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Ramen recommendations for Sapporo! A selection of unique dishes to try in Susukino

Ramen recommendations for Sapporo! A selection of unique dishes to try in Susukino

Date published: 8 October 2018
Last updated: 6 October 2018

Sapporo is a great place to eat ramen, with numerous ramen restaurants all over the city. In this article, we’re going to share with you three popular noodle shops in Ganso Ramen Yokocho (the “original ramen alley”) in Susukino, which is Sapporo’s downtown area. These places are open during the day and also well into the night, they’re also good for dinner or a late night snack as well as for lunch.

Ganso Ramen Yokocho information

Ganso Ramen Yokocho information

Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho in the Susukino area of Sapporo is a must visit culinary attraction for noodle enthusiasts. It’s a narrow alley lined with ramen shops.

Get off at Susukino Station on the Namboku Line (Sapporo Municipal Subway) or on the Sapporo Streetcar network. It’s an easy walk, just a few minutes, to this ramen alley. It’s popular with local tourists as well visitors from other parts of Japan or overseas. The staff in the restaurants here are used to serving foreigners, so don’t worry - you’ll have no problems communicating with them even if they only speak Japanese. Many shops also have foreign language versions of their menus.

Opening hours vary depending on the restaurant, but many places open at 10 or 11 AM and don’t close until late at night. Some shops even stay open until the following morning. As well as being busy at lunch time, they also get very crowded around midnight with people eating ramen after they’ve been for a night out drinking.

Central Susukino. The restaurants start filling up with customers after dark.

There are 17 restaurants in total along the street. Even though they’re all next to each other and sell the same product, miso ramen, each restaurant has its own distinct flavor characteristics. We’re going to tell you about three places: Baisensha, a miso ramen specialty restaurant; Mendokoro Toripan for authentic chicken paitan ramen (chicken bone broth) ; and Shimijimi, known for its clam soup and basil oil.

Miso Ramen no Senmon, Baisensya (Miso Ramen Specialties)

Miso Ramen no Senmon, Baisensya (Miso Ramen Specialties)

Baisensya specializes in miso ramen made with carefully selected miso (fermented soybeans). The ramen features a specially-made sauce created by blending two types of Hokkaido miso. The miso is aged at the factory, and then blended in the restaurant and left to ferment at room temperature. This gives the dishes their distinctive mellow flavor.

A hot water base of 50% chicken: 50% pork is added to the miso sauce to make the noodle soup.

The signature dish here is Kousen ramen (800 yen). The soup combines the sweetness of fried onions, the richness of meat gravy, the aroma of blackened garlic in a base of simmered pork and chicken broth with the restaurant’s home-made miso sauce.

These classic Sapporo ramen noodles are yellowish and wavy. They’re called chidjire men (curly noodles).

Only a small amount of fat, such as lard, is used in the dishes. The soup includes ginger and Japanese pepper to create a rich but lightly refreshing flavor. This is definitely a dish to order if you’re planning on eating miso ramen in Sapporo.

Another dish which is especially popular with foreign tourists is Kousen Karami Miso Ramen (Spicy miso ramen) (850 yen).

Tobanjan (Chinese broad bean chili paste) and chili oil is added to the home-made miso sauce to create a spicy flavor. When you first taste the soup, you get the hit of spicy chili, but then the rich umami flavors spread through your mouth, cutting through the heat. The combination of the umami of the home-made miso sauce with the kick from the chili is exquisite.
It’s no exaggeration to say that one helping will be quite enough for two of you to share! Even if you don’t eat a lot of spicy food, it’s really worth trying this.

  • Miso Senmon Baisensya
    味噌専門 倍煎舎
    • Address 〒060-0001 北海道札幌市中央区北1条西2丁目 /6west3,south5,Chuo-ku,Sapporo,Hokkaido 〒064-0805
    • Phone Number 011-206-7113

    Restaurant information:
    Opening hours: 10.:00AM - 5.:00AM the following day
    Closed: N/A
    Access: 2 minutes’ walk from Susukino Station (Namboku Line, Sapporo Municipal Subway)

Mendokoro Toripan. Authentic chicken paitan ramen .

Mendokoro Toripan. Authentic chicken paitan ramen .

Mendokoro Toripan is where you go if you want to eat chicken paitan ramen, made solely from chicken broth. The main branch of this restaurant is a short walk from here, around 10 minutes away. It's so popular place that the owners decided to open a branch at Sapporo Ramen Yokocho in April 2018.

The soup base is made exclusively with chicken bone stock. This is then combined with other ingredients to make the different ramen bowls on offer, such as shio ramen (salt ramen), shoyu ramen (soy sauce ramen) and miso ramen. All these dishes are notable for their rich chicken flavor and refreshing aftertaste.

The chicken paitan soup is completely white. You could easily mistake it for milk!

