Oisa Ramen Hones in on Vegan-Friendly Broth

Moe Kuroki kicks of 2017 with a new slate of pop-ups at Brassica Kitchen.
Oisa Ramen New Year dishes

Traditional Japanese New Year’s ONISHIME vegetables and SUNOMONO (pickles). / Photos provided

As Moe Kuroki continues her quest to bring a taste of her hometown of Fukuoka, Japan, to Boston with her pop-up Oisa Ramen, she has started 2017 with a fresh focus. Instead of defaulting to the traditional tonkotsu broth of long-simmered pork bones, her flagship ramen will be vegetarian.

“I am not turning Oisa Ramen into a vegan ramen shop. All it means is that my main broth for ramen will be vegetable broth and my other dishes will be vegetable-forward,” she says. “With this change, I hope I’ll be able to showcase and reconnect to the rhythm of the seasons.”

Tonkotsu stock and other protein-based liquids will still surface, depending on the menu, but her first pop-up of 2017 will feature an entirely vegan-friendly menu, save for an option to add a tender slices of chasu to the bowl. The rest of the fare—check it out below—is a rainbow of bites from Kuroki’s traditional New Year’s table, like a pickled radish kikka-kabu, made to look like a chrysanthemum.

Oisa Ramen will continue to take over the Brassica Kitchen dining room one Monday per month, so follow Kuroki on Facebook for your next opportunity to turn a little Japanese.

Happy New Year, Happy New Oisa, five-course dinner $45 / seven-course dinner $55, Monday, January 23, Brassica Kitchen and Cafe, seatings at 6 and 8 p.m., Eventbrite.

Happy New Year, Happy New Oisa
(** denotes seven-course option only)

SAKITSUKE (snack): edamame

SUIMONO (taste of dashi): tofu, ginger

**ONISHIME (braise): burdock, taro, konnyaku (yam-cake), shiitake, lotus

**SUNOMONO (pickle): radish, cucumber

AWASEMONO (pairing): kabocha squash, trumpet mushroom

RAMEN (choose one)

Spicy Veggie Miso: vegetable broth, spicy miso, fried leek, tofu soboro, soaked egg
-or-
Spicy Veggie-Ton Miso (with pork): vegetable broth, spicy miso, chashu, soaked egg

MIZUMONO (dessert): navel orange kanten (Japanese agar agar)


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com