Menya AOI (麺や蒼) has an unmatched lead when it comes miso ramen in Tsukuba. Their rich miso ramen is one of the most popular bowls in all of Ibaraki.
Chart Topping Miso Ramen in Tsukuba – AOI
The miso they use as a base is Shinshu miso that's been rested for 3 days. It holds a mild, sweet flavor that compliments the thick and rich pork bone and fish broth. There's additional sweetness coming from seabura (pork back fat).
You’ll find a unique ingredient at the top left corner of the funnel-shaped bowl. It’s a small hill of gyofun (fish powder). When mixed into the broth, it’s like there’s a fish-powered electrical charge.
The bowl also includes plenty of of stir-fried veggies, including onions. This all adds a pleasant smokiness. Lastly, the flat and thick noodles are made-in house. It’s quite rare to find flat noodles in miso ramen.
I feature this bowl in the video below.
The Unsung Ramen Hero
While the miso ramen is most popular, I might prefer the more refined chicken ramen with shrimp oil. Going in the opposite direction from the miso ramen, it features a light shio (salt) seasoning. There is just enough shrimp oil sprinkled on top to make it pop.
With this ramen, you also get to customize your chashu (protein) topping, from 4 choices:
Thick and Fatty Pork Belly
Charcoal-Grilled Pork Shoulder (pictured)
Lean Chicken Breast
Top in Tsukuba
Menya AOI consistently makes lists of the best ramen in Tsukuba (not just miso ramen in Tsukuba).
Whether you’re in for a heavy bowl (miso ramen) or something gentler (the shio ramen), you’re all set at this fine ramen establishment.