Japan’s most popular Hakata ramen chain gives us noodles to go…in potato chip form!

Ramen chain Ippudo has long been the place to go for hearty bowls of tonkotsu pork broth ramen, but now the tonkotsu specialists are branching out into the snack world, bringing the flavour of their signature dish to a pack of potato chips for the first time ever.

Created in collaboration with snack food maker Yamayoshi Seika to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Ippudo’s founding, the chips are said to contain the flavour of the chain’s Shiromaru ramen, a popular dish with a creamy white broth and rich yet clean finish.

▼ Ippudo’s Shiromaru ramen.

Image: Ippudo

We’d been on the hunt for the new chips ever since they were released on 19 October, so it was a happy day when we finally came across them at the supermarket. We were lucky to get our hands on them too, as there were only three on the shelf when we saw them.

▼ The recommended retail price is 140 yen (US$1.35), but we were able to pick up a pack for 98 yen.

As Ippudo’s classic signature dish, Shiromaru ramen is well-known in Japan so there’s been a lot of excitement over the new release. According to those who’ve tried it, the chips are said to replicate not just the flavour of the noodles but their aroma as well.

Keen to find out what these chips would taste like, we ripped open the bag and were met with a waft of…wait, was it really?…yes, yes it was…tonkotsu ramen! The unmistakable scent of a warm pork bone broth rose up to our nostrils, but there was no ramen beneath our noses, only chips.

▼ These might look like ordinary chips, but trust us — they’re not!

The aroma was powerful, and so spot-on that we knew immediately these had to have undergone intense testing by their makers to ensure such quality. They certainly passed our test in terms of appearance and aroma, but how would they taste?

▼ The ingredients included garlic powder, pork extract powder, creaming powder, soy sauce, and miso. Could these really replicate Ippudo’s Shiromaru ramen?

We took out a chip, put it in our mouth, and swirled our tongue around its surface to season the taste buds before crunching down on the salty morsel. And at that moment, we immediately knew this wouldn’t be our last bag of Ippudo ramen chips, because…these tasted just like Shiromaru ramen!

We’d been sceptical about these from the very beginning, but in the end they completely won us over with their taste and texture. Crispy and thin, these were easy to eat and didn’t leave us feeling full or bloated after munching on them. And then there was the taste, which was somehow creamy, yet garlicky and rich with pork bone broth flavour, which had us, as diehard tonkotsu lovers, in a heavenly state of bliss with every bite.

If you love Ippudo’s tonkotsu ramen as much as we do, these are definitely worth trying. Be warned, though – they’re so good they’ll probably have you craving a real bowl of tonkotsu ramen, but that’s okay because with this easy-to-follow recipe from a Japanese chef, you’ll be able to make your own at home!

Photos © SoraNews24
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