My company had me down in Hiroshima for a weekend. Time for another completely random, newly-created, local style ramen boom!
In recent years, Hiroshima has seen a boom in 汁なし担担麺. Spicy soupless noodles. Why Hiroshima? I have no idea! They already have their own genre of noodles; spicy Hiroshima tsukemen. Do they really need another?
I don't care. This is one of my favorite styles of noodles. I've gone so far as to spend half a day searching it out in Beijing. By the way, the best of the best in Tokyo is at Lashohan. But I'm getting distracted. With 19 shops on the official shirunashitantanmen map, I had some work cut out for me.
Turns out Sunday is a poor day to go, as half the shops are closed. Randomly, I chose the closest one to the hotel. Musashibo's menu is simple, and the noodles came out quick.
If you are a fan of this style, you just know. This one is good. It is so simple; noodles, ground pork, green onions, and spices.
And then you see it. Right there on the counter.
Three kinds of sansho! This is a good thing. This is a very good thing. It's that spice, often called Chinese numbing pepper, or Sichuan peppercorn, that makes any kind of tantanmen great. Sansho gives a bitter, tongue-numbing kick to anything it touches. Either you love it or hate it. I absolutely love the stuff.
若山椒 - wakasansho - young sansho is strong on the bitter flavors.
赤山椒 - akasansho - red sansho that has a bit of heat to it.
青山椒 - aosansho - green sansho with a strong fragrance and heavy numbing powers.
There are rules to this style. Ten of them in fact.
1. Add sansho to your liking.
2. Mix it up.
3. Really mix it up.
4. You'd better keep mixing it.
5. Eat it before it gets cold!
6. Throw in some rice with whatever is left in the bowl.
7. Kick it up with any of the counter-top seasonings.
8. Mix, mix, mix.
9. Even if it gets a bit cold, it's still good.
10. Thank you.
This one was fantastic.
Very close to the Peace Park, a must-visit spot in Hiroshima.
And for anyone who says, "You're crazy! You go all the way to Hiroshima and just eat tantanmen! You're missing out on some famous okonokiyaki!"
I ain't missing anything! This is a ramen blog, though.
Hiroshima-ken, Hiroshima-shi, Chuo-ku, Fujimicho 5-12
Closest station: Hiroshima (or Chudenmae on the street car)
Open 11:00-15:00, 18:00-24:00