- Frank Striegl
Instant Miso Ramen - Top 5 from Japan
Instant Miso Ramen - consider these 5 the very best from Japan! From a unique miso ramen with milk and curry to a spicy miso ramen from the North, these are the cream of the crop.
1. Red Ball Spicy Miso Ramen - Akayu
Yamagata in Northern Japan is known for its snowy winters and picturesque hot springs. But they're also known for tasty ramen. In fact, Yamagata boasts 5 different ramen styles. One of these styles is a spicy miso ramen that hails from the city of Akayu.
All of its wonderful traits are found in this official instant version. This includes a rich soup and toppings like green laver seaweed and fish cake. But the biggest highlight is the red ball. This is actually what makes the soup spicy and garlicky.
2. Japan's Top Ranked Miso Ramen Shop - Saimi
Many regard Menya Saimi to be Japan's best miso ramen shop. Located in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Saimi comes from the Sumire school of miso ramen. For one, this means a generous amount of pork lard in the soup. This pork lard ensures that the soup stays hot.
To contrast with this lardy richness, there are powerful jolts of ginger too. Lastly, meat lovers will be happy with Saimi's instant miso ramen. There's both minced pork and a slice of pork among toppings.
3. Earthy Miso Ramen from Nagano - Shinshu
"Shinshu" is the old term for Japan's beautiful Nagano region. It's home to Shinshu miso, which might be Japan's most famous type of miso. In this instant ramen, Shinshu miso is the star of the show. It holds up a soup that's both hearty and earthy in flavor.
That earthy flavor is strengthened by the unique toppings. These toppings include shimeji mushrooms and nozawana, a Japanese leaf vegetable from Nagano. The seasoned chicken meatballs are delicious too.
4. Pork Lardy Miso Ramen - Sumire
The owner at Menya Saimi (entry no. 2) trained at miso ramen powerhouse Sumire for many years. Naturally, there are strong similarities between the ramen at Sumire and at Menya Saimi. However, Sumire's soup is thicker and employs more lard.
These same qualities carry over into Sumire's instant miso ramen. The same can be said for the thick and wavy noodles. Amidst the toppings, the pieces of minced pork are a flavorful treat.
5. Miso Ramen with Crisp Vegetables - Keyaki
You're probably recognizing a pattern. Miso ramen soup is often hearty. This is to combat cold temperatures in places where miso ramen is popular. Just like Saimi and Sumire, ramen shop Keyaki is from Sapporo, one of Japan's coldest big cities.
Keyaki's instant miso ramen soup is as smooth as silk. The toppings are quite different though. There's a mountain of vegetables; spring onions, cabbage, carrots, and wood ear mushrooms. In addition to the crisp textures, they all add sweetness to the soup.
BONUS - Curry and Milk Miso Ramen?
This is an interesting one. It's a lesser known miso ramen from Aomori prefecture, which is directly below Hokkaido. It's similar to Sapporo miso ramen...but with a strange twist. They literally add curry and milk to the soup.
Just as you'd expect, the milk gives the soup an extra creaminess. The curry takes over the stage from the miso. But this doesn't mean the miso isn't there. As crazy as it sounds, this instant ramen works!