Eating Kitakata ramen Bannai

What is Kitakata Ramen?

Kitakata Ramen is a local ramen (local gourmet) that originated in Kitakata City, Fukushima Prefecture.

Before the municipal merger in January 2006, the former city of Kitakata had about 120 ramen restaurants for a population of 37,000, the largest number in Japan in terms of the number of restaurants relative to the population. Along with Sapporo ramen and Hakata ramen, it is one of Japan’s three most popular ramen.

Kitakata ramen

The stable Kitakata-style soy sauce broth is clear, yet mellow and well-balanced. The noodles are thick and frizzy with high water content. The noodles are thick and frizzy, with a firm texture, and they scoop up the broth well. The filling consists of five slices of roasted pork, thickly cut green onions, and bamboo shoots. Half a bowl of rice is served with oshinko (Japanese pickles) during lunch time.

chilled ramen

This is chilled ramen.

Chicken broth-based soy sauce ramen. It is a common Chinese noodle soup in the Tohoku region. The noodles are cooled and floated on ice, with the unique flat noodles of Kitakata ramen swimming in the ice.

Even when served cold, the richness and umami flavor are still very strong. The Japanese flavor may make you feel like you are eating somen or soba noodles, but it is in fact ramen. The clean oil floating on the noodle clings to the noodle and gives it a ramen-like flavor.

The ice-cold soup makes the dough firm and crispy. The smoothness remains the same, but the core is slightly firmer, giving it a bit of bounce when you bite into it. The texture is so different that you feel as if you are eating a variety of dishes at once.

Kitakata ramen Bannai

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