Having grown up in Sapporo, a city renowned for ramen, I’ve wanted to create a unique, delicious version of ramen for quite some time. Having recently moved to Portland, Oregon, I decided to try different ramen restaurants to see if it was possible to get the Sapporo style.
Here’s what I found out.
You Need To Choose The Right Type Of Meat For The Ramen
The type of meat you use in the ramen is crucial, as different ingredients need to be cooked separately from one another in order to achieve a smooth soup.
The main bone meat is cooked in a hot drumstick broth, which will be used for the textural contrast between the pieces of bone and noodles. The hollow, puffy noodles, meanwhile, are cooked in a neutral broth, made of boiling water and bits of rice.
Both are cooked separately and cooked for as long as they take to boil. Once fully cooked, they’re stuck together by the grinding of the soy bean paste and springy style noodles.
I started with beef, because it’s my primary love. When I first saw what would be needed, I immediately said to myself, “I don’t want to use pork. I want to use bamboo shoots instead.” Unfortunately, some ramen shops, although willing to try it, have refused to give me the recipe so I can make it on my own. A fine experiment like this would take me too long and be too complicated to track down.
Try Various Uses For Scrambled Eggs
Using scrambled eggs first is actually common practice in Sapporo style ramen. The ramen shops use it to flavor their broth. From what I’ve heard, it’s a little harder to make the eggs fluffy than in a normal soup, as the egg yolk goes through a bit more of a process, but it’s important to try it. I used my spoon to try it, and it worked amazingly well. The broth is silky and wonderfully flavoured.
Don’t Go Easy On The Dry Seasoning
I’ve always thought that Sapporo style ramen was healthy food, with no added salt, and lots of veggies. Unfortunately, this may not be the case. While I have plenty of gooey noodles floating around my kitchen, many shop owners will add a soft top sauce to ramen that makes it more comforting for diners with sensitive stomachs. Although it sounds dangerous, I like the extra punch of spice and seasoning in Sapporo style ramen.
However, you shouldn’t use too much either. I went to Sapporo style ramen restaurants one day to try all of their runny soup, and I finished it all but one. It tasted good, but a little was too much. Make sure to allow this to mature and be a little salty. If you have to go easy on the seasoning, try it without going overboard and add a few more ingredients instead.
The Weird Ingredients
One ingredient that I was introduced to through my ramen research is a little cabbage dish called sencha. A lot of Sapporo ramen shops like to add it, but there’s an interesting reason for this. In order to make the noodle and cutlet mixture really fluffy, we have to add more moisture and water to it in order to thicken it.
Although adding additional moisture to the water and oil in a sake-type recipe is something you wouldn’t normally see, it works really well. I have tried some ramen shops that also used it, and it brought out the rich, delicate noodles, making my ramen bowl an impressive sight. Sapporo style ramen differs from the classic noodles and broth dish you’re used to in Sapporo, by incorporating the various ingredients for a unique product that will set you apart from other ramen shops. So if you’re a fan of ramen and want to see what Sapporo style is all about, I highly recommend trying it out. And if you live anywhere outside of Japan, you should give it a try too!