Thursday, October 3, 2019

猪骨ラーメン (Shishikotsu Wild Boar Ramen in Ehime)


Did I tell you about the time I tried to get my hunting license in Japan? I began the first steps of gun ownership in a country mostly devoid of firearms, with the hopes of bagging a wild boar. The local police station convinced me to abandon my pursuit, lest they make my life very difficult. I abandoned my pursuit. Tokyo doesn't really need any 12-gauge shotguns.

Hunting in the countryside of Japan, though, is a welcome activity. Wild boar bring havoc to local farms, and a hunter is loved by the community. Here in the islands between Ehime and Hiroshima Prefectures, that hunter runs a ramen shop.

Inoshishi (猪) in Japanese.

Inoshishi has a reputation for being gamey. Special care is given when making this heavy soup to avoid the funk while bringing out the meat. Sure, the earthy flavors are still there, but if they weren't there wouldn't be a point.

It's a one-man show. Hunter, owner, chef. It's a really special bowl, though I won't lie, the location isn't so easy to get to without your own car and intimate knowledge of the western areas of Japan.

Located in the serious middle of nowhere, a place that is full of beauty. This is also along the famous Shimanamikaido cycling route, a 70km road between Imabari and Onomichi.

Random bonus, the chef here studied how to make ramen at the Osaka Ramen School, a school I've worked with for many years. The hunter sent the school frozen boar bones to help develop a recipe. How cool is that?

Official site here.