South Bay’s newest Nagoya ramen place, perfecting their already near-perfect ramen!

Restaurant: Josui
Menu:Shoyu (Soy Sauce) Ramen
Thickness: Thin
Hardness: Hard (Optional)

When people hear of Nagoya ramen, its uncommon for them to think of Taiwan ramen, but Nagoya is also known for broth in ramen from their famous Nagoya Cochin chicken. Immediately I ordered their main dish, the Josui ramen, but I was in the mood for shoyu ramen and I preferred that one instead, so I’ll share my thoughts on their Shoyu ramen today. As with the Josui ramen, the soup is a mix of chicken and pork broth. It contains a deep flavor from the chicken broth with a subtle oiliness that perfectly matches its taste. The flavor of shoyu (soy sauce) is weaker than expected, but it forms a nice harmony with the soup base. I chose my go-to thin noodles which was perfect for this ramen and it has a nice chewiness, smoothly traveling down my throat. The combination of roasted pork fillet’s sweet fatness and noodles will make you want to keep adding more and never stop putting your chopsticks down. I am recently on a hunt for good shoyu ramen, but Josui’s shoyu ramen made me realize that the best is one with good chicken broth. According to the owner of Josui, the shoyu ramen is still not in its final form and they’re currently perfecting it! It’s definitely going to get more delicious, so let’s all enjoy its transformation!

Ramen Josui : 2212 Artesia Blvd Ste B, Torrance, CA 90504

The long-waited ramen craze in Long Beach! Attracting every person in town, the creamy Tonkotsu ramen!!

Restaurant: HiroNori Craft Ramen
Menu: Tonkotsu ramen (pork bone broth)
Noodle: Straight
Thickness: Thin (optional)
Hardness: Normal
Oiliness: Normal

While looking for a place to eat, I randomly found this ramen place with a fancy interior. Even though I arrived just when it opened, the place was packed and I immediately knew how popular the place is. The Tonkotsu ramen, their signature ramen out of the menu, is very creamy and rich just like how it looks, and the unique scent of the tonkotsu, or pork bone broth, and the burnt scent of soy sauce form a delicious harmony. This time I chose thin noodles, but it might be better with slightly thicker noodles. There are also bean sprouts as toppings which water down the soup as time goes by, so next time I might want to try it without bean sprouts. The roasted pork fillet has a perfect thickness and a sweetness of fat that form a perfect balance with the soup and noodles, making it impossible to put your chopsticks down. This authentic Tonkotsu ramen will definitely satisfy many Japanese people just like it has satisfied many locals. Hope you will try it yourself!

HiroNori Craft Ramen: 610 E Carson St., Long Beach, CA 90807

The representative soul food in Nagoya, Hitsumabushi

Hitsumabushi is a Japanese food, one of the local food in Nagoya.
Hitsumabushi consists of grilled eel cut and put on rice which are served in a bowl of Ohitsu. (Ohitsu is a wooden container.)
When you eat Hitsumabushi, it Is essential to eat from the bowls of Ohitsu.
You can eat it simply with just eel and rice, but Hitsumabushi is also provided with wasabi, kizami nori (shredded nori), and chopped scallions, so you can choose which toppings to put on it to make it even better.

Recommended ways of eating Hitsumabushi:
Each Hitsumabushi restaurant recommends different ways of eating hitsumabushi.
For example, Atsuta Hōraiken (famous for Hitsumabushi, located in Nagoya.) recommends the following ways of eating.

  1. Divide rice in the Ohitsu into four parts with a Shamoji. (Shamoji is a wooden spoon to serve or mix rice)
  2. Serve one quarter of the rice in a bowl, and eat with eel.
  3. Serve another quarter of the rice in a bowl, put wasabi, kizami nori or chopped scallions on rice, and mix them together. You can find your favorite taste.
  4. Serve another quarter as usual, pour dashi (fish stock) or sencha (green tea of middle grade), and eat it like an ochazuke (rice in green tea).
  5. Choice anyway to eat as you like with the remaining rice.

