– Shio (Salt Ramen ) Style “Hakodate (Hokkaido Area) Ramen” Ramen in Hakodate means Shio Ramen!
As we all know there are regional variations of ramen in Japan, but only one area mainly serves Shio (Salt) Ramen,
which is in Hakodate (Hokkaido). Hakodate Ramen is all shio, all salt ramen.
Light and flavorful clear salt broth soup and less wrinkled noodle haven’t been changed so much since it originally came from China the long time ago.
Since Hakodate port had opened to out of the country earlier than the other ports, it was the 1st or 2nd earliest city in the Japan to accept Ramen culture.
Hokkaido is especially famous for the rich taste of ramen, which was invented there and which is ideal for Hokkaido’s harsh snowy winters,
but Hakodate is famous for its salt flavored clear taste ramen because of the warmer weather compared to other cites in Hokkaido.
Most of the restaurant in Hakodate uses Pork bones bases soup but some restaurants use chicken bone bases too.
Their soup is so clear as you can see the bottom of ramen bawls if no noodles in, also has very fewer oils in the soup makes you feel refreshing.
What we know “Tonkotsu soup’ is typical whitely clouded one, but it actually depends on how long you cooked and strength of fire against the soup.
If you cook over a stronger fire, the soup gets more clouded because of gelatinous pork back fat melts really quick.
One the other hand, even you use the same pork bone, if you cook over a lower flame, try not to get really boiled, it won’t be clouded.
it will more like cleared and you feel fewer smells of chicken bones.
Hakodate ramen features its delicate non-flavored tastes created by later approaches.They don’t use strongly flavored seaweeds for ramen broth.
Even Hakodate is well known as the main production of seaweeds (Konbu), very few restaurants use Konbu for ramen broth.
Assuming the main reason that they keep the non-flavored soup is Hakodate ramen took over the Chinese style noodle as exactly the same as it was
when they first time landed in Hakodate.
Actually, my father (ramen chef please see blog #2) was cooking Shio-ramen too.
Though he has never served in his restaurant, only for family’s meal. My father’s “Shio Ramen” was different from above Hakodate ramen,
chicken bone, dried seaweed, dried bonito flakes, and some fishes are all mixed in his soup broth.
I think that because Onomichi (our restaurant was located) area was also famous for seafood near the ocean.
Hakata Jima (Hakata Island) was in Seto inland sea in front of our house.
Hakata Jima was one of the most famous natural salt making places using bittern in the Seto inland sea.
This natural salt called “Hakata no Shio” has the rich taste and even feel its sweetness.
You can clearly see the differences when you cook rice ball (Onigiri) with the salt, that was the best Onigiri and salt I ever had.
I didn’t feel strong “salt” flavors. I couldn’t believe that long time ago people drink Sake with only salt no meal,
but now I understand that this really tasty salt can make it possible.
My uncle owned his Chinese restaurant next to my home town, and they have not only “Shoyu ramen” but “Shio ramen”.
Our family always ordered the same thing “stir-fried liver and Chinese chives” and “Shio Ramen ”
Because either of them not on the menu in my father’s restaurant plus, it was more delicious than my father’s Shio-ramen.
My uncle used Chicken bone, dried seaweed, Bonito flake and dried scallop for ramen soup broth.
The scallop soup was so delicious as the soup can be reached at entire my body, it was an ultimate “Shio ramen”
At the time I was teenage only thinking about eating and curious about Shio butter ramen, very rich taste salt ramen.
I was so surprised that how come they can mix the butter in the ramen soup… but once you tried you will get addicted to it.
“Hokkaido Salt Butter ramen” I saw the big sign over the restaurant I used to go to eat butter ramen.
Hokkaido was very far from my home town Hiroshima, had never been there.
Before I first tried this ramen in Hokkaido, I was wondering is “butter ramen” is really exist in here? but it was, and so delicious.
To be continued….