When it comes to ramen, there are many tastes and regional variations whether it be shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), tonkotsu (pork bone broth) in Kyushu or miso ramen which is served up in Hokkaido. On top of that then come the crazy novelty ones which include things like cheese, coffee, ice-cream, tequila, kiwis, ham, pizza, sake, pineapple and so on. The kind of things that the true ramen masters would most definitely turn their nose up at!
As you’ve probably noticed, this particular one is famed for its distinct colour which on appearance make it seem like they are cold noodles! Kipposhi (3-1-17 Azumabashi, Sumida-ku) is about ten minutes on foot from Tokyo Sky Tree and the real reason I was in the Sumida ward area recently. There are a fair few things on the menu but of course there’s only one dish that the majority of customers come to sample and that is the “clear chicken soup blue” (900 yen).
If ‘The Ramen Girl‘ (2008), starring the late Brittany Murphy, taught us anything then it’s that the most important ingredient for ramen is heart. As I watched it being made I could first-hand witness the attention to detail that goes into making each and every bowl.
The flavour was dense and really, really nice which was something I’d never really considered as I thought it’d probably be nothing more interesting than making a cool picture for social media. The soup was rich with abundant chicken flavour and for once I thought I’d drink pretty much all of the soup given the rarity of it all. Every time I had some I was taken by surprise that it was hot as my brain could just not deal with the fact that the blue colour makes it look cold.
The restaurant owner says the colour is all natural with no colouring or additives used. He wouldn’t reveal how it gets its colour but it is known that the broth is made via a special Chinese cooking technique which somehow results in an really clear soup. Phycocyanin, the chemical extracted from spirulina algae is rumoured to be the secret ingredient that makes this ramen blue according to one or two other sites but who really knows…apart from the ramen chefs!!
Chashu is the Japanese braised pork often used in ramen dishes but this blue one is filled with slices of roasted chicken fillet instead. The other ingredients include a whole egg (you often get two halves or even just one half!), fresh green onions and bean sprouts. What I wasn’t expecting was the noodles to turn a greeny-blue colour.
* Kipposhi is open from 11:30 am till 3:00 pm and then again from 5:00 pm till 10:00 pm. It is closed on Wednesdays.
Click here to read ‘Going Beyond Tokyo Skytree In The Sumida Area’
Click here to read ‘Tokyo Filming Locations #12 – The Ramen Girl (2008)’
Click here to read ‘Dining Out: Yokohama Ramen Museum’