The soul food of Tokushima people – what makes it so special!?

In Tokushima Prefecture there are many local specialties, such as “mame-tama” (Okonomiyaki with sweet red aduki beans), “soba gome zosui” (soba grain soup) and “tarai udon” (boiled udon served in a large wooden basin), but the most well-known is definitely “Tokushima Ramen”. Tokushima Ramen was introduced in 1998 at the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum as “the last new local Ramen of the 20th century”, and gained instant fame throughout Japan. It has 3 different types of broth: Brown, Yellow or White - the most commonly found being Brown, which has a rich pork bone soy sauce broth. Opinions about Tokushima ramen are divided, people either love it or they hate it. Why don’t you try it and see for yourself!

The Tokushima Ramen pilgrimage - first stop is…!

The shop you see in the photo is the super famous Tokushima Ramen shop “Inotani”. It is so popular that during the holidays, a long queue forms outside. It is also known for introducing Tokushima Ramen at the 1998 Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, making it a household name nationwide. Inotani should be the first stop on your Tokushima Ramen pilgrimage, there’s no denying that they make the best bowl in town!

Ramen with a unique topping.

Most Ramen lovers will know about and love the soy-braised egg that comes as a topping. However, Tokushima Ramen takes a different approach. While you may still find the boiled egg in some shops, the most common topping for Tokushima Ramen is a raw egg. For some, Tokushima Ramen’s broth is too rich and heavy, and so the raw egg topping balances out the flavor, providing a milder and creamier taste.

Break up the egg in the soup, mix together with the noodles, and eat. This way, the flavor will become milder, adding an extra layer of depth and resulting in a much tastier experience. By adding a raw egg to the noodles, Tokushima Ramen is sometimes called “Sukiyaki style”.

Rice - Tokushima Ramen’s best companion

A common side order for ramen noodles in Japan is egg fried rice, however it is unusual to find this in shops serving Tokushima Ramen. So, what side would you order with Tokushima Ramen? The answer is regular white rice - this goes best with the richness of Tokushima Ramen. First, take a sip of the pork bone soy broth, and then straight away a mouthful of rice - Tokushima style! Furthermore, Tokushima Ramen normally uses sweet and salted pork belly, rather than the Char Siu pork you will find in regular ramen noodles. This goes even better with white rice! For Tokushima locals, it goes without saying that Tokushima Ramen and white rice go hand in hand.

A perfect souvenir!

We want everyone to come to Tokushima and taste the delicious Tokushima Ramen. But some shops even sell refrigerated or frozen ramen to takeaway! So if you loved Tokushima Ramen, why not take some home for your friends and family to try too?