Hokkaido is the land of Ramen!
Sapporo is the most famous city for ramen in Hokkaido and the three cities of Sapporo, Hakodate, and Asahikawa are known as the best cities for ramen in Hokkaido. The difference in ramen in each city is its soup base. Sapporo’s specialty is Miso-based soup, Asahikawa is soy sauce-based, and Hakodate is salt-based soup. However, you can get good ramen in all three varieties of these soups, in just about any city in Hokkaido.
Why is Sapporo the most famous city for ramen? It’s because Sapporo is where Miso ramen began. Miso ramen is made based on the cold weather in Sapporo. The soup is covered with lard to protect its heat from the cold weather, allowing you to enjoy a nice hot bowl of Ramen to warm yourself up during the cold winter months.
I tried Otaru’s ramen!
Otaru ramen doesn’t have as many features that the three biggest ramen cities have, but some of the ramen shops in Otaru are just as good. I asked the taxi driver which ramen shop is the best, and he recommended “Ramen Shodai” (literally means, the first). It opened in 1994 and is named after their philosophy, “Even if the shop continues on for generation after generation, the taste will never change.”
First thing I got was onigiri filled with minced pork, mayonnaise, and spring onions. It really went
well with the ramen.
I finally tried it!
This time I was able to get a bowl of the ramen that is limited to a sale of 30 bowls a day called, “Shiro-tamari-shoyu ramen” (White tamari soy sauce ramen). White tamari soy sauce is made of white wine boiled with salt, white tamari soy sauce, shellfish, and adding some salmon fish sauce for a kick in flavor.
All the ingredients were very harmonious, and it tasted so good!
It’s lighter in taste than the soy sauce based ramen, but it surely has umami (pleasant savory taste), with a hint of sweetness. The pork used in the ramen is definitely unique! What I mean is, it’s sliced right off the bone! It tastes more like ‘real’ pork compared to your usual store-bought pork, and is so soft and thick that can be easily split with chopsticks. Once you bite it, the juicy gravy dominates your taste buds! I want one more! Please have a try if you are visiting Otaru!
14-8 Sumiyoshichō Otaru-shi, Hokkaidō