Enjoy an exceptional bowlful of clear chicken soup umami at Ramen Touhichi
Touhichi is a ramen place a 25-minute walk away from Kyoto subway Karasuma line Kitaoji Station. This ramen place opened in 2015, but the amount of umami in their clear chicken soup soon became an oft-talked topic among the ramen aficionados of Japan, who keep coming back to Touhichi, as they can’t seem to get enough of it.
The reason for the deliciousness of Touhichi’s ramen can be found in the quality of their ingredients. All their ramen is additive free, and also doesn’t contain chemical seasonings like MSG. They use only the finest chicken in their soup, solid black chicken from Tanba and Kochin from Nagoya, and even the soy sauce used in the soup is an original blend using many types of soy sauces including from the famous soy sauce specialty shop in Tokyo, Nihon Ichi Shoyu. Their noodles are made using, among others, flour from Hokkaido, and they really use these quality ingredients generously, and the ramen made in this way can be succinctly said to be excellent. This ramen can be said to be the completion of ramen made by combining chicken soup and soy sauce.
At the restaurant the tables and chairs are made of wood, and it has a Kyoto-like but modern atmosphere. It is really popular, so there is always a line in front of it. The ramen here is not too thick or rich, so many of the patrons here are not young, but there are also many women. You may have to line up for an hour or so, so go to Touhichi when you have ample time.
Chicken soy sauce ramen
Touhichi is most famous for their chicken soy sauce ramen. The clear soy sauce based soup gets its great smell from the chicken, and the taste; suffice to say this bowl is a work of art. The round but delicate taste is not that heavy, but you get the richness of chicken with the salty punch of soy sauce, which go together remarkably well. It may because of the umami in the chicken soup, but I almost felt like the taste raw egg mixed with white rice.
The noodles are handmade, thin straight noodles. The ramen is topped with a chicken and pork char siu, and menma – fermented bamboo shoots, and they all have a nice bite to them. White green onion and mitsuba (Japanese honeywort) not only look nice on the ramen, but also change the taste a bit, and work as a nice flavoring too.
Chicken soy sauce tsukesoba
The other specialty of Touhichi is their chicken soy sauce tsukesoba. Like normal tsukemen, or dipping ramen, the noodles are dipped in a dipping sauce, but the chicken soy sauce tsukesoba at Touhichi is not your normal bowl of tsukemen. The overpoweringly refreshing noodles go especially well down your throat, and this joined with the deliciousness of the chicken and soy sauce, it is all so good you almost feel like you were eating chicken-and-wheat sashimi.
You can eat it like normal tsukemen, but because the noodles are in kelp water, they feel fresher than normal, and you enjoy the fragrant smell of the kelp. You can read about my recommended way of eating these noodles in “Order Tips” below.
Dried sardine seafood broth ramen
This boiled and dried sardine seafood broth ramen is limited to 15 portions a day. This ramen is made by combining six types of dried sardines with four types of katsuo, dried bonito, and you can taste the sardines with the fishy taste and smell, and all this goes well together with the “Kurobaranori” seaweed and onion cut into cubes. This is another quality bowl from Touhichi; there is nothing to improve here.
Compared to the aforementioned chicken and soy sauce ramen, this seafood broth ramen has a more starch taste, not as round as the chicken one. This ramen is especially great for those who are really into seafood broth.
Torimeshi (Chicken rice)
Here you have some of Touhichi’s chicken char siu on top of rice, and this is all flavored by their salt tare sauce. The chicken is a bit pink and goes incredibly well with rice. This is so delicious, I’m sure you will see the bottom of the bowl in no time. Of course you don’t need to say it goes well with ramen too.