Eating Japan: High-end konbini instant ramen

I bought one of the high-end instant ramens from a konbini (convenience store, like 7-11 or Family Mart). The “high-end” really means it’s around 300 yen per bowl, while the cheaper ones are around 150 yen each.

This is a product made from Nissin, Japan’s most famous instant ramen manufacturer (they have a museum and everything!), and is based off of a tonkotsu ramen from a famous brick-and-mortar ramen shop. The point of this is that you don’t have to travel far to the actual ramen shop to have a taste of their specialty ramen.20170306_074124.jpg

It comes with a dried piece of chashu (slice of cooked pork topping), a packet of liquid soup essence that contains a lot of fat, and a packet of dried soup powder. 20170306_074201.jpg

Pour the dried powder and desiccated chashu into the bowl. The dried powder packet consisted of white stock powder, dried green onion bits and dried beansprout legs. 20170306_074328.jpg

Pour hot water up to the line, and cover the lid with chopsticks and the liquid soup packet. I poured in extra hot water because I was trying to make it less salty. The liquid soup packet is pretty heavy in weight, so it does a good job keeping the lid covered, but also, you’re heating up the fats in the soup packet so that it’s easy to pour later.20170306_074559.jpg

Having morning ramen at my hostel at 7:47am in the morning…I thought I was strange for having such a heavy breakfast, but I saw another lady eating a tray of sushi, and another girl also eating instant ramen at the same time as me.20170306_074821.jpg

These packs of chopsticks are distributed by the convenience store clerk when you buy the ramen. It has a toothpick inside!20170306_075033.jpg

I waited 4 minutes, then stirred in the fatty, brown liquid soup from the packet I was heating up, and just started eating. You can see the green onion and beansprout that came in the dried packet floating at the top. The chashu looks pretty gross, if I do say so myself.20170306_075302.jpg

For an instant ramen that I bought off of some shelf, it was of a quality I have never tasted before (I had only had instant ramen in Canada). However, I strongly felt that the next time I want ramen, I should just take the time to go to a ramen-ya, pay about 500 yen more, and eat freshly cooked ramen.

It just wasn’t the same…The meat, green onion and beansprouts had their textures compromised by being dried, and they tasted pretty lifeless. Also, the noodles were cooked by me and not a real ramen master, so it was edible, but they didn’t have much of a bite.

Lesson of the day; if you want proper ramen, go to a ramen restaurant.

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