Perfect Amount of Sourness, Ramen with Fukui Plums

Perfect Amount of Sourness, Ramen with Fukui Plums

“Ume Ramen”, Awarded with Top Prize at a National Competition

In a ramen shop located within Fukui Prefecture’s Wakasa Town, a new item incorporating the flesh and essence of the Fukui plum has been developed: the “Ume Ramen”. Recently, the Ume Ramen received the top prize at a competition where new products, using Japanese plums from across the country, are evaluated. The medium-think noodles with Japanese plums kneaded into it, giving out a red colour, and the soup that compliments its sourness has been popular with the locals.

“Upon receiving the award, I wanted to bring more effort into promoting Fukui plums and Wakasa Town,” said Yusuke Nakanishi (aged 34), who developed the ramen.

Using the flesh and essence of Benisashi plums, which are a breed of meaty plums with small seeds, the ramen is assembled with springy noodles and a salt-flavoured soup.

“Having the perfect amount of sourness, and without being fatty, it is completed with a light flavour,” says Nakanishi, proud of his work.

“I was thinking of a way I can contribute in stimulating the local area, by using the Japanese plums that have been close to me since I was very young,” explains Nakanishi, regarding when he started development last July, going through roughly four months of trial and error. Nakanishi continually adjusted the flavour of the plums, the hardness of the noodles, and the balance of the salt flavour; and from last November, he was able to offer the item in his own ramen shop “Menya Ginga”, located in the Minamimaekawa district of Wakasa Town.

The competition that awarded the special gold prize was hosted at the National Ume Summit Convention, an event created by the 13 Japanese plum production areas spread across the country. The event took place in Shizuoka Prefecture on February 7th and 8th; among eleven other items in the competition, the Ume Ramen received first place.

On February 28th, at Wakasa Town’s Libra Wakasa, Town Mayor Yutaka Morishita presented Nakanishi with a special gold prize certificate.

“The flavour of the plums and the right amount of saltiness made it very pleasant to eat; it was received favourably at a tasting [conducted by the head of the local government]. I hope we can work hard together to establish this as a new local specialty of this town,” delivered Town Mayor Morishita in a speech.

“I’m happy to have had this chance to reaffirm the deliciousness of Fukui plums with the local residents. Taking the momentum of receiving this award, I want to continue promoting Fukui plums even more,” declared Nakanishi with enthusiasm.

The Ume Ramen is priced at ¥1,000 (tax included). The noodles and soup are also available for purchase. Inquiries can be made through Menya Ginga’s phone line: 0770 (45) 2511.


Fukui’s “Ramen Expo 2020” Suspended

Fukui’s “Ramen Expo 2020” Suspended

Announced by Fukui TV, Affected by the Novel Coronavirus

On February 26th, in response to the increasing infection of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Fukui TV announced that the “Fukui TV Ramen Expo 2020” has been suspended. The Ramen Expo was to take place at the Fukuiken Sangyo Kaikan during March 18th to 24th, and March 26th to April 1st.

Refunds will be offered for tickets already purchased until March 31st, with instructions on Fukui TV’s website.

“After the result of much consideration, taking everyone’s health and safety in the highest priority, the event has been suspended,” stated Fukui TV in a statement.

Up until last year, the name of the event was “Odaiba Ramen PARK in Fukui”, and was changed this year to “Fukui TV Ramen Expo 2020”. The event had plans to feature popular ramen restaurants from across the country.


Specially-Made by High School Students, A Branding Iron for Ramen Eggs

Specially-Made by High School Students, A Branding Iron for Ramen Eggs

An Illustration of the Shop’s Logo with a Trail of Steam, Four Months to Complete

On December 18th, three high school students from Sakai Senior High School (located in Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture) gifted a Fukui City ramen restaurant with a hand-made branding iron, to be used for ramen eggs. The branding iron has an exquisite illustration of the shop’s logo. The students were also very particular with the angling of the handle. They were all proud of their creation.

As an opportunity for the young students to polish their skills, RAMEN W (a ramen shop located in Fukui City, Kaihotsu, 2-Chrome) made a proposal to the students. Three students were selected to take on the project; Reiji Kitashima, Kanta Omari, and Yuuya Okazaki belong to the Mechanic course of the Machine/Automobile department, and were involved with last May’s project, which involved creating a branding iron used for dorayaki for a school event. Production began in June, taking approximately four months to complete, fully utilizing their collected programming skills and knowledge.

The branding iron is made with brass, which conducts heat very well. In a 3 by 3 centimetre square is an illustration of a “W”, the shop’s logo, with steam emanating from the letter. The development of the branding iron’s handle went through many tests and readjustments, to create the right angle that would optimize efficiency when using on the ramen eggs.

On the 18th, the three students visited the shopkeeper, Toshio Kitagawa (aged 50), and presented him with the branding iron saying, “We were able to successfully create this, so please use it a lot.” After that, they tried the branding iron on a ramen egg; after a sizzle, the logo appeared, with everyone cheering in delight.

“I am really grateful for everyone’s feelings and effort,” said Kitagawa, treating the students with ramen.

From January 19th of next year, and during the 3rd Sunday of every month between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., 20 pieces of logo-branded ramen eggs will be available.


Student-Made, Nanjo Service Area’s New Menu

Student-Made, Nanjo Service Area’s New Menu

4 Specialty Items by Okuetsumeisei High School Students

   Students part of the social welfare and livelihood course at Okuetsumeisei High School, located in Fukui Prefecture’s Ono City, devised and produced a menu for the food court of the Hokuriku Expressway-Nanjo Service Area (SA). As characteristic of Hangesho (the 11th day after the summer solstice; the last rice-planting day), Mackerel Tatsu-age, an Ono City favourite, will be featured in the four menu items, such as in the “Mackerel Tatsuta Oroshi Soba”. On October 28, the SA held a food sampling event, where the students tested the flavours.

  The menu is comprised of Mackerel Tatsuta Oroshi Soba (¥880), Rich Shio Koji Ramen with a blend of Echizen salt and shio koji (¥800), Okuetsu Special Bento with Namban-style Mackerel Tatsuta-age & Fukui Plum Harusame Salad (¥1,280), and a Sweet Vinegar-coated Mackerel Tatsuta-age Set (¥980). The Mackerel Tatsuta Oroshi Soba and Rich Shio Koji Ramen will be available in the Shiga/Fukui-bound section of the SA, while the Okuetsu Special Bento and Mackerel Tatsuta-age Set will be available in the Niigata/Gifu-bound section of the SA. All foods will be on sale from November 11.

Featured in last year’s menu, the NebaToro Mackerel Katsudon received enough praise to turn it into a regular menu item. This year, 19 third-year high school students started planning from April, and came up with about 50 recipes, 4 of which were chosen by the SA.

At the food sampling event, 18 students tasted the Mackerel Tatsuta Oroshi Soba and the Rich Shio Koji Ramen. The students savoured the flavours, making comments like, “The deep-fried mackerel is crunchy” and “The soup has a rich flavour”. A female student (aged 18), who was part of the group in charge of the Oroshi Soba, explained, “We placed importance in using ingredients that are good for your health.”

The new menu items will be on sale until the end of December.