Monday, February 3, 2020

えびす屋 (Jesus Ramen at Ebisuya in Aomori)


Yes, this is Christ ramen. Yes, we are in the deep, deep countryside of Aomori Prefecture in the north of Japan. Yes, I will explain.

In 1936, religious papers called the Takenouchi Documents were found in Japan. These tell a story of Jesus escaping the crucifixion, traveling to Japan, marrying a Japanese lady, and dying with three children at the age of 106. It was here, in the village of Shingo, that he made his life. The symbolic graves are for him and his younger brother, who took his place on the cross.

These papers, by the way, were lost sometime in the 1950s. How convenient.

Yes, this is a real place in Japan. If you want more information, I really enjoyed the video from the stellar YouTube channel Rare Earth.

On to the ramen.

Ebisuya was empty when I rolled in. Real estate space is no problem here, so it isn't a surprise to find massive restaurants in a place that may not need so many seats. Next to the restaurant is a karaoke "container," literally a couple shipping containers converted into rent-by-the-hour karaoke booths. They were also empty.

Jesus ramen is something Jesus could eat. The soup is made from chicken and locally sourced saba. Line-caught saba, mackerel, is most famous in nearby Hachinohe. Instead of chashu pork, the master uses Japanese yams grown in her garden. Slightly fried, they are crisp and a bit slimy. A beautiful root vegetable. Homegrown shiso topped with homemade pickled plum adds a bit of punch.

Naturo cut into a Star of David. Fun, weird stuff. It is encounters like these that I live for.

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