Nagahama Ramen – Circa 1955
When Hakata’s famous fish market was moved to the “Nagahama” area in 1955 many of the Ramen shops and street stalls that served its workers with a quick, cheap and delicious feed moved with it.
It is a local legend that the now world-famous Tonkotsu Ramen evolved in Nagahama because the stall-workers were so busy that they wanted a faster-cooking Ramen (as if 1 minute wasn’t fast enough!). To suit the thinner, faster-cooking Hosomen (thin straight noodles) Tonkotsu pork broth grew thicker. And because the broth was so thick and tasty (and so much of it kept its flavour even after being absorbed by the thinner noodles), it became common practise to order a “Kaidama” – a cheap second helping of boiled noodles to help finish down the broth. You can order both rounds of noodles to the hardness you want – “katamen” (hard noodle) is the popular choice.
Connoisseurs of the Hakata / Nagahama Ramen claim that a bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen is in fact perfected with two servings of noodles: the first round to enjoy absorbed into the steaming broth, the second just for the noodles.
Broth: Tonkotsu Pork (Thick, Creamy, Milk-like)
Flavour: Shio (Salt) – Tangy, Porky
Noodle: Hosomen – Thin, straight Egg White Noodles
Kokoro Ramen’s Hakata Tonkotsu Shio pairs our pride and joy, a Tonkotsu broth cooked for over 10 hours each day. Thick, white and creamy, this broth is tempered with vegetables and cared for tenderly as each day goes past. The Shio (Salt) flavour is the least strong in terms of flavour, though it does have quite a salty tang. It is the best way to judge a good or bad ramen broth as most of the flavour comes straight from the soup. So if you love the taste of Tonkotsu, this is the best flavour to have it with.
We make our noodles focusing on chewiness, absorption and resilience after soaking in broth. The perfect balance should be struck and the key focus of Ramen is delicious, handmade noodles. The thin, egg-white egg noodles are prepared for just the right absorption in the broth. You’ll get a surprising amount of chew over these thin noodles but eat them fast, as they don’t last as long in the broth as the thicker chijiremen.
We serve Nagahama Tonkotsu Shio Ramen standard with:
Spring Onion, Red Ginger, Shaved Leek, Ajitama Egg, roasted sesame seeds and one slice of sweet-marinated Pork Belly.