Well, this turned out to be completely different to what we were expecting. 

Ever since we heard that ramen chain Ippudo would be releasing its famed tonkotsu pork bone broth in a can for the first time ever, we’d been saving some coins in our pocket for the new release.

That’s because the new product is being sold at Acure vending machines inside East Japan Rail train stations, and we were determined to buy it as soon as it made its debut on 12 October.

So when we passed by the Acure machine on our way to work today, we fed our 150 yen (US$1.35) into the coin slot, and out popped a can of “Koku to Umami no Ippudo Ramen Soup” (Rich and Umami Ippudo Ramen Broth).

It was served up hot from the