Ramen fans all over the world will probably recognize the name Kitakta Ramen primarily because it is one of the three most famous ramens worldwide. Alongside the Hakata and the Sapporo ramen, this particular variant is considered one of the best and most popular in Japan. This ramen, as the name implies, comes from Kitakata, which is located in the Fukushima Province of the country.
Kitakata ramen noodle shops can be found all over the place and is, in fact, the most numerous in the country. As of last count, there were 130 shops all over the area. This ramen is different from its counterparts in many ways, starting with the noodles being thicker than others. Traditional Kitakata ramen is served hot with a shoyu-based broth, fish cake, scallions, bamboo shoots, and char shiu.
The broth for this particular ramen is made with pork bones, Niboshi, soy sauce, and a mixture of vegetables. Chicken is sometimes added to give the broth a different depth and added flavor. The addition of both Niboshi and shoyu in the broth is due to the fact that both of these have been produced in the area for centuries and are of a very high quality.
Another notable ingredient in this ramen is the noodles. Unlike other noodles in other areas of Japan, Kitakata Ramen noodles are flatter, wavier, thicker, and firmer. This is because of the way it is made and the amount of water added to the noodle dough to make it springy and firm. The noodles in this ramen are also matured for a bit of time, which also lends to its unique flavor and texture.
The combination of the thick, flat noodles and the shoyu-based broth is what makes this ramen one of the favorites in the country. The toppings also add to the mixture of flavors and textures that people love when it comes to this ramen.