If you want to eat Hitsumabushi in Los Angles, you should check out Wadatsumi by Hirakawa.
You can eat not only Hitsumabushi but also Sushi and Tempura and many more.
I hope you can enjoy many Japanese food there.

Eat tofu, Be healthy!

Tofu is a healthy food that is made of soy milk by curdling and pressing it into a container.
Tofu is low in calories but they are high in protein, iron, calcium, and more. So it is a popular food for people who are conscious of their diet and health.

Tofu was introduced in Japan from China during the Nara period, and it spread all through Japan in the Muromachi period. In the Edo period, people preferred to eat dengaku. Dengaku is grilled tofu on a skewer dipped in miso. During that time, the Tofu Hyakuchin was published. This book is full of recipes using tofu, introducing about 100 kinds of tofu dishes. It shows that tofu has been loved by Japanese people for a very long time. Tofu can be used in a wide range of dishes from staple food to desserts.

By using tofu, we can reduce calories. If you want to eat sweet desserts while you are on a diet, you should eat tofu desserts. For example, there are ganache with tofu in the place of fresh cream and Japanese pumpkin cake with tofu and yogurt instead of fresh cream and butter. Because they are not high in calories, they are relatively healthy and you will feel satisfied. (But don’t eat them too much!)
There are many other dishes that use tofu, such as tofu hamburg steak.
Because of tofu’s simple flavor, it matches any kind of dish.

Hope you enjoy tofu dishes!

What’s kind of ramen do you like?

There are many kinds of ramen in Japan.

In Japan, there are many kinds of local ramen such as Sapporo ramen and Hakata ramen, etc.
Sapporo ramen has a miso base soup and ramen noodles with a lot of corn and butter on them.
Hakata ramen uses a pork-bone soup, which is very thick.
The Sapporo and Hakata ramen are well known as some of the famous local ramen by Japanese people.

Today, we will introduce other local ramen noodles.

Miso curry milk ramen in Aomori

Source of photo: 青森のうまいものたち 味噌カレー牛乳ラーメン

First of all, there is the Miso, Curry and Milk Ramen. It is a local Aomori prefecture dish. Aomori prefecture is located in the northern part of Honshu and they are famous for their Nebuta Festival. This festival is one of the three major festivals in Japan, and it is an important intangible folk culture asset.
Miso, Curry and Milk Ramen has a miso base soup and adds curry powder and milk into it. Toppings include cha-shu pork (roasted pork fillet), bean sprouts, butter, wakame (a kind of seaweed), and bamboo shoots. It is rich in miso, spicy curry, milk and butter which creates a mild flavor. This ramen is sold as cup noodles too.


The Toyama black Ramen in Toyama

Source of photo: Tourism Information Toyama

Secondly, we would like to introduce the Toyama Black Ramen. Toyama prefecture is located around the middle of Japan, surrounded by mountains and the Sea of Japan.
Toyama Black Ramen has a very strong soy sauce flavor which also makes its soup a deep black color. Originally, this ramen was eaten to increase salt intakes in manual laborers during the post-war reconstruction period. This is the reason why Toyama Black Ramen has such a strong soy sauce flavor.


The Onomich ramen in Hiroshima

The last local ramen we will introduce today is the Onomichi Ramen. It is from the Hiroshima prefecture, located in the Chugoku region of Japan, and it faces the Inland Sea Seto. In Onomichi, there are many old temples and historical sites with a traditional atmosphere. Onomichi is a famous sightseeing spot in Japan.

The base of the soup is mainly soy sauce but some ramen restaurants use fish stock or pork bone base.
One of its unique features is pork back fat floating on the soup. It looks very greasy, but its taste is not too heavy.
There are many other local ramen throughout Japan.
When you visit Japan, it will be fun to compare and contrast the unique local ramen.

If you like Sake, here is the place you might want to go

Do you like Japanese sake? If you are interested in Japanese sake, I recommend visiting Niigata prefecture.

Niigata is a snowy district and it is famous for Japanese sake. Japanese sake is made from fermented rice, and Niigata is also famous for rice.
Comparing tastes of different sake is called “Kikizake”, and you can try it at the Ponshukan.

