Tonkatsu Ramen vs. Tonkotsu Ramen: What’s the Difference?

As you know, ramen is a noodle dish that represents Japan, and in recent years, instant ramen has been a staple in homes in many countries. 

Ramen comes in many different types and countless varieties, which include what I introduce here, Tonkatsu Ramen and Tonkotsu Ramen.

Tonkatsu Ramen vs. Tonkotsu Ramen

If you like ramen, you should know Tonkotsu Ramen. But how about Tonkatsu Ramen? And what exactly is it? 

For those who are curious about the latter bowl, today, let me explain how it differs from Tonkotsu Ramen.

Tonkotsu Ramen (豚骨ラーメン)

Tonkotsu Ramen

First off, Tonkotsu Ramen originated in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture. The birthplace is the ramen shop “Nankin Senryo (南京千両)“. 

As “Ton (豚)”, also pronounced as Buta, is the word for “pork”, while “Kotsu (骨)”, also pronounced as Hone, means “bone” in Japanese,

Tonkotsu Ramen is a noodle soup whose broth contains plenty of umami components from pork bones.

Pork Bones for Tonkotsu Ramen

Tonkotsu is one of the most popular flavors of Japanese ramen, together with “Shoyu (醤油: soy sauce)”, “Shio (塩: salt)”, and “Miso (味噌: fermented soybean paste)”.

The famous ramen chains, Ichiran and Ippudo, specialize in Tonkotsu Ramen, and the pork bone broth ramen is widely enjoyed throughout Japan.

Tonkatsu Ramen (豚カツラーメン)

Tonkatsu Ramen

Unlike Tonkotsu, Tonkatsu is not the name of a flavor but a traditional Japanese dish. And any ramen topped with it can be called Tonkatsu Ramen.

Therefore, the dish is available in various flavors, including Shoyu, Miso, and Tonkotsu. But the ramen itself is more of a rare variety and can hardly be found in restaurants. 

It is said that Tonkatsu Ramen has its roots in Okayama, where exceptionally many ramen shops are offering a bowl of it. 

Tonkatsu Pork Cutlet

As you may know, Tonkatsu itself is a Japanese-style pork cutlet, as “Katsu (カツ)” is the word for “cutlet”.

The deep-fried breaded pork is usually served with shredded cabbage on a plate and eaten with Tonkatsu Sauce, alongside bowls of white rice and miso soup.

(Reference Page: Wikipediaトンカツラーメン )



Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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