Overview

Other than being delicious, there is simply no way to categorise the ramen from Japan's Kanto region. A wide variety of styles and flavours, ranging from thin soy sauce broths to thick tonkotsu pork ones, the region even finds time for a hit of chilli spice as a base. Noodles, too, range from thin curly one to thick straight ones, offering a variety of textures to boggle the palate. Here is a simple introduction to just some of the ramen in Kanto.

Tokyo ramen, Tokyo

There are probably more variations of Tokyo ramen then of any other ramen in the country. At its most basic, though, a classic bowl of Tokyo ramen sees thin curly noodles served in a clear soy sauce-based broth made from pork or chicken stock. A legacy from the old days of soba stalls sees a touch of traditional fish and seaweed dashi.

Tokyo ramen, Tokyo (Photo: <a href="https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AB:Tokyoramen.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">ja:User:Hykw-a4 / CC BY-SA 3.0</a>)
Tokyo ramen, Tokyo (Photo: ja:User:Hykw-a4 / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Ie-kei ramen, Kanagawa

Ie-kei ramen from Kanagawa prefecture combines a thick tonkotsu pork and soy sauce broth with a healthy serving of firm noodles that are thick, straight and a delight to slurp. First created in Yokohama in the 1970s, this hearty dish is now also being served with a salt-based broth instead of soy sauce.

Ie-kei ramen, Kanagawa (Photo: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ikkakuya_Iekei-ramen_(shio).jpg" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">毒島みるく / CC0 1.0</a>)
Ie-kei ramen, Kanagawa (Photo: 毒島みるく / CC0 1.0)

Sano ramen, Tochigi

To go along with its thin soy sauce-based broth, Sano ramen from Tochigi prefecture serves a relatively thick yet flat noodle that is slightly chewy. Prepared using traditional bamboo pounding techniques that leave them moist and able to cooked very quickly, the water used comes from Lake Benten, one of Japan's top water sources.

Sano ramen, Tochigi (Photo: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sano_ramen_002.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Ocdp / CC0 1.0</a>)
Sano ramen, Tochigi (Photo: Ocdp / CC0 1.0)

Katsuura tantanmen, Chiba

A traditional dose of heat for divers and fisherman, Katsuura tantanmen from Chiba prefecture is a slow-burn flavour of spice. Its soy sauce-based broth uses chilli oil instead of sesame and, atop a bed of thick noodles, the addition of onions and sweet ground meat gives the dish an earthier flavour than one would first imagine.

Katsuura tantanmen, Chiba (Photo: <a href="http://www.c-space.jp/wordpress/archives/date/2017/10" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Image by 井上</a>)
Katsuura tantanmen, Chiba (Photo: Image by 井上)