Everybody Loves Ramen
Here's where you can find the very best versions, including right in your own kitchen.
Photo by Heath Robbins
Over the past year, Boston has fallen for ramenâ€”the Japanese noodle-based soup that typically conjures up images of late-night college munchies, but that, when made from scratch, can hold its own on a high-end menu. The local catalyst for ramenâ€™s newfound respectability? Guchiâ€™s Midnight Ramen, a side project of Yukihiro Kawaguchi, an O Ya chef, and Tracy Chang, an O Ya alum. Last year they began serving after-hours bowls filled with house-made noodles and an umami-rich pork broth (pictured above) at highbrow locales like Bondir. Today, tickets for Guchiâ€™s events sell out in less than a minute, and Kawaguchiâ€™s ramen has become, arguably, the most in-demand dish in town. Suddenly, restaurants all over town are adding ramen to their menus. Hereâ€™s where you can find the very best versionsâ€”including, by the way, right in your own kitchen.
The Best of the Broths
TJ Connelly, the music director at Fenway Park, has a quirky side gig: sampling every bowl of ramen in Boston, New York, and beyond. (Heâ€™s chronicling his journey with the Twitter hashtag #ramenquest.) When he canâ€™t get ramen from Guchiâ€™s, these are his four other must-have bowls in the Boston area.
Photos by Connor Sumner
SHRIMP + TOFU RAMEN
Myers + Chang, South End
TJ Says: â€śThanks to ingredients like fermented tofu, scallion butter, and nori, this version is anchored by a uniquely rich, funky broth. Thinner noodles make for quick slurping.â€ť
SPICY MISO RAMEN
Sapporo Ramen, Porter Square
Lunch + Dinner
TJ Says: â€śThe blend of simple noodles, spicy ground pork, corn, scallions, and warming broth is comfort food at its heightâ€”and a great starting point for those trying real ramen for the first time.â€ť
Yume Wo Katare, Porter Square
TJ Says: â€śThe huge bowl is filled with a chewy mix of wheat noodles and bean sprouts in a savory pork brothâ€”all topped with slices of tender, fatty pork. Arrive hungry, and say yes to extra garlic.â€ť
Uni, Back Bay
Thursday to Saturday After 11 p.m.
TJ Says: â€śVegetarian ramen typically tastes like an afterthought, but Uniâ€™s versionâ€”with a broth fortified with dried mushrooms, white miso, and Parmesan rindsâ€”is the best Iâ€™ve ever found.â€ť
Using Your (Packaged) Noodle
Photo by Heath Robbins
When Toro and Coppa chef-owner Jamie Bissonnette isnâ€™t in the mood to make his own ramen at home, he likes to dress up a package of store-bought noodles. Here are his go-to ingredients (all of which can be found at Asian grocers like H Mart).
â€˘ Neoguri spicy seafood-style Korean ramen
â€˘Â Chinese black vinegar
â€˘Â Dried mushrooms
â€˘Â Fish sauce
â€˘Â Fried shallots
â€˘Â Hot sesame oil
â€˘Â Dried shrimp
â€˘ Togarashi seasoning
â€˘Â Pickled green peppercorns
â€˘Â Thai bird chilies
â€˘Â Soy-cured egg
â€˘Â Quail eggs
â€˘Â Boiled lotus root
â€˘Â Bamboo shoots
All styling by Jessica Weatherhead/Team.
For more on Asian cuisine in Boston, check out our complete guide to Asian cuisine:Â Umami Rising.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2013/01/asian-dining-best-ramen-restaurant-boston/