Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ippudo- Coming To A Grocery Store Near You

One of the perks of walking through the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show is getting promotional products such as pens, t-shirts, bags, and totes.

My most prized take home item was a personalized serving of Ippudo ramen.

Folks, by the end of the year, Ippudo will be in your local grocery stores. Ippudo, the famous Japanese ramen house, is going mainstream. They already sell their ramen at grocery stores in Japan and are making the move to America.

The booth at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show boasted two variations: Akamaru Modern and Shiromaru Hakata Classic. The representative was hesitant to give me the Akamaru Modern. He kept telling everyone it was the more complex flavor. I was given the classic original.

Shiromaru Hakata Classic
This is what the ramen package looks like. It's a tiny cardboard box, a far cry from the plastic wrappers of Nissin Top Ramen and Maruchan.

Tonkotsu noodles
The fresh noodles for the classic ramen are tonkotsu square. They take 30 seconds to boil. I was not sure whether to keep the ramen refrigerated or stored in the cupboard. I ended up keeping the ramen in the fridge and cooked it two days after I got them from the tradeshow.

Ramen kit contents
The Ippudo ramen kit contained a soup base, sesame seeds, noodles, grated ginger and garlic, and scallions. I'm actually guessing on the last two packets (pictured in the back). All of the packaging was in Japanese. I had no idea what certain ingredients were. I will say this, it looked like the soup base was half white pork fat. Mmmmmm. So that is the secret ingredient to the creaminess and hearty flavoring of the soup.

Ramen instructions
I wish there were an English translation to the packaging, ingredient list, and cooking instructions. Anybody know what 3 cc means? I took a wild guess and ended up using 4 cups of water for the soup.

Shiromaru Hakata Classic cooked
This is the final product of the "sold in the grocery stores" version of Ippudo ramen. The flavor is very complex. After all the packets are thrown in, this is what you get. It's pretty rich and redefines what ramen at home is. I highly recommend it. I don't know what the retail price point is but I'm guessing it is a lot lower than the $15 price tag at the restaurant. This is poor college student grown up to the next level.

International Restaurant & Foodservice Show


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