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4 minutes | Jan 6, 2018
Happy holidays food lovers! It’s Michael with the Tucson Foodie Podcast, where we talk the latest, the greatest, and the tastiest food-focused news in and around Tucson. So get cozy and get comfortable - but not too comfortable… we’ve updated our guide for the top Ramen spots around town and I have a feeling it’s going to make you hungry. Now we aren’t talkin’ about those ten-cent packages of ramen here. I mean not the ones that give a sodium-filled sense of college nostalgia! We’re talking authentic Japanese ramen. Luckily, there’s more of this Japanese soupy goodness lurking in Tucson than you might have thought. Great ramen broth isn’t available in the grocery store. It’s a lengthy process to make a tonkotsu (tone-kawt-soo) broth which includes boiling pork bones for hours until a creamy emulsion is formed. But you needn’t worry about that… ‘cause here are 11 places to experience it by chefs that have it down pat! The 1st on our list - and the only food truck – is Fat Noodle. Their most recent version of House Ramen includes house-made noodles, 10-hour broth, “Fat Slaw,” honey sesame pork loin, shiitake mushrooms, 520 egg, green onions, Fat Sauce, scallions, and dashi. They’re also the only place in town that serves ramen burgers, which feature a ramen noodle bun. Next up is Ginza Sushi. Think savory slices of chashu (shashew) pork that add extra belly fat to an already rich bowl of Chashu Tonkotsu ramen. The velvety egg yolk adds another layer of richness while pickled ginger adds a sharp contrast. That’s your primary northeast option at Kolb & Sunrise. For all of you on northwest side, Ikkyu is your spot. Now, the ramen is only available at Ikkyu Thursday through Saturday so please plan accordingly (as we have mistakenly learned). Ikkyu’s ramen features lean pork slices, which round off this bowl of Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen. If you want it spicier, each table has shakers of Japanese red pepper and bottles of Sriracha. Centrally hidden behind Old Chicago, K Japanese Restaurant is a hidden gem. While sushi is the star here, you can build your own noodle soup by picking the soup base, noodle, and topping. All soups come with sweet corn, bean sprout, fish cake, marinated boiled egg, seaweed, and ki-kurage (wood ear mushroom) by default. But for a true bowl of ramen, we recommend picking tonkotsu broth, ramen noodle, and char siu (char-shoo) pork. Many of you probably already know Eastside sushi fave, Sachiko Sushi. You just might not have known about their ramen, which features a pork and soy sauce broth. Other options include a seafood version and miso. And bonus, a California roll is included on the side. On Oracle, Samurai offers the smallest servings on this list, but they’re also more affordable. Bean sprouts cool down the piping hot broth so you can start slurping sooner. Variations such as cold ramen and Tan Tan ramen make seasonal appearances. Sushi Zona which was formerly Sushi Yukari, located in the Whole Foods shopping center at River and Craycroft, offers a shio (or salt) broth which provides a simple, cleaner flavor. Soy sauce, miso, and tonkotsu are also available soup bases. Heading back to central then North to the foothills for Union Public House’s house-made noodles, which swim in a bacon dashi alongside mushroom, scallion, soft egg, and black garlic oil (WHAT). Tucked away in a strip mall two doors east from Sher-E-Punjab since 1988 with the same sushi chef, owner, and operator, Noboru Nakajima, is Yamato Japanese Restaurant. They also happen to serve three types of ramen: tonkotsu, miso, and shoyu. Yamato also offers some of Tucson’s best sushi. It’s a little pricey, but worth it if you’re splurging. Since moving into their new location, Yoshimatsu has significantly stepped up their ramen game. They now offer about ten different varieties, including seasonal specials such as the vegetarian Tomato Ramen. Last but not least, is OBON Sushi, Bar & Ramen, OBON doesn’t sacrifice quality. The eponymous OBON Ramen features roasted pork shoulder, pork belly, dried shredded chili, bamboo shoots, scallion, and a 64º egg. The cold Spicy Kimchi and Mikado are also available as refreshing chilled options. And one final bit of food info for ya… Exciting news for Tucson travelers: there are three new local dining options at Tucson International Airport. Noble Hops, Beyond Bread, and Sir Veza’s Kitchen & Kantina are all part of TIA’s massive renovation. Look for Noble Hops before hitting security, which is great for non-tickets holders. Additionally... Beyond Bread offer pastries along with sandwiches made with their hand-crafted breads. Sir Veza’s features a blend of Mexican and American cuisine as well as cocktails, margaritas, and craft beer. Beyond Bread and Sir Veza’s (sir veysuh’s) Kitchen & Kantina are past security and open at 5 a.m. to accommodate early flights. All three restaurants have condensed menus from their counterparts, but prices remain the same. Also, if you spend $15 you’ll get your parking validated. Happy holidays food lovers, Be SURE to check out tucsonfoodie.com and subscribe for all the latest food Promotions and news in and around Tucson.
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