Curry Ramen: Birthplace and Popular Instant Cup Noodles
Curry matches well with Japanese noodle soups, and in fact, ramen, udon, and soba with curry sauce are widely enjoyed around Japan.
The ramen and udon using curry sauce are literally called “Curry Ramen (カレーラーメン)” and “Curry Udon (カレーうどん)” respectively, while the soba with curry is generally called “Curry Nanban (カレー南蛮)”.
Curry Ramen (カレーラーメン)
As I wrote an article about Curry Udon and Curry Nanban before, today let me talk about the rest, Curry Ramen.
Actually, there are 3 major theories about the birthplace of Curry Ramen.
One is that a ramen shop that existed in Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture, “Tokyo Tei (東京亭)” first made Curry Ramen about 70 years ago, another is that a ramen shop in Tomakomai, Hokkaido, “Aji no Daio (味の大王)” (Google Map) created it in 1965, and the last is that “Minowa Shokudo (実之和食堂)” that was opened in 1955 in Omigawa, Chiba Prefecture, is the originator of Curry Ramen.
Sanjo Curry Ramen (三条カレーラーメン)
As for Sanjo Curry Ramen, although Tokyo Tei already went out of business, today there are more than 70 ramen restaurants in the city of Sanjo offering Curry Ramen. By the way, Sanjo Curry Ramen is generally known as one of the 5 major types of Niigata Ramen.
The city of Sanjo is famous for ironware in Japan, and Sanjo Curry Ramen was originally the comfort food loved by the craftsmen. Now, the local ramen in Niigata has gained wide popularity among people living in and around the city.
Sanjo Curry Ramen can be divided into 2 types; one is a soy-sauce-based noodle soup topped with curry sauce, while the other has a broth mixed with curry sauce.
The soup broth of the curry ramen is typically packed with umami from seafood such as “Niboshi (煮干し)” dried small sardines and “Katsuobushi (鰹節)” bonito flakes.
Instant Curry Ramen
A variety of cup ramens with curry flavor can be seen at supermarkets in Japan, among which, Nissin Cup Noodle Curry is the top seller. Of course, I love it, but in addition, my recommended product is the above, Acecook Sanjo Curry Ramen.
This instant curry ramen is actually sold only locally, at supermarkets, drugstores, and convenience stores in Niigata Prefecture. Featuring a deep flavor of curry that comes from several kinds of spices, the umami of chicken, and rice powder, the seafood-based soup tastes quite good!
(Reference Page: Wikipedia カレーラーメン )