Kumamoto Ramen : All about the Japan’s Local Tonkotsu Ramen
Have you ever eaten “Tonkotsu ramen (豚骨ラーメン)”, a popular Japanese noodle dish served in pork-bone broth?
As for the ramen shop, a Japanese ramen chain founded in Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture, Hakata Ippudo is probably one of the most famous ramen shops serving Tonkotsu ramen in the world.
Although it is generally said that Hakata Tonkotsu ramen, together with Sapporo Miso ramen and Kitakata ramen, is one of Japan’s 3 best local ramen, it isn’t well-known that the birthplace of Tonkotsu ramen is “Nankin Senryo (南京千両)“, a ramen restaurant located in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture.
|MARUTAI Kurume Tonkotsu Ramen Instant Noodles (2 servings)|
From Kurume, the Tonkotsu ramen was introduced into other areas of the Kyushu district, including Hakata, Kumamoto, and Saga, and influenced various local Tonkotsu ramen in Japan.
Kumamoto Ramen (熊本ラーメン)
Among those Tonkotsu ramen noodle soups, Kumamoto ramen is one of the most popular local ramen in Japan. In fact, there are a bunch of Kumamoto ramen specialty shops and instant noodles loved by ramen fans, so this time I will talk about Kumamoto ramen in detail.
Firstly, let me introduce the general features of Kumamoto ramen.
Many ramen shops in Kumamoto use pork bones and chicken bones to make a broth, but some make a broth using only pork bones. As toppings, fried garlic chips and black garlic oil called “Ma-Yu (マー油)” are commonly added to the soup. It is generally said that the soup of Kumamoto ramen is mild compared to that of Hakata ramen.
Many ramen shops in Kumamoto offer medium-thick straight noodles containing not so much water, and boil them a little bit hard.
Typical ingredients in Kumamoto ramen include seasoned boiled eggs, “Chashu” roast pork slices, “Menma” processed bamboo shoots, cloud ear mushrooms, chopped green onions, bean sprouts, and dry sheets of Nori seaweed, all of which are placed on top of the noodle soup.
Famous Ramen Shops
Next, here are 3 ramen shops especially famous for their Kumamoto ramen.
Image : tabelog.com
Komurasaki is one of the ramen shops that are considered the birthplace of Kumamoto ramen, which was opened in 1954. Komurasaki has a branch in Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum located in the city of Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. Hence, Komurasaki is probably the most famous Kumamoto ramen restaurant in Japan.
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 – 16:00 pm (Last call : 15:30 pm), 18:00 pm – 22:00 pm (Last call : 21:30 pm)
- Closed : Japan’s Year-end and New Year holidays
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Kokutei is one of the most famous ramen shops in Kumamoto, which was opened in 1957 in the city Kumamoto. The ramen shop has been selected as one of Kumamoto’s most popular ramen shops many times by vote. In fact, it is not unusual to see many people waiting in long lines in front of the shop.
Shop Information : Kokutei (黒亭)
- Address : 2-1-23 Nihongi, Nishi-Ku, Kumamoto (MAP)
- Open : 10:30 am – 20:30 pm (Last call)
- Closed : Third Thursdays
Keika Ramen (桂花ラーメン)
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Keika Ramen is also one of the most famous Kumamoto ramen specialty shops and has branches in Tokyo. The Kumamoto ramen is characterized by the big-size toppings placed on top of the noodle soup. Especially, the Chashu slice has a good reputation because it is really tender with a texture melting in the mouth.
Shop Information : Keika Ramen Head Shop (桂花ラーメン 本店)
- Address : K-1 Building, 11-9 Hanabata-Cho, Chuo-Ku, Kumamoto (MAP)
- Open : (Mon. – Thu.) 11:00 am – 23:45 pm (Last call), (Fri. Sat.) 11:00 am – 1:45 am (Last call), (Sun.) 11:00 am – 20:00 pm (Last call)
Kumamoto Ramen Instant Noodles
|Kumamoto Mokkosu Ramen, 123 g X 10 bags|
There is a package of Kumamoto ramen instant noodles that had been unavailable on Amazon Japan until recently because of its great popularity, which is “Kumamoto Mokkosu Ramen (熊本もっこすラーメン)“.
At present, the instant Kumamoto ramen can be bought on Amazon Japan and has gotten many high ratings from customers.
From the above, if you are interested in Kumamoto ramen, this best-selling Kumamoto ramen instant noodle soup is a must-try. Luckily, now it is available even on Amazon.com.
(Reference Page : Wikipedia 熊本ラーメン )