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Are you looking for a culinary souvenir that your loved ones back home will not forget so easily? Want to bring back something more than just some trinkets purchased near Sensoji temple? Why not try introducing your friends and family to some local Japanese cuisine from off the beaten path (Kumamoto)! Abekku ramen is the stuff of the food legends. Having tasted this delicious local speciality, you’ll not want to go back. Easily cooked, easily eaten and easily enjoyed, Abekku ramen cannot be missed if you’re looking for a real authentic local Japanese food experience. It might be a bit difficult to get your hands on some delicious Abekku ramen in a big city like Tokyo, but venture a bit outside the well-traveled tourist grounds and you’ll find a wealth of food worlds opening up, offered right from the hands of local people.

Abekku ramen from Kumamoto

For some reason, abekku actually is a loan word from French (avec), meaning romantic couple, and we presume it can only mean the match made in heaven between your taste buds and the delicious Abekku ramen. Be that as it may, one will certainly wonder, what are they exactly? Wait no further and read down below to find out and learn how to create this delicious treat yourself. It’s as easy as pie – or rather, as ramen.

First of all, this “Kumamoto ramen,” where the dish originates from, is very straight as you’ll soon notice. Aside from some meat, ramen and some vegetables, there isn’t much that’s needed to produce this food, so it’s really a pretty simple meal. The noodles itself are actually produced by a local company from Kyushu, so it might be a bit difficult to get your hands on it for a reasonable price, but that is part of what makes it a great souvenir!

pan-frying bacon, to go with Kumamoto style ramen

Abekku ramen is flavored with seaweed, dried eggs, dried nori and sesame to create the distinct flavor of this unique dish so well-loved in Kumamoto. First of all though, diligently cut the vegetables before proceeding any further. Carrots, cabbage and soy sprouts will work fine, and of course: do not forget the bacon to add some delicious flavor to the broth. Then, fry with some vinegar oil while you cook the noodle, wait 20 minutes or so, and it’s basically done! Just add the included paste to the noodle, mix the broth, vegetables and cooked ramen and you’re ready to enjoy your very own Kyushu dish!

pan frying carrots and lettuce, to accompany Kumamoto style ramen

boiling Kumamoto style ramen in a pot, stir-frying vegetables

Of course, Abekku ramen is just one of an almost endless variety of noodle dishes from across the Japanese islands, and if you enjoy it, you will almost certainly acquire a taste for comparing different ramen dishes from different regions. It’s a fun journey, though, so go ahead, buy some local ramen and start exploring. Noodle, as you’ll soon realize if you have not already, does not always equal noodle.

Japanese bowl and chopsticks

Duncan & Yannik

Duncan & Yannik

Dünkan and Yanník are a dynamic duo of travel enthusiasts and photographers from Northern and Southern Germany. With a combined experience of over 20 years in Japan they will get to the bottom of every issue concerning undiscovered travel opportunities in Japan.

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