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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogFive Weird Ramen Flavors You Have to Try in Japan

Five Weird Ramen Flavors You Have to Try in Japan

By Thuy Fang
February 15, 2022

When talking about iconic Japanese cuisine, we usually think of sushi, tempura (deep-fried fish and vegetables), instant noodles, and definitely ramen (Chinese-style wheat noodles), all important to Japanese culture. Ramen is a perfect combination between Chinese-style noodles, Japanese soup, and various unique ingredients. However, some ramen shops are shaking up the noodle world with some weird ramen flavors.

You might have heard about several traditional ramen flavors such as shio (salt) ramen, shoyu (soy sauce) ramen, miso (fermented soybean paste) ramen, tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen, and others with a seafood flavor. Besides these typical flavors and some of the regional ramen varieties (like Hokkaido butter ramen), you’ll be surprised by a lot of odd ramen flavors that are only found in Japan. 

If you’re interested, join us in exploring these 5 weird ramen flavors that anyone visiting the land of the rising sun will find interesting. 

Chocolate Ramen

A bowl of ramen in a dark brown broth, similar to the color of chocolate ramen, a weird ramen flavor, on a green surface.
Chocolate ramen may seem strange, but it doesn’t look very different from other darker broth ramen like this one. Image via Shutterstock

If you’re a fan of chocolate or sweets, you have to try the chocolate flavor of ramen. Yeah, you didn’t hear it wrong. During the season of love, some Japanese ramen shops are willing to serve their customers enjoyable bowls of ramen which have a special, sweet ramen broth using chocolate soup and sweet toppings. 

You’ll definitely be impressed by these oddly perfect creations, like cacao and soy sauce broth, savory white chocolate broth, fancy Belgian chocolate ramen, and even tasty ramen toppings like strawberry, whipped cream, or chocolate bars. For Valentine’s Day, it’s recommendable to have chocolate ramen as a romantic dinner with your love in a Japanese restaurant. You can experience this weird ramen flavor at these 4 famous restaurants: Mensho Tokyo, Kourakuen, Kipposhi, and Papapapapine.

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Coffee Ramen

If you are a coffeeholic, this kind of ramen might have been made for you. It may be a completely unique idea to use coffee as an ingredient to make both ramen noodles and ramen soup. Imagine you have a bowl of coffee ramen for an early breakfast. First, eat all the toppings and noodles, then enjoy the remaining soup like a morning coffee, waking you up and giving you focus to start an energetic working day. 

The toppings for coffee ramen are also diverse and interesting. You can find egg, salami, kamaboko (Japanese fish cakes), banana, coffee beans, and even ice cream as the toppings. Aroma is the ideal place for you to try this weird ramen flavor.

Two cups of Affogato, ice cream in coffee, similar to the weird ramen flavor, coffee ramen, on a stone surface in front of a bowl of coffee beans.
Coffee ramen with ice cream makes the whole thing taste like a delicious Affogato, and Aroma includes fruits with theirs. Image via Shutterstock

Lemon Ramen

If you’re a lover of sour things, you don’t want to miss this ramen flavor. Not only is this kind of ramen special thanks to its incredibly sour flavor, but it also attracts numerous foodies with the aesthetic decoration made with many fresh lemon slices on top. You can try this cool lemon ramen flavor at UMA Tsukemen. 

Natto Ramen

If you want to challenge yourself by eating some well-known Japanese fermented foods, you should try natto (fermented soybean) ramen. Natto, egg, and soy sauce work together to create a great combination in one bowl of ramen. Ramen Manrai will serve customers both cold and hot versions of natto ramen so they can enjoy this dish in any weather condition.

A pair of chopsticks picking up sticky natto, a popular weird ramen flavor topping, from a plate on a black table.
Natto may not look appealing, but it’s a popular weird topping for everything from rice to Japanese curry. Image via Shutterstock

American Noodle

Last but not least, we can’t forget to mention these two American ramen flavors inspired by cuisine from the United States: Hamburger ramen and Hot Dog ramen. They are the only two Japanese cup ramen flavors on this list that we have to introduce to you. This instant ramen collection is an incredible intersection between Western cuisine and Asian cuisine. In case you’re curious about this ramen flavor or this weird combination, why don’t you find it and try it yourself to see how you like it?  

Overall, there is a world of unique ramen waiting to be discovered. You should totally seek out these weird ramen flavors and give your own taste buds a roller coaster ride of colorful sensations. By trying out these special ramen noodles, your view of the culinary world will definitely expand and your adventurous spirit for exotic food will surely be satisfied.

Comment below to share your experiences with any other weird ramen flavors or any that you want to try!

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