What is Sano Ramen? from Tochigi Prefecture
Yamadai is a Japanese instant noodle manufacturer known for its instant ramen series named New Touch Sugomen that faithfully recreates local ramen bowls representing Japan.
I have loved the series for a long time, and today I enjoyed the “Sano Ramen (佐野らーめん)” at lunchtime. But what is Sano Ramen? a bowl of local ramen whose originator is Sano-san or Mr. Sano?
Sano Ramen (佐野ラーメン) from Tochigi
“Sano (佐野)” is a common Japanese surname, and somewhere in Japan, there might be a restaurant named Sano Ramen that Sano-san runs.
But this cup ramen emulates a local ramen bowl that Sano City in Tochigi Prefecture prides itself on.
The city has the largest number of ramen shops per 10000 population in Japan, and now, over 200 restaurants are offering ramen there.
A regional specialty of Tochigi, Sano Ramen features its homemade flat noodles that are made using green bamboo,
whose production method was taught by a Chinese person who lived in the city in the early Taisho period (Taisho: 1912-1926).
The broth is a light soy sauce-based clear broth typically made with chicken bones or Tori-Gara, but the taste varies depending on the shop.
Some use pork bones, and the base of the soup may be “Shio (塩: salt)” or Miso or “Tonkotsu (豚骨: pork bones)” in place of “Shoyu (醤油: soy sauce)”.
Typical toppings used in the ramen are Chashu pork, Menma bamboo shoots, Naruto fish cake, and chopped green onions.
Where to Eat
The oldest existent ramen shop serving Sano Ramen in Sano City is “Hourai-Ken (宝来軒)” (Google Map), which opened in 1930, known as one of the originators.
For those who want to try it out in Tokyo, these are popular ramen restaurants offering Sano Ramen in Tokyo.