Source of photo: ぽんしゅ館

The Ponshukan is located in the Niigata station and Echigo-yuzawa station. You pay 500 yen at the front desk, and you receive 5 coins and an ochoko. Ochoko is a small cup to drink sake from.
There are about 90 kinds of Japanese sake, and you can choose 5 out of the 90.
If you’re not sure which ones to choose, you can check the popularity ranking and recommendations on the wall. It may help you a lot when you’re indecisive.

On top of that, you can eat bomb rice balls in Ponshukan. As the name suggests, they are massive size rice balls that look like bombs. Their appearance is very striking. The name of the shop is Yukinto.
The bomb rice balls are made from Koshihikari rice from south Uonuma in Niigata. It is said that Koshihikari from Uonuma is the best local rice in Japan. There is a national ranking of rice based on the evaluation of taste and scent, and Koshihikari has maintained the highest ranking of Special A. You can choose one rice ball filling from 18 kinds of fillings, and it comes with miso soup.

In addition to Japanese sake, there is sakeburo in the Echigo-yuzawa station. Sakeburo is a hot bath mixed with sake. It makes your skin silky smooth and promotes better blood circulation.

Niigata prefecture becomes very cold in winter but you can warm up by drinking Japanese sake and take a nice sake bath at Ponshukan.

Explore local sweets in a castle town

Have you ever been to a castle town in Japan?
A castle town is one of the many urban forms of Japanese architecture.
Today, I would like to introduce the Inuyama castle town in Aichi prefecture. There are many places to explore and find good food.


Yamada Gohei mochi shop

Source of photo: Go Nagano!

Have you ever had or heard of Gohei mochi? Gohei mochi is a rice cake grilled with soy sauce or miso. They look like Dango, a more well-known type of mochi, because they are served on bamboo skewer sticks. The delicious smell coming from the shop will for sure make you hungry!
After you order a Gohei mochi for yourself, you can eat it while its fresh and warm and you only need to wait a few minutes. It tastes savory and delicious! For only 100 yen (approximately $1!), you can enjoy this delicious favor!


Source of photo:

The Kuraya provides very photogenic, Instagram-ready dango. They are called “Koikomachi Dango”. It became popular across social media in Japan, and many people come from all over Japan to eat and take pictures of this dango.
What makes them photogenic are the colorful sweet bean paste and fruits on them, so they look very cute and aesthetically pleasing. Mainly, young ladies enjoy taking pictures of them and add them to their Instagram feed. Not only do they look pleasing, but they also have a pleasing taste!
You can explore and enjoy many kinds of bean jam’s flavor, such as honey lemon and strawberry, mango, and so on. If you also want to drink green tea, I would recommend ordering the combo of two dangos and a cold green tea for 500 yen.

There are other places to walk around and eat at Inuyama in Aichi, so it’s worth it to visit here at least once in your lifetime!

Let’s get Oden and warm yourself up!

What do Japanese people typically eat in Winter??

During the freezing cold winter in Japan, many Japanese people enjoy eating Oden.

Oden is a one-pot dish. Generally, it consists of daikon, boiled eggs, konyaku, chikuwa and so on, all simmered in dashi (shaved dried bonito and kombu seaweed base). Oden’s ingredients and dashi differ depending on the area.
For example, in Shizuoka prefecture, they use dark soy sauce and the dashi is based on pork tripe and beef sinew. It can be a bit salty, but it has a very smooth taste. Furthermore, all ingredients are skewered, and you may dip them into miso, aonori powder, or shaved dried bonito before you eat them.

In Ishikawa prefecture, facing the Sea of Japan, they include seafood, such as snow crab and Babylonia japonica. The dashi is based on seafood, too. Some oden restaurant in Ishikawa serve Japanese rolled omelet as the ingredients. That’s very unique.

Oden can be eaten anywhere from convenience store to izakayas to specialty shop to Japanese restaurants. In addition, you can also get canned oden in vending machines.
Oden is not only delicious but also very healthy. Ingredients such as boiled eggs are rich in protein, and daikon and konjac are rich in dietary fiber.

When you visit Japan in the autumn or winter, eat oden to warm up!