North meets south with Miso Ramen
Currently available as a seasonal special at Ryoji, this ramen has warmed bellies in northern Sapporo and delighted tastebuds in sunny Okinawa before finding its way to Toronto.
What is a style of ramen traditionally associated with the northern city of Sapporo doing at Ryoji Ramen and Izakaya, where the menu offers up southern-accented Okinawan cuisine? Maybe this mix of north and south is just the dish to enjoy during the transitional season from winter to spring.
Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture of Japan, and it is known as the birthplace of Miso Ramen. Originally considered the perfect antidote to Hokkaido’s cold winters, this style of ramen took Japan by storm during the 60s and travelled all the way to the southernmost prefecture of sunny Okinawa, proving the adaptability of this uniquely flavourful dish.
The ramen starts with a combination of Ryoji’s shio, or salt base, and rich chicken broth. Added to this are butter, garlic oil, pepper and miso. With chicken and shio, this soup is rich enough to comfort you and warm you up from the chilly air, while the salty, refreshing taste and peppery kick give you energy to go out and keep enjoying the longer evenings. The velvety smoothness of the broth expands into an unexpected complexity thanks to the full-bodied taste of the miso.
The Miso Ramen is served with the same whole egg noodles used in Ryoji’s shio ramen. Curly and slightly al dente, these noodles marry well with the robust flavour of the broth.
The tangy, nutty miso can stand up to a bunch of strong flavours: the ramen is topped with crunchy bean sprouts, green onion, sweet corn, custardy coddled egg and hearty chunks of chashu pork, a style of marinated and braised pork that goes perfectly with ramen.
Ryoji’s version also has a spicy dollop of miso blended with chilies on top. Dip a little of this pungent and spicy flavouring into your broth to take your next bite to a whole new level.
This complex yet balanced ramen hits all the bases (and all the points of the compass). Come try this seasonal special while you can!
Ryoji Ramen & Izakaya
690 College St., Toronto | TEL. 416-533-8083
Mon-Thurs 11:30am-12am | Fri-Sat 11:30am -2am | Sun 11:30am-10:30pm