Quiet possibly my two favourite things in this world, and not necessarily in that order.
In another life I was a Chef. And food has been a passion that has never left even after I left the kitchen, so coming to Japan I had a list in my mind of food conquests I was going to consume shortly after landing. The list didn’t consist of the extreme or exotic like Fugu or Horse sashimi. But on top of that list was Ramen!
Without a doubt the king of all foods in Japan is the mighty bowl of “Ramen”. It sits on the throne ruling over all the other dishes. Being such a regional dish there is no end to the variety of different interpretations of Ramen as we made our way through the country chasing legendary snow.
Imagine this; being up before the sun and stretching out your not so fresh legs for the day ahead to ride another textbook tree run in Japan’s famous snorkel deep snow with your buddies and coming in cold and wet after being outside in wind and snow for 6 hours to the smell of a life giving, restorative and decadently delicious bowl of Ramen. Heaven.
My favourites were the Tokyo “Tonkutsu” style ramen with the richly complex broth from pork bones green onion and and white miso paste. The marrow and fat from the bones make it a richly creamy texture to this broth which is slow boiled for 18 hours. The eggs are typically boiled in this broth too.
*Tonkutsu Ramen in Tokyo, Japan
Heading North to Hokkaido you will experience a complete different type of ramen from Sapporo which is famed for its “Miso” style Ramen. Which is a miso based broth made with chicken bones, Shiitake mushrooms and ginger and gives it a lighter and very nourishing feeling when eaten.Its topped with Chashu Pork. Which is a slow cooked pork loin and sliced thinly and placed on top of the noodles with a perfectly boiled egg.
*Spicy Miso Ramen in Niseko, Sapporo.
Before coming to Japan I was excited to eat ramen. Leaving Japan I had truly fallen in love with Ramen! I will not reveal my favourite spots to eat this cultural wonder not even with the threat of water boarding. But if you happen to end up on one of Epic Snow’s Tours follow them to a truly memorable meal close to some of the best snow in the country!