Kumamoto Ramen: A Regional Tonkotsu Ramen in Japan
When it comes to Tonkotsu Ramen, Hakata Ippudo and Ichiran are the most popular ramen chains offering pork bone broth ramen.
As you may know, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen, Sapporo Miso Ramen, and Kitakata Ramen are Japan’s three best local ramens,
but it isn’t well-known that the birthplace of Tonkotsu Ramen is Nankin Senryo (南京千両), a ramen shop located in Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture.
From Kurume, the pork bone broth ramen was introduced into other regions of Kyushu Island, including Hakata, Kumamoto, and Saga.
And it influenced various local Tonkotsu Ramens in Japan.
Kumamoto Ramen (熊本ラーメン)
Among such noodle soups, what I introduce here, Kumamoto Ramen is one of the best-recognized.
The Tonkotsu Ramen has many fans around the country, and in Tokyo, you can find a number of ramen restaurants offering it.
Because of its popularity, this bowl also comes in instant noodle form. But what does set it apart from its counterparts?
Many ramen shops in Kumamoto use pork and chicken bones to make broth, but some only use pork bones.
The soup often comes with fried garlic chips and black garlic oil called Ma-Yu (マー油), but it is not that garlicky, and the taste is mild compared to Hakata Ramen.
Many ramen restaurants in Kumamoto use medium-thick straight noodles with low water content and boil them slightly hard.
Typical garnishes for Kumamoto Ramen are seasoned boiled egg, Charsiu roast pork, Menma bamboo shoots, cloud ear mushrooms, chopped green onions, bean sprouts, and Nori seaweed sheets.
Next, I will introduce three ramen restaurants famous for Kumamoto Ramen.
Komurasaki is one of the ramen shops considered the originator of Kumamoto Ramen.
It opened in 1954 and now has a branch in Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Shop Information: Komurasaki, Kamidori-Chuo Branch (こむらさき 上通中央店)
- Address: 8-16 Kamidori-Machi, Chuo-Ku, Kumamoto (MAP)
- Open: 11:00 am to 16:00 pm (Last call: 15:30 pm), 18:00 pm to 22:00 pm (Last call: 21:30 pm)
- Closed: Year-end and New Year holidays
Opened in 1957, Kokutei is one of the most popular ramen restaurants in Kumamoto City.
In fact, in popularity contests, it has been chosen as one of Kumamoto’s top ramen shops many times.
Shop Information: Kokutei (黒亭)
- Address: 2-1-23 Nihongi, Nishi-Ku, Kumamoto (MAP)
- Open: 10:30 am to 20:30 pm (Last call)
- Closed: Third Thursdays
Keika Ramen (桂花ラーメン)
With locations in Tokyo, Keika Ramen is a well-established Kumamoto Ramen restaurant chain.
The pork bone broth ramen is garnished with biggish toppings, among which the Charsiu has a good reputation because of its tenderness and delicious taste.
Shop Information: Keika Ramen Main Shop (桂花ラーメン 本店)
- Address: K-1 Building, 11-9 Hanabata-Cho, Chuo-Ku, Kumamoto (MAP)
- Open: (Mon. to Thu.) 11:00 am to 23:45 pm (Last call), (Fri. Sat.) 11:00 am to 1:45 am (Last call), (Sun.) 11:00 am to 20:00 pm (Last call)
Lastly, regarding instant noodles, this Kumamoto Mokkosu Ramen (熊本もっこすラーメン) is a long-seller.
Until recently, the product had been unavailable on Amazon Japan because of its great popularity.
But now, it can be bought, and many customers have given it high ratings.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 熊本ラーメン )