For ramen in Niigata prefecture (Japan), local favorite Koshu Hanten (杭州飯店) is a must visit. This ramen shop’s piping hot bowls feature tremendously thick noodles.
Ramen in Niigata – Top of the Heap
Pummeled by heavy snow every year, the Niigata region is home to delicious, winter-beating ramen. Located in Tsubame City, Niigata, Koshu Hanten first opened its doors in 1933.
It’s now operated by its third generation owner. His grandfather, the original owner, was a Chinese immigrant. Inspired by noodle dishes from home, he created the “Tsubame-Sanjo style” of ramen.
This ramen is now a massive part of the snowy Niigata ramen scene. They even have an instant ramen (below in green)!
Order our Premium Instant Ramen Pack and use promo code “Tsubame” – we’ll try and include it as one of the 5 instant ramen in the pack. Please note that this can depend on availability though.
What Makes the Ramen Special
For the ramen’s seasoning, Koshu Hanten uses an unpasteurized soy sauce (nama shoyu). This tangy base carries a soup that’s pork bones and dried fish (niboshi). The soup is relatively light by itself.
But here’s the kicker -they add a large amount of pork back fat (seabura) to the top. This dense layer traps in the heat. With the harsh winters, this is by design. The pork back fat adds a smooth and sweet flavor too.
The soup isn’t as heavy as it looks. But the noodles are. Made with a strong wheat flour, the noodles are dense and thick. Among toppings, the crunchy raw onions are a nice contrast.
Furthermore, they have a pretty big menu. This includes fried rice (chahan), veggie stir-fry, and fried dumplings (gyoza). The fried dumplings are particularly good.
In summary, Koshu Hanten serves more than ramen. They serve a ramen experience in Niigata.