Ramenology: The study of ramen

Text by Vania Mae Lim, USJ-R Intern
Photos by Keith Solon

BARIKATA Ramen celebrated its first year anniversary last Aug. 26 with a short class about the basics of tonkotsu ramen. And it was a perfect way to further appreciate Japan’s famous culinary export.

The original tonkotsu ramen, Shiro
The original tonkotsu ramen, Shiro
Garlic-filled Kuro Tonkotsu Ramen
Garlic-filled Kuro Tonkotsu Ramen
Aka Tonkotsu Ramen: the spicy tonkotsu
Aka Tonkotsu Ramen: the spicy tonkotsu

Aside from the tonkotsu ramen, there are other three famous ramens in Japan: the shio ramen, which has a lot of salt mixed in the broth; the shoyu ramen, which has soy sauce in its mix to make it savory; and miso ramen, which has a lot of miso added to the broth.

Unlike the first three ramens which have flavorings, tonkotsu ramen is broth-based with its main ingredients – pork bones, joints, marrow and collagen – boiled for hours, and sometimes even days, of low heat just to bring out its rich and natural flavor. Its creamy and milky texture complements its firm noodles, which is where the restaurant’s name is derived from as Barikata means “very hard”. They make their noodles handmade fresh daily to ensure the highest quality.

Tori Karage Bento, or fried chicken bento
Tori Karage Bento, or fried chicken bento
Heavy Tempura Bento
Heavy Tempura Bento

“In Japanese culture, balance is very important especially in food. No flavor should overpower the other. They must all complement each other,” said Oki-san, Barikata Ramen’s general manager.

Ramen lovers would surely love the three tonkotsu ramens available at Barikata. The Shiro Tonkotsu ramen, which is the original ramen with its white color; the Aka Tonkotsu ramen, which is the spicy ramen that is colored red; and the Kuro Tonkotsu ramen, which is rich in garlic that has a hint of black.

(*Barikata Ramen is located in the ground floor of Calyx Building, IT Park, Cebu City. For inquiries and reservations, please call 032 268-9582.)

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