Yonezawa ramen, Yamagata (Photo: Ttsuchitori / CC BY-SA 4.0)
Yonezawa ramen, Yamagata (Photo: Ttsuchitori / CC BY-SA 4.0)
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Regional Ramen - Tohoku

Introducing the ramen of Tohoku


Belying its rugged winter image, the ramen of the Tohoku region is surprisingly on the lighter side of texture and taste. The noodles in the prefecture, with some exceptions, tend to be curly and thin. A lot of the ramen in the region centres around Yamagata prefecture but the ramen of the other prefectures include some proper standout representatives. Here is a simple introduction to some of the ramen in Tohoku.

Yonezawa ramen, Yamagata

A light broth made from chicken stock, dried sardines and vegetables, Yonezawa ramen in Yamagata prefecture is characterised by its uniquely thin noodles. Courtesy of a three-day kneading period, these noodles are curlier than usual, giving Yonezawa ramen a texture that is decidedly energetic.

Yonezawa ramen, Yamagata
Yonezawa ramen, Yamagata (Photo: Ttsuchitori / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Kitakata ramen, Fukushima

One of Japan's most popular styles of ramen, Kitakata ramen hails from Fukushima prefecture. It features a light, soy sauce-based broth that is deepened with either pork, chicken or fish stock. The curly noodles used tend to be flatter and a lot thicker than usual, giving Kitakata ramen a great slurp when eating them.

Kitakata ramen, Fukushima
Kitakata ramen, Fukushima (Photo: Kohei Matsumura / CC BY 2.0)

Iso ramen, Iwate

A departure from ramen's usual land flavours, iso ramen from Iwate prefecture is an ocean bounty. Topped with fresh seafood, the salt-based broth is made from a stock of kombu seaweed and dried bonito flakes, giving it not only a much clearer appearance but also a lighter taste too. The noodles of iso ramen noodles tend to be a lot thinner as well.

Iso ramen, Iwate
Iso ramen, Iwate (Photo: Ty19080914 / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Miso curry milk ramen, Aomori

Perhaps Tohoku's most unique bowl of ramen, miso curry milk ramen from Aomori prefecture is extraordinarily rich and layered in its flavouring. The name pretty says it all with the addition of a dollop of butter a throwback to the orignator's Hokkaido roots. Wavy noodles of medium thickness give the dish just that right amount of complementary texture.

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Sherilyn Siy 3 years ago
The Iso ramen looks like something a mother would make for her children: nutritious toppings but not exactly a kid's first choice of what to eat, and then noodles are the draw. :P
Sander van Werkhoven 3 years ago
The Iso ramen and miso curry milk ramen, how different can two bowls of ramen be? I'd love to try them all!
Sleiman Azizi Author 3 years ago
Right? I mean, there are 'basics' for each region but really, they are just a starting point for variation.
Peter Sidell 3 years ago
I had miso curry mil ramen on my trip to Aomori a few years ago, and it was really good!
Sleiman Azizi Author 3 years ago
A write up, please!
Kim 3 years ago
That dollop of butter makes the whole dish!
Sleiman Azizi Author 3 years ago
That's a Hokkaido thing. The originator of miso curry milk ramen came from Hokkaido and wanted to showcase Hokkaido style ramen but it morphed into what you see now.
Elena Lisina 3 years ago
Miso curry milk ramen sounds exotic! Couldn't imagine such a combination!
Sleiman Azizi Author 3 years ago
Look inside your heart Elizabeth....
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