Thursday, November 15, 2018

Marutai Kumamoto Black Garlic Tonkotsu and Miyazaki Chicken Shio Ramen

I tried two of the seven ramen from the Kyushu Marugoto ramen box over a few days.  They made some very nice noodle soup and the box was a good buy.  I've read that the tonkotsu ones are the most flavourful and I'll be saving some of them for last.  One of the nicest things about these noodle packs are that they are supposed to be sourced from local ingredients from Kyushu.
Front of the big Marutai Kyushu box showing all 7 ramen inside.

Kumamoto Black Garlic Oil Tonkotsu Ramen 
A tonkotsu ramen uses pork bones as the primary driver of flavour and texture.  Pork bones are boiled (not a rolling boil) for a long time, like 10+ hours to produce a pungent, but very rich tasting broth.  Tonkotsu originates in Kurume City in Fukuoka prefecture which is a neighbour of Kumamoto prefecture.  The cloudy pork broth originates is supposed to originate from the Kurume Sankyu ramen shop that was established in 1947.  From here, it spread locally and then to Kumamoto City.  In Kumamoto, they use garlic quite a bit to help reduce the smell of the strong pork broth.

In this Kumamoto tonkotsu it features a cloudy tonkotsu broth with a hit of black garlic oil that is made from sesame and browned garlic.  I'm going through the ramen in the box in a pseudo random fashion, and chose this one to start, but am saving the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen for last. 
Kumamoto Black Garlic Tonkotsu package front.  It shows a nice looking ramen soup with big slices of pork, crispy garlic, green onions, and a hard boiled egg.  Very attractive graphic with nice black on bold red colouring.
Back of the package.
Inside the package is a tray with two bundles of straight noodles, two big foil packages of powdered soup, and two smaller plastic satchets containing the black garlic oil.
I boiled the noodles for three minutes in 1 litre of water (500 ml per bundle) then added the powdered soup to it.  Finally, I put in the packets of black garlic oil and poured everything into bowls.  I added roasted pork, green onions, yellow and green beans, and a boiled egg to top things off.   The tonkotsu broth was very good with a nice rich smell coming off of it.  The powdered soup produced a lightly creamy broth that had more body to it than expected.  The soup nicely coated the noodles to provide flavour in every mouthful (and was the thickest broth of all of the noodles in this box).  Garlic and black garlic from the satchets added some good flavour, enhancing the broth.  There was a hint of pork in the rich broth.  Noodles were nice, not too chewy and seemed like regular ramen noodles.  This was a very good package of instant noodles that I would have again for sure, and a great start to the box of noodles.
Prepared Kumamoto Black Garlic Ramen

Miyazaki Chicken Shio Ramen
The second ramen I tried from the Kyushu Marugoto ramen box was the Miyazaki Chicken Shio Ramen.  Miyazaki is famous for its chicken and you'll see videos and articles titled the Tastiest Chicken in the World, etc.  Chicken Shio ramen makes for a lighter broth with soy and salt (shio) and I figured this would be milder than the tonkotsu I had tried earlier and was wondering what the Miyazaki chicken broth would be like.

The front of the Miyazaki Chicken Shio Ramen package.  It is very chicken-like in them with light colours, the predominant use of yellow.  An attractively designed package that shows off the noodles with roast pork, naruto, green onions, menma, and roasted nori; all of which are classic ramen toppings.
Back of the package with cooking directions, ingredients, and nutritional information.
The package contains two bundles of noodles that might be of a slightly thinner gauge than the tonkotsu noodles, and two foil packets of liquid soup base.
The cooking instructions are similar to the tonkotsu ramen.  Cook both bundles of noodles in 1 litre of boiling water for three minutes, add the soup bases, then pour into bowls.  Pretty easy preparation.  I added green onions, roast pork, green and yellow beans, and boiled egg to top the noodles.  The smell of the soup was very mild, with hints of soy, and it tasted quite mild too.  I guess I might have been expecting a richer chicken taste, but it was mainly salt and soy that I could taste.  The soup was quite clear and this ramen soup feels like a lighter meal or snack than the tonkotsu I had the previous day.  It was a nice broth, but felt kind of average in the end. 
Prepared Chicken Shio Ramen.

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