until 9pm with the last food orders being taken at 8.30pm.
Asahikawa Ramen Umekouen
This restaurant combines an animal soup together with one that contains seafood to make its miso ramen. This restaurant has existed in Sapporo for over 50 years. The characteristics of the soup are a deep tasting blend that is easy to drink and is favored equally by the young men and women of the city as it is by its older population. The restaurant is open daily from 10am until 9pm with last food orders taken at 8.30pm.
Noodle shop open high
This restaurant allows you to choose your miso ramen according to your individual taste. It is a miso ramen specialty restaurant that uses an original soup made from locally produced ingredients of Hokkaido including pork bones, pork leg (femurs), scallops and mackerel. You also have a choice between white miso and a mild tasting rich red miso. One of the specialties of this restaurant is the Kani-dashi-miso noodles and comes highly recommended. It looks like a crab when viewed from above. It is open daily from 8.30am until 8pm with the last food orders taken at 8pm.
Noodle shop Hakurei Sanso
This restaurant offers real Sapporo ramen using well balanced ingredients, sauce and of course, soup. The soup is a blend of Shirasagi miso together with white miso to give a rich although not tough tasting ramen. The perfect balance allows the depth of taste and flavor to come out in its various ingredients used in this soup. It is a famed store within Sapporo that continues to hold onto several people despite the market for ramen being highly competitive within Sapporo. One of the restaurants famed dishes is Skiru Hokkaido Ramen, it uses plenty of corn, butter and locally produced ingredients such as scallops. It opens daily from 10am until 8.30pm with the last food orders being accepted at 8.30pm.
Hakodate noodle kitchen Ajisai
This is a fairly transparent soup produced in a restaurant that has over 80 years of tradition. The noodles used in this soup are specially made for this dish, they are easily slipped into the mouth and swallowed as you taste the light attractive ingredients of this long-established soup. The most common soup eaten here is miso salt ramen although other flavors are available that include the miso flavor along with the corn noodles. The restaurant is open from 10am until 8pm on weekdays, while it remains open until 8.30pm at the weekend and during public holidays.