I went to the Yokohama Ramen Museum in the summer of 2003, and back then I didn’t know anything except that miso ramen was tasty as hell. I walked around the exhibits a bit, took a peek at the different restaurants that had set up shop in the museum, chose a Hokkaido shop that had miso ramen, and bought my ticket at the vending machine before sitting down at a table. When I looked down at the stub, it read 塩. My first reaction was Damn, that does not say miso. My second reaction was What the hell is that kanji? The staff answered my question with a はい、しおです and delivered my bowl just seconds later. I ate the ramen, but my heart wasn’t in it. I mean, salt ramen? What the hell is that? Ramen is already pretty salty, why would you want to make it even saltier?
Ever since then I’ve been biased against shio ramen. I never ordered it and never even bothered to figure out what the deal was. That is until last Friday, when Brian and I checked out ひるがお at Tokyo Ramen Street. Brian gave me the low down on what shio ramen is:
I think I am much better prepared to appreciate shio ramen now. Shio ramen isn’t necessarily saltier than shoyu ramen; it just uses salt rather than shoyu or miso to give the soup its punch. I still haven’t had a killer bowl of shio ramen, but hopefully I’ll be able to take a trip to Ganko in the relatively near future. Nate from Ramenate made their salt ramen sound extremely delicious. “Salt ramen topped with a layer of piping hot shrimp oil”? FUCK yeah.