Friday, September 16, 2011
Food for Friday: Ramen at Mitsuwa Hokkaido Fair
So back in September 2010, we started something that kind of turned into a tradition. One of my favorite places to shop around here is Mitsuwa Market. One the best things about Mitsuwa is they like to have food fairs. My favorite fair is their Hokkaido one. So many great things for sale from Hokkaido flown in just for this. The vendors set up in stalls and even before the last day they sell out.
One of the most anticipated vendors is the ramen! Each time it's different. So for our first try we got the chance to taste Ramen Shingen's koku miso ramen. Want to see what it looked like?
Koku miso would mean it's a rather rich miso taste and that it was. Not much in toppings but the broth was quite flavorful and the noodles nice and tender.
Look at those pretty noodles! I remember this being a ramen that probably most people could get into. For me it was a little on the salty side so I didn't slurp all the way down to the bottom. But then again this was a pretty big bowl of soup.
Fast forward to May 2011. And another line to wait in. The secret is don't go at lunch time. Especially in Torrance. Because you get to wait with all the local salary people. Or families on the weekend.
So what is it this time? They had two choices. Shiro Miso Ramen and...
Tokusen Hakodate shio ramen from Kitahama Shoten in Hokkaido.
There is something wonderful about shiro (white) miso. Put it together with some excellent noodles, flavored egg and all the rest and you have ramen that you remember the taste of months later. People seem to shy away from shiro miso ramen but for me this was a broth that was complex yet melded smoothly.
Take a good look at this ramen, the broth, the toppings. It was so good! I really felt like I was finally having a real bowl of Japanese ramen. We enjoyed how the flavor of the toppings stood out from the strength of the ramen but did not fight it at all. I really liked the balance achieved. So fresh tasting!
My verdict on this one? I should have taken a photo of the empty bowl. I would happily eat this again.
And from yesterday...
Asameshi Maeda shoyu ramen from Hokkaido. Not a bad bowl, noodles and all were nicely done. Missed not having an egg though. I think the broth was the stand-out. Not overly strong but I definitely could taste the fish in this. Another decent tasting ramen although I had a hard time finishing. Perhaps I should not have eaten that Pullman scallop stew bun beforehand.
Mitsuwa's Hokkaido Fair goes through September 18th at the Torrance and Costa Mesa stores and from September 22nd through the 25th at their Chicago and New Jersey stores. Asameshi Maeda is at the Torrance and Chicago stores and Ramen Kagetora at the Costa Mesa and New Jersey stores. Plus all the good food for sale which they will also have at their San Diego and San Jose stores. More info can be found at the Mitsuwa website here.
Hum, miso ramen at the Costa Mesa store. I'm not a big ramen eater but it is very tempting.
Thanks for reading this special post!