The Difference: Tonkatsu Ramen vs Tonkotsu Ramen

As you know, ramen is a noodle soup 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, Tonkotsu Ramen and Tonkatsu Ramen.

Tonkotsu Ramen vs Tonkatsu Ramen

If you like ramen, you should know Tonkotsu Ramen, but how about Tonkatsu Ramen? and what exactly is it? 

For those of you who are curious about Tonkatsu Ramen, today let me explain how it differs from Tonkotsu Ramen.

Tonkotsu Ramen (豚骨ラーメン)

Tonkotsu Ramen

First off, Tonkotsu Ramen is said to have originated in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, and the ramen shop in the city “Nankin Senryo (南京千両)” is known as the birthplace of Tonkotsu Ramen. 

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 dish whose broth contains plenty of umami ingredients extracted by boiling pork bones.

Pork Bones for Tonkotsu Ramen

Tonkotsu is one of the most common flavors of Japanese ramen, together with “Shoyu (醤油: soy sauce)”, “Shio (塩: salt)”, and “Miso (味噌: fermented soybean paste)”, and the pork bone broth ramen is widely enjoyed throughout the country.

Tonkatsu Ramen (豚カツラーメン)

Tonkatsu Ramen

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

Therefore, Tonkatsu Ramen 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 the birthplace of Tonkatsu Ramen is Okayama where exceptionally many ramen shops are offering a bowl of Tonkatsu Ramen. 

Tonkatsu Pork Cutlet

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

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



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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