Santouka, Aoba, Baikohken.
What is the similarity between these 3 Japanese ramen shops in Singapore?
The answer is, all of them came from Asahikawa (旭川) in Hokkaido!
Located in northern part of Hokkaido, Asahikawa is a city famous for its ramen.
The characteristics of Asahikawa ramen are:
i) Uses a mix of pork bone and fish soup base with soy sauce tare
This is because Asahikawa city is located in a place that it is easy to obtain both ingredients from the mountains and the sea.
ii) The surface of the soup is coated with a layer of oil / lard
This is because the oil will prevent the soup from getting cold, something that people living the cold climate in Hokkaido will need.
iii) Uses chijire noodles with low water content
This is because the noodles will then better take in the soup.
Just like how culture mixes, Asahikawa ramen takes styles beyond the basic characteristics mentioned. For example, Santouka is famous because they were the shop that started selling ramen using Shio tare.
If you are going to Hokkaido and happen to visit Asahikawa, you can visit the following Ramen Village where you can find all the famous ramen brands under one roof!
Asahikawa Ramen Mura
There are many more styles of ramen to write about.... but whats more important is eating it! Will be going to try out Aoba soon... :P~~~