This is a type of tonkotsu ramen from Kurume city.
Kurume city is located in the southern part of Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu.
Kurume ramen is known for having thick, rich and flavorful tonkotsu (pork bone broth) soup,
Paired with straight shaped ramen noodles.
Toppings of Kurume ramen are…
Chashu, kikurage, green onions, and nori.
1. If tonkotsu ramen is a Power Ranger, he will be Black Ranger
Black Ranger is as strong as Red Ranger, and he has great leadership too.
And he has a large presence in the team.
When I was a kid, he was the coolest ranger among all the rangers to me.
During summer vacation one year, I stayed in Tokyo by myself for the first time to go to cram school,
I discovered a tonkotsu ramen shop literally next to the cram school.
Have you ever had this kind of experience?
The excitement that you discovered something important.
Feeling good about yourself that you found something new and cool.
I got instantly addicted to the ramen there…
The soup of tonkotsu ramen is known for these distinctive characteristics.
2. Kurume ramen soup is very thick
Do you know the reason why it is very thick?
This is because of their recipe for soup.
Kurume ramen chefs keep adding new soup into the pot when the soup goes almost out of stock.
This replenishment process accumulates umami almost 3 times,
For example, soup that is made in a regular way has 6 milligrams of umami (Glutamic acid),
But Kurume ramen soup has 17 milligrams of umami.
In addition, this type of ramen has a lot more tonkotsu flavor/smell than other kinds of tonkotsu ramen.
3. Kurume ramen noodles are a little thicker than Hakata ramen
These noodles have straight shapes.
They are not wavy.
And they are firm noodles made of wheat flour.
4. Toppings of Kurume ramen are chashu, kikurage, green onions, and nori
Chashu is a thinly-sliced piece of braised pork.
Umami-rich, melt-in-your mouth, tender, marinated thin pork slices on top of a piping hot bowl of flavourful ramen.
Kikurage is a wood ear mushroom.
It has a soft texture with a nice bounce.
And it goes really well with tonkotsu ramen.
They use a special kind of green onions.
It is called wakegi.
Wakegi is a hybrid of an onion and green onions.
But it doesn’t have the pungent flavor that onion and green onions have.
So wakegi has a much milder taste.
Nori adds some accent to the ramen, visually and tastewise.
Ramen looks more appetizing when you put nori on top.
Nori also has umami in it since it is seaweed.
Combining umami from pork bone, some vegetable, and nori creates a complex flavor.
Ajitama is a marinated ramen egg.
This ramen egg is famous and well-loved for its firm and seasoned egg whites, coupled with a soft and succulent egg yolk.
Debatably, this is one of the most popular ramen toppings of all time.
Some Kurume ramen restaurants put raw eggs instead of ajitama.
5. Kurume ramen is the root of all Kyushu tonkotsu ramen
Including Hakata ramen.
It was first served in 1937 at Nankin Senryo.
And the ramen Nankin Senryo served actually had transparent soup.
You needed to wait to get clouded tonkotsu ramen soup until 1947.
It happened at a ramen stall called Sankyu.
One day, the chef took his eyes off his pot of broth.
And the accidental high heat from the strong fire boiled the broth more than it was supposed to.
The broth was very cloudy and the owner was about to throw out the broth.
But he decided to try it...
And it was delicious!
He started to use this cloudy broth for his ramen and this was the beginning of the cloudy tonkotsu ramen soup.
6. The conclusion is…
Kurume ramen has a richer and more unique taste than Hakata ramen since new broth is added into the original boiling pot of soup.
Some restaurants have been boiling the same pot for half a century.
Amount of oil in the soup is a lot less than Hakata ramen.
Kaedama is not as common with Kurume ramen than it is with Hakata ramen.
People there order yakimeshi (fried rice) instead of kaedama when they feel they won't be full.
Common toppings of Kurume ramen are chashu, green onion, kikurage, seaweed, garlic chips, grated garlic, black pepper, and ginger.
Soup: Thick taste and rich pork bone flavor
Noodles: Thin (cutter number: 22), straight, low water addition rate: 28 to 30%
Toppings: Chashu, green onion, kikurage, seaweed, garlic chips, grated garlic, black pepper, and ginger
Due to Covid, a lot of good ramen restaurants have closed
It makes me feel very angry.
I used to eat ramen out frequently,
But in this situation,
Ramen shops have started to shorten the hours, limit the number of customers, or even closed their shops.
It has affected the industry so much.
I am afraid good ramen will be gone
But meanwhile, you still can enjoy ramen in the comfort of your own home.
Here are some of my recommendations for ramen lovers.
1. Sapporo Ichiban Shio Flavor
MY THOUGHTS OVERALL ★★★★☆
In truth, Sapporo Ichiban delivers a good quality shio ramen experience.
Actually, it is very difficult to find good shio ramen.
Do you know why?
Because it is very difficult to make it since it is very simple.
There are many good shoyu and miso flavored instant noodles out there.
But I feel specifically, the shio flavor market is monopolized by Sapporo Ichiban.
Think about this for a moment having good shio ramen for your dinner with your favorite ramen toppings.
Now, you want some, don’t you?
2. Nissin Raoh Shoyu Flavor
MY THOUGHTS OVERALL ★★★★★
It is nearly impossible to make restaurant quality noodles at home without the right tools and equipment.
How can you beat that?
Using Raoh’s shoyu flavour will help you achieve this easily. This is top-notch ramen hands down!
One pinnacle of instant noodles is the soy sauce flavor. It is expensive compared to regular ones but let me tell you, it deserves every single penny.
In a nutshell, I loved every bit of it.
...And I am sure you will too.
3. The problem here is that no toppings come with these packets.
Here are some topping options and recipes for you.
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About the Author
Kei is a self-proclaimed ramen lover, blog writer and founder of "Apex S.K. Japanese tableware".
"I am from Ibaraki, Japan.
Ramen is great! It can bring you a sense of happiness and satisfaction that no other food can. I have been eating ramen for 30 years.
If there is no ramen, my life would be miserable.
Ten years ago, I worked as an office worker. The job was really stressful - excessive working hours, low wages, unpaid overtime work, and constantly being yelled at by my boss.
I was new and alone, no girlfriend, no friends, and felt very lonely.
My only oasis was the ramen shop near the office. For me, the ramen chef there was literally an angel. I saw a halo on his head. (No joke)
Tonkotsu shoyu ramen was my all-time favorite. He made ramen with broth chock-full of umami flavor, nice chewy handmade noodles, and tender chashu.
My greatest dream is connect people with ramen through my blog. I want to share a lot of interesting and funny stories and ramen trivia with you.
Knowing more about ramen can help you appreciate your ramen and make it taste extra delicious."
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