Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ramen Alley

Along with beer, Sapporo is known for interesting ramen and curry soup. Both were on our to-eat list. While walking through the streets of Sapporo looking at ice sculptures we came across Ramen Alley.

First, a little history of Sapporo's unique ramen. Traditionally, noodles are served in a soy sauce-flavored soup, which was cooked with soy sauce in soup stock of pig bones. The pork/soy sauce flavor is very popular and is what we traditionally eat at our favorite ramen restaurant. In Sapporo, residents began using miso (soybean) soup as the base for noodles. Additionally they started adding stir-fried vegetables to it. Miso ramen has a distinctly different flavor - and it is spectacular!

Some Japanese men came out of a shop while we were walking down the alley. They were boisterous and shouted, "This one is good!" as they walked by. Sounds like enough of a recommendation to me. Inside we went. To the smallest ramen restaurant I've been in. Six stools and a small square for the chef.

Big pot is miso and vegetables. Front area cooked two pieces of pork.

Seaweed, egg, bamboo, onions, cabbage, mushrooms - yum!

Hokkaido gyoza - no pork, filled with fresh green onions

Pick your bowl and pay the machine. Safer for the chef.

All the ingredients are local to Hokkaido. The green onion gyoza was a little different. Their green onions are sweet and very mellow. We gobbled up our warm miso ramen. It was perfect and helped warm us up for the rest of our exploring in the freezing cold.

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