Ichiran Ramen delivers the famous ramen to your door

Cupertino, October 26, 2021

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Being one of the most famous Japanese ramen chains in the world, Ichiran Ramen is famous for its delicious tonkatsu style ramen. Originally from the town of Hakata (also called Fukuoka) on the southernmost Japanese island of Kyushu, Ichiran ramen is intensely flavored, combining creamy broth, rich in pork, with thin noodles and spicy spices. Ichiran's world-famous ramen is also available in America, with three locations in New York City (two in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn).

But you don't have to visit an Ichiran restaurant to taste its patented ramen. The ramen chain also offers a self-stable kit to take home so you can make your own ramen at home. Contains three servings of noodles, soup base and its spicy spices. Ichiran spent years testing and creating his own kits at home. Is it possible to reproduce restaurant quality ramen from a package? At the Manual, we decided to compare the two versions.

$ 30 to Ichiran

Restaurant experience

Ichiran Ramen's dining room in Times Sq.

What separates Ichiran from other ramen shops is its unique dining configuration. Enter a location in Ichiran and you will notice that instead of chairs or tables, the restaurant seats are separated into cabins. In front of each restaurant there is a bamboo curtain - all your interactions with the server and the food service will take place here. Ichiran calls this unique configuration "Ramen Focus Booths". Ichiran believes that eliminating unnecessary distractions gives diners the ability to "focus all your attention to fully enjoy the flavors of our ramen."

Specifically, Ichiran is Hakata-style tonkatsu. Ramen in Japan is very regional, with countless variations throughout the country. Kyushu Island is known for its tonkatsu ramen, a fatty and salty broth dominated by pork. The creamy and rich broth is obtained by cooking pork bones by boiling instead of a gentle boil, like other styles of ramen. Tonkatsu is usually seasoned with salt to retain its milky color (although soy sauce is also common). In Hakata-style tonkatsu ramen, very thin noodles are used instead of thick ones.

Ichiran does not serve delicate ramen with a light taste. Each tablespoon of broth has a deep pork flavor, and adding spicy Ichiran sauce is essential as it helps reduce the richness of the soup. The thinness of the noodles also complements the thick broth - each strand of noodles is perfectly covered with soup, giving diners a well-prepared combination for each bite. Another aspect of Ichiran is that it is very customizable. Customers can choose the level of salt, the level of spices, the degree of baking of the noodles and the toppings, which vary from pork slices to wood-eared mushrooms. This is one of the best aspects of Ichiran Ramen - the amount of customization can lead to a totally different flavor profile for each dinner.

Kit to take home

Ichiran Take-Home Kit open on a table.
ichiran_ny / Instagram

Each Ichiran Take-Home kit comes with three servings. At $ 29.00 per kit, it's definitely at the expensive end for packaged ramen. The good news is that it is extremely easy to prepare. All three components are separated in packages with instructions on the box. Simply boil the noodles to the desired level, turn off the heat, add the soup mixture, stir and sprinkle the spice mixture on top (optional, but highly recommended). You can also choose to add garnishes such as boiled eggs, green onions or pork slices.

How does it compare?

So how does the packaged version compare to the restaurant? The answer is that it is surprisingly close. Of course, fresh ramen from the restaurant is superior - it is not possible for any stable version on the shelf to taste the same as its fresh counterpart. The take-home version does not have the depth of flavor of the restaurant ramen and there is a slight "packaged" taste to the take-home version. But the consistency of the broth is very good considering that it came out of a package. However, because the noodles are so thin, it is quite easy to overcook them. The best recommendation would be to cook the noodles exactly under what you prefer before adding the soup mixture to the hot water. The noodles will continue to cook in the broth.

Although it is on the expensive side, the Ichiran Take-Home kits are worth trying for those who want to taste Ichiran ramen from the comfort of their home. Remember, this is not instant cheap ramen, its restaurant ramen is ready for the home experience. Ichiran Take-Home kits are available for delivery on its website.

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