Ramen Horiuchi (らぁめん ほりうち) in Shinjuku is not your typical ramen shop. Their trademark is a foamy natto ramen.
People either love or hate natto (fermented soybeans). I myself am not a huge fan. But at Ramen Horiuchi, it’s worth taking the natto ramen plunge.
Ramen Horiuchi and Natto Ramen
Along with being slimy and stringy, natto has a polarizing effect because of its strong aroma. It’s like the Japanese equivalent of blue cheese. It can stave off vampires.
But just like blue cheese or kimichi, once you’re eating it, you tend to forget about the smell. The natto ramen at Ramen Horiuchi has a copious amount of natto and bit of runny egg. This egg softens the aroma and taste of the natto. You’re left with a yellowish, foamy blanket that coats one side of the ramen bowl.
You can spread this blanket as you like within the classic shoyu broth. To better capture everything, you can bring your chopsticks close together, grabbing bits of natto with the medium-thick, flat noodles and nori.
Tsukemen (Dipping Ramen)
Besides the natto ramen, Ramen Horiuchi also has regular ramen (sans natto), chashu ramen (extra pork), and tsukemen (zaru / dipping ramen).
The tsukemen tastes a bit different from the ramen (excluding the natto). It’s just as good though, carrying a saltier, spicier flavor. It might be my favorite.
Horiuchi is a small shop and from anywhere, you have an intimate view of the kitchen.
Add Ramen Horiuchi to your Shinjuku ramen file.
For reference, another famous place with close ties is right next door.