Ichiran Instant Ramen? Yes, Ichiran has indeed released their very first instant ramen. It costs more than double what you’d normally pay. But is it worth it? Let’s dive in and find out!
Ichiran Ramen – Some Background
Ichiran has been around since the 1960s. But it was in the 1990s that they really took off as a company. Today they have over 80 branches worldwide! This even includes a branch in New York City’s Times Square.
Ichiran Ramen hails from Fukuoka, Japan and are known for their silky rich pork bone (tonkotsu) ramen. In that part of the country, it’s this style of ramen that rules the land.
Ichiran is also known for their individual ramen booths and custom ordering system. For more on this, jump over to our Ichiran Guide here.
The 1st Ichiran Instant Ramen?
To be clear, Ichiran has been selling a form of instant ramen. It comes in boxes that contain the packet variety (below). But in 2021, Ichiran decided to take it a step further, creating their very own, bowl style of instant ramen.
Bowl style instant ramen are the cream of the crop in Japan. Think of them as premium, with proper soup, noodles, and toppings. In short, they’re closest to the real thing at a ramen shop. So how does Ichiran’s version fare?
Does it Deliver?
Ichiran apparently spent 20 years developing this product. You have to admit that their packaging is inviting and on point. All the Ichiran markings are there, from their black bowl design to the signature spicy red sauce in the middle.
When I made mine, it unfortunately didn’t turn out quite as nice-looking. I could have perhaps folded the noodles a few more times. In my defense, squeezing sauce out of a packet to make a perfect circle isn’t exactly easy.
I do have to say – this tastes a lot like what Ichiran actually serves at their ramen shops. The soup is faithfully and reliably creamy. It’s like a gentle pork bone river with some slight tanginess from the soy sauce seasoning. Sweet and zesty, that red sauce doesn’t disappoint either.
The ultra thin noodles maintain their firmness from start to finish. They’re of good quality, not being flash-fried or having any artificial taste. The biggest drawback is that there are no toppings. Ichiran spins it as they want you to focus on the soup and noodles.
But this also ensures higher margins on an already more expensive instant ramen. It costs about double what you’d normally pay. Just like at their actual ramen shops, they’re banking on their brand’s strength. You can’t blame them.
Cost-performance wise, there are better bowl-style instant ramen out there. But the nostalgic kid in me (who grew up on Ichiran) loves how close this comes to being at Ichiran.
Interested in buying Instant Ramen like this from Japan? Check out our sister website and use promo code “5AMSentMe” at checkout. 12 Month Subscriptions include the same Ichiran instant ramen featured above. You can judge for yourself!