Ramen Emoto (らーめん 恵本将裕) is the perfect introduction to Niboshi Ramen (dried fish ramen).
Tucked away in the backstreets of Naka-Meguro since Sept 2014, they take their craft very seriously.
Epic Wall Art
Emoto-san, the man behind it all, is actually from Kyushu – best known for rich tonktosu ramen. But it was in niboshi ramen that he decided to make his mark.
Niboshi Ramen – Shoyu
Niboshi is dried sardines. At Emoto they use 3 types of sardines and 1 type of horse mackerel. These dried fish make up 60% of the broth. The remaining 40% is Japanese chicken and kelp (konbu) from Hidaka. All together, it’s extremely well-balanced.
It’s not nearly as bitter nor fishy as many niboshi ramen bowls out there. If you’re a first time visitor, try the niboshi shoyu. It’s their most popular. It’s quite salty but the soy sauce from Kagawa works beautifully as a seasoning.
Niboshi Ramen – Shio
If you’re looking for a lighter taste, get the niboshi shio ramen. They use Australian sea salt and with this lighter base, the fish flavor is more prominent.
The niboshi broth takes 8 hours to boil. In the shoyu, there’s a dash of ginger on top. In the shio, there’s a sprinkle of tougarashi spice. The chashu pork shoulder in either is excellent.
Shrimp Maze Soba
Maze soba literally means “mixed noodles”. Think of it as soupless ramen. Instead of soup, you mix the noodles with an oil.
The oil in this dish is salty shrimp oil and pork grease. There’s also a mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and salmon paste that you can mix in. This is an insanely delicious dish.
Also, all of their dishes have little diced onions, which add pleasant bursts of sweetness with every bite.
Katsu-ura Tantanmen (Vegan too!)
Borrowing from Chinese tantanmen, Katsu-ura tantamen has a layer of hot chili oil (raiyu) at the very top of the broth. This spicy ramen was invented to keep fishermen warm in the fishing city of Katsu-ura.
If you need your spicy fix, order this dish. It’s also the least fishy of all the ramen at Emoto. They also have a vegan version. It’s creamier from soy milk and uses minced soy beans in place of pork.
Ramen Emoto. Go go!
In the below video, I showcase their delicious niboshi ramen and the shrimp maze soba.