While ramen has been one of the most common foods in Japan for decades, it has surged in popularity in the U.S. only recently. Japanese foodies take their ramen very seriously: There are approximately 32 distinct regional variations in the country, and just a few of those can be found stateside.
Sapporo is one of the most competitive ramen markets in Japan, with more than 1,000 ramen shops in the city. Distinctive ramen characteristics here include a rich, Chintan stock; thick curly, chewy, and flavorful aged noodles; and preparation in a wok.
The team behind D.C.’s popular Bantam King, Daikaya, and Haikan restaurants, including partner chef Katsuya Fukushima and partner Daisuke Utagawa, break down the basics of Sapporo ramen. Other components are discussed, including stock, tare (flavor), and aromatic oil. Utagawa and Fukushima demonstrate how they prepare all the components of Sapporo ramen, and how best to enjoy it. Then, get a taste of ramen when you sit down for lunch at the Haikan restaurant in Shaw.