To say that ICHIRAN is the world’s leading expert in Tonkotsu ramen is not a boastful claim.
With 83 locations throughout Asia and three in New York City, where lines form outside daily for those waiting for a seat, ICHIRANis a family-owned business that is a labor of passion and love.
ICHIRAN started in Fukuoka, Japan as a simple ramen stall in 1960 and ultimately created the “Five Originals,” the essentials for Tonkotsu ramen: Original Spicy Red Sauce, aromatic Tonkotsu broth, solo dining booths, order forms and the Kae-Dama ordering system.
As Andrew Zimmern stated in one of his dining segments, the noodles in a bowl of ramen make all the difference.
- The Hakata-style homemade thin noodles are prepared daily in their Brooklyn factory, factoring in the humidity and temperature that day. They are made using ICHIRAN’s unique blend of flour, producing the perfect texture to pair with the broth and spicy red sauce.
The Classic Tonkotsu Ramen
- The classic Tonkotsu broth is created with the purest filtered water and pork bones, which normally produce a stronger aroma, but using specific technology and extraction methods this scent has been eliminated. The broth is rich in natural collagen and ICHIRAN is the first ramen company to use Trans Fat free natural oil.
- The Original Spicy Red Sauce (Hiden no Tare) is ICHIRAN’s greatest secret and only four people have access to the recipe. The togarashi pepper-based sauce is aged and cooked slowly with more than 30 different types of spices to create a complex blend of spicy and rich flavors.
- Each ramen bowl can be tailored with the diner’s choice of dashi flavoring, spice and richness levels, garlic, scallion, Chashu (sliced pork), and noodle textures.
How it’s Served—the Solo Dining Experience
- ICHIRAN is the innovator of solo dining. ICHIRAN designed the concept so customers could focus only on the ramen that sits before them, savoring the fragrance of the broth and experience each slurp of ramen. Dividers are used to separate diners that can be folded so that multiple people can eat together. This concept has been well-received in the COVID era.
- ICHIRAN has created a simple and straightforward ordering process for its diners. Guests will wait in line for a vacant seat, which can be seen on a light up panel before walking into the seating area. An order sheet is then found at each booth where one can personally customize their ramen choosing different ingredients, the flavor levels, the noodle texture, and Kae-Dama (noodle refill). After filling out the form and returning it to a staff member using the call button, a team prepares the individualized bowls of ramen and presents them to the diner in an original Jubako ramen bowl. To ensure that the quality of the ramen is seamless every time, a 15 second standard is applied, where each bowl is delivered in 15 seconds from kitchen to the table.
- Additional toppings and sides can also be ordered with selections including marinated pork loin,which is only available in the U.S,Kikurage mushrooms, soft-boiled egg, dried seaweed, white riceandOsukaran vinegar. Guests can also order extra toppings as well as noodle refills known as Kae-Dama.
As you can see from the above stated, the passionate effort that goes behind each bowl of ramen is rarely found in ramen houses throughout the world. Once you’ve tried ICHIRAN’s Tonkotsu ramen, one can immediately taste the difference. The team at ICHIRAN carefully guards their recipes, and as a matter of fact, the four people who have it never travel together just to make sure that there’s always a surviving member to continue to provide the world with the best Tonkotsu ramen.