What better way to fend off the winter cold than with a sip of some piping hot ramen broth! It is said that there are over 5,000 different shops for ramen in Tokyo, ranging from big-name chains to small-time family-run spots, so it is safe to say that Tokyo ramen shops should satisfy all sorts of cravings.
You have most likely seen a bowl of ramen with chashu or beef as toppings, but have you ever seen ramen with lobster? In this video, we join Shizuka Anderson and ramen enthusiast and food tour guide Frank Striegl as they try out the award-winning lobster ramen at Oni Soba Fujiya Premium.
Frank, a ramen expert who eats at least one bowl of ramen per day (adding up to a whopping 300-400 bowls of ramen per year), will be hosting a new Japan by Food series where he will be exploring various ramen shops and spreading his appreciation for the dish. Shizuka takes the chance to chat with him about his background and how he got interested in ramen, before they check out the menu and order.
Shizuka opts for the restaurant’s signature miso lobster ramen with chashu, and Frank decides to switch it up and customize his bowl, ordering the spicy shio lobster ramen.
A few moments later, two bowls of ramen arrive, each topped with a massive lobster, much larger than usual Frank and Shizuka are both surprised by the size of the lobsters, but what amazes them even more is the additional toppings. The chef, unbeknownst to them, made them special off-menu deluxe bowls of ramen with additional toppings.
Before digging in, the owner comes over and removes the lobster’s shell for Shizuka, a warming gesture that is representative of the restaurant’s friendly vibe. Shizuka takes this chance to ask the owner what motivated him to make this lobster ramen. The owner tells her that he got the idea after learning about the popularity of lobsters and tori paitan (white chicken broth) in New York City. Using that knowledge, he added lobster and tori paitan to miso ramen to create a dish that combined elements of Japan and New York; the dish ultimately won the Ramen Grand Prix that took place in New York.
Afterward, it is time to dig in. Starting with the soup, Shizuka’s miso ramen has a broth that is extremely rich, thick, and creamy. The condensed salty miso flavor also blends amazingly with the seafood taste from the lobster. Meanwhile, Frank’s ramen has a very light broth with a touch of chicken and seafood flavors.
The noodles are great, as well. Even after sitting in the soup for some time, the noodles remain chewy and firm, just how good ramen noodles should be.
While the soup and noodles are delicious, the highlight of these two bowls of ramen is undoubtedly their plentiful toppings, like the lobster meat which is juicy and bouncy.
Next is the chashu. These thick cuts of chashu, seared on the side, are fatty, and their delicate, soft textures provide a melt-in-your-mouth sensation.
Lastly, the lobster ramen has an egg topped with a sauce made of the Omar shrimp's “miso” (brains) and yama no mi (mountain caviar), which is made of small dried seeds with a caviar-like popping texture. The sauce adds a strong seafood flavor to the entire dish and perfectly encapsulates the lobster element in this ramen.
Eager to taste more delicious bowls of ramen in the comfort of your own home? Hop on Zoom for a fun online vegan cooking class where you'll learn how to make vegan ramen and gyoza using alternative ingredients!
Want to experience some amazing ramen shops in Tokyo yourself? Book a ramen tasting tour with Frank! Gain invaluable insight into Tokyo ramen from the ramen expert himself on the Tokyo Ramen Tour with Frank, or sample multiple customizable bowls of ramen on the Tasting Tour with 6 Mini Bowls of Ramen at 3 Award Winning Shops.