The pure white soup is made in a pressure cooker at around 130 degrees. This ensures none of the succulent chicken flavors are lost. The most popular dish here is Toripan miso (800 yen).

You’ll notice a subtle miso taste, and plenty of succulent chicken flavors. The flavor is rich but not at all fatty or overpowering. It tastes exquisite!

The char siu (barbecue pork) is also highly recommended. Pork neck and shoulder is cooked at a low temperature for 22 hours. The fat melts and the rich pork flavors are condensed and intensified. The meat takes on a soft, melt in the mouth consistency.

A favorite dishes with the locals at the moment is Kohaku (Amber) (800 yen). It’s made with chicken paitan soup and shiro shoyu (white soy sauce made with wheat), a typical Japanese ingredient.

The ramen is topped with char siu pork and bamboo shoots, with fried shallots and chopped ginger. As you taste the chicken and the mellowness of white soy sauce in the soup, the ginger adds a kick of spice to lift the overall dish. This ramen typifies the Japanese sense of wa (和) (wa is the character for harmony. Also used in washoku - Japanese cuisine).

Whatever ramen you choose, the chidjire men (curly noodles) are steeped in the flavors of the delicious soup accompaniment.

The most popular dish at the main branch of this restaurant is Toripan shio (salt) (770 yen). Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho is popular with tourists, so you’ll find most people ordering miso ramen, which is widely considered to be the archetypal Sapporo ramen dish. But a little further away, the main branch has a lot of local customers. Rather than miso, they seem to prefer a more salty tasting ramen to capture the rich umami flavors of the chicken.

  • Mendokoro Toripan
    麺処とりぱん
    • Address 〒060-0001 北海道札幌市中央区北1条西2丁目 /6west3,south5,Chuo-ku,Sapporo,Hokkaido 〒064-0805
    • Phone Number 090-6211-1161

    Opening hours: 10:.00AM - 2.:00AM
    Closed: Monday
    Access: 2 minutes’ walk from Susukino Station (Namboku Line, Sapporo Municipal Subway)

Shimijimi. Clam Broth and Basil Flavors

Shimijimi. Clam Broth and Basil Flavors

Shimijimi is a specialty ramen shop that uses soup stock made with clams. It has two ramen styles: sassari (light) and kossari (full-bodied). Sassari features a soup base of clam broth and konbu dashi (kelp stock); kossari has the same soup base, but with chicken stock added.

assari Back: kossari

Assari and kossari ramen have their own unique tasting soup bases, but you can enjoy either served as Shijimi miso ramen (Clam and miso), Shijimi shoyu ramen (Clam and soy sauce) or Shijimi shio ramen (Clam and salt).

Clams are said to contain an amino acid that aids liver function and prevents hangovers. That’s probably the reason why you get a lot of Japanese coming here late at night after a night out on the town. The most popular dish here is Assari shijimi shio ramen (Light-style clam and salt ramen).

Assari has a lightly refreshing flavor, enabling the delicate umami taste of the soup stock to come through strongly. However, for those who prefer a slightly richer and more full-bodied flavor, we’d recommend Kossari shijimi miso ramen (850 yen) and Kossari shijimi char siu ramen (1050 yen) with added char siu pork slices. It’s not in included in the name of the dish, but the basic flavor here is miso ramen.

Kossari shijimi char siu

This is a rich tasting dish, but because there’s very little fat the aftertaste is clean and refreshing. Along with miso, you can taste the delicate flavors of the clam and kelp broth and the aromas of the chicken. These umami flavors fill the inside of your mouth.

The chidjire noodles at this restaurant are quite thin and narrow.

There’s one thing you really have to try when you come here. Have a bit of the basil oil that’s put out on the table, either just before you take a mouthful of ramen or just after.

Dab a teaspoon lightly over your soup.

This transforms the ramen soup into something with an Italian twist to it. It’s so delicious, you just won’t be able to stop drinking it!

It tastes amazing! You’ve got to try it!

Hopefully, you’ll be tempted to try one (or more) of the ramen restaurants we’ve mentioned here. Miso ramen is the most famous ramen style in Sapporo, but there are plenty of others to choose from, such as shio ramen and shoyu ramen, or the ramen dishes served at Shimijimi, featuring prawns or shellfish. If you can’t make up your mind, why not just try miso ramen to start with? There’s such a wide variety on offer, so if you get the chance to sample more than one ramen dish when you’re here, try something other than miso ramen and compare and contrast to see which you like best. Happy slurping!

*All prices include tax.

  • Shimijimi
    しみじみ
    • Address 〒060-0001 北海道札幌市中央区北1条西2丁目 /6west3,south5,Chuo-ku,Sapporo,Hokkaido 〒064-0805
    • Phone Number 011-521-4323

    Opening hours: 10:.00AM - 5.:00AM
    Closed:N/A
    Access: 2 minutes’ walk from Susukino Station (Namboku Line, Sapporo Municipal Subway)

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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