After visiting Tokyo late last year, I truly found an appreciation for all things “umami.” What exactly is umami you may ask? Umami is actually one of the five basic senses. The other four being sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Rakkan Ramen is all about umami and offering dishes that are full of flavor. There’s five locations in Japan; four of which are in Tokyo. No need however to fly all the way to Tokyo however to get a taste of Rakkan Ramen because there are actually three locations in the USA and they are all in Southern California! The three locations are in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Redondo Beach. The latest one to open is the one in Redondo Beach.
I recently had a chance to visit the Rakkan Ramen in Redondo Beach and my senses were instantly transported back to Tokyo.
My meal here first started off with their Rakkan Buns.
There are three offerings of Rakkan Buns; pork, chicken and vegetable. My choice was the chicken buns. This starter indeed was a definition of sensory overload. Two steamed buns were filled with crispy chicken, milk, sesame, baby mix greens with teriyaki sauce and mayonnaise. I loved the melt in your mouth softness of the steamed buns followed by the delightful crisp of the deep-fried chicken. A mix of the mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce was delightfulness to the palate.
After such a savory stater, next on the table was the star of the meal; the ramen. Here at Rakkan Ramen; they have four different types. Amber, Pearl, Garnet and Ruby. The ramen are just as special as the names of the gemstones they are named after.
Amber is their soy sauce ramen and their most popular at Rakkan. Pearl is the salt sauce ramen that uses specially selected Japanese salt and white soy sauce. lt is Rakkan Ramen’s “healthy” ramen. Garnet is the miso ramen that is well-known in Hokkaido. While ruby is the shrimp miso ramen made with shrimp paste and shrimp slowly boiled in olive oil to concentrate the umami flavor.
Upon my visit, I tried the Garnet ramen.
The Garnet uses original blended miso and has vegetable broth, sesame paste, grilled pork, green onion, bamboo shoots and seasoned egg served with thin noodles. I instantly became a fan of the vegetable broth! I love that they used vegetable broth to help keep the dish healthy yet tasty. This in itself makes it a winner in my book. The seasoned egg along with the tender pork were superb. With an addition of their chili sesame oil; this ramen dish made for one hearty meal. The umami flavor was evident throughout the whole meal.
I am very happy to see Rakkan Ramen in Southern California. It’s a little taste of Tokyo here at home.
For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Rakkan Ramen Redondo Beach.
Today’s culinary creation is tofu shirataki noodles!
Ingredients: shirataki noodles, meatballs, hot dog slices, Filipino spaghetti sauce
On a recent trip to a local Asian market, I was introduced to tofu shirataki noodles. They are a traditional Japanese noodles that are made of tofu and yam. After a bit of research, I found out shirataki noodles have several benefits! They are cholesterol free, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, vegan and high in fiber! They can even help in weight loss. I found these noodles intriguing and interesting and decided to try it out. There were two versions of tofu shirataki noodles that I bought. I got the spaghetti and fettuccine.
The tofu shirataki noodles already come cooked and so all I had to do was add a little boiling water and then mix in the ingredients that I wanted.
For the spaghetti, I added beef meatballs and sweet Filipino spaghetti sauce.
For the fettuccine, I mixed in hot dog slices and sweet Filipino spaghetti sauce.
I really liked how these noodles came out when cooked. They were so soft and tender. They tasted great too! I could not tell at all that I was eating something that was low in fat and low in calories! I couldn’t even tell that they are low in carbs! It’s as delicious as regular pasta. I am a fan! It’s healthy and yummy! Yay! I really liked the tofu shirataki noodles and can see myself using these noodles for other homemade creations!