A bit of history into Japan’s love of the humble noodle…

Soba, Udon, or Somen, Japanese love noddles of all kinds! They`re practically a national treasure. But one of the most popular varieties actually came from China in the late 1800`s.

Ramen is a Chinese style noodle, but in the last 100 years the Japanese have really made the dish their own. In fact, nowadays it`s not uncommon for Chinese to visit just so they can try real Japanese Ramen. And several restaurants have opened in China specializing in Japanese-style Ramen.

Ramen is usually served in a hot broth rich with meat and vegetables. Each region has their own special variation, but it`s the far north of Japan, especially Hokkaido, which is known for their love and craft of the dish.

Early pioneers who settled in Hokkaido used steaming bowls of noodles to help them fight off the bitter winter cold. And one of the first things visitors from southern Japan will do upon arriving in Sapporo is ask the locals to recommend their favorite Ramen-ya (ramen shop), or find out where they can buy real Hokkaido ramen to send to friends and family back home.

Many Japanese enjoy Ramen as a fast delicious meal 2-3 times a week.

So how is Rusutsu ramen different?

Generally speaking, most noodles are made with wheat flour, but for years thick dempon udon noodles made with potato flour have been a popular homemade dish locally, given that the Rusutsu area is famous for growing delicious Potatoes (jagaimo in Japanese). While potato flour reacts differently than wheat flour, making the production of our ramen more complicated, two things that all who have tried our ramen agree on are that potato noodles are much lighter and tastier than noodles made with just wheat flour, and that they seemed to absorb less fat from the broth.

Most Ramen noodles are made with very alkaline water known as kansui to give the noodles their chewy texture. It also gives them a distinctly yellow color and makes Ramen shops smell like a mineral spring. We decided to use as little kansui as possible to keep the ramen`s wonderful ‘bite’, but without the eggy aroma that gets in the way of other flavors. We also decided against adding any kind of artificial preservatives, meaning our Jaga Ramen is as close to homemade as we could make it!

We registered the trademark “Jaga-ramen” in 2011.