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Tonkotsu ramen is my favorite noodle soup by far, and unfortunately, there are no places to get really good tonkotsu in Monterey. I had gone so long without tonkotsu that Shinsengumi was the place where I wanted to eat the most on my last trip to Southern California. If only I could get Tonkotsu up North, I would be really happy - I remember thinking this when I departed on January 2nd for Monterey.

Vacation came a few days later. On my first day off, I received a notification that an undelivered parcel from Japan was waiting at the Pacific Grove post office for me. Due to power outages and other obstacles, I wouldn't end up getting this parcel for another 3 days, and only then after a 20 minute wait in a line packed with people trying to do everything that the post office was capable of, it seemed. The staff at the PG post office is polite and efficient, much like a Japanese Post office.

I was surprised to read this label on the box that was handed to me:


Reading the label, I knew that this wasn't going to be a pack of Top Ramen or Cup o Noodle, but it did raise a chuckle.

One of my favorite teachers from Ubuyama, Hieda-sensei, must have been listening to my thoughts because he quickly dispatched a 3 pack of instant Kumamoto-style tonkotsu ramen, complete with takana from Aso-prefecture!


Here are the ingredients for my Kurotei instant ramen:
cup noodle
pork broth
natana oil
karashi peppers
amino acids
caramel color
rendered bones
sweet flavoring

And there's more, but I'm getting tired of looking up kanji and trying to remember Japanese. I think I'm going to have to prepare extra noodles so that I can enjoy the broth to the fullest with kaidama...

To Hieda-sensei, the man who dared to climb Mount Kuju during the middle of a blizzard on April 4th, 2004 with Ubuyama-mura's 3rd resident ambassador of gaikokujin, I am truly in your debt!


Adam, was searching for blogs on Oita or Kyushu and I found yours. I'll be going to school in Oita for a year starting in March so I was looking for good info. Looks like you've got lots of good food recommendations! Thanks for the great site.

Hey Adam, I've been enjoying your blog. I'm going to Oita-shi soon to study at Oita Daigaku for a year so I've been researching cool places to go. Looks like Kyushu is full of beautiful spots and great food! Thanks for the blog.

Hey, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I think you'll have a great time in Oita, as I have many fond memories of that part of Kyushu.

Have a great time, and let me know how things go if you get a chance...

I really enjoyed Shin Sen Gumi ramen with you before you left for Monterey.
I wish I could make it just as tasty (the broth is killer good, rich and warm) ramen, but it wouldn't be a treat for me. Next time you're in town, I'll be waiting to enjoy tonkotsu ramen again!
That story about getting a ramen-o-gram is great! That's the Law of Attraction working for you again!

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This page contains a single entry by Adam published on January 10, 2008 3:31 PM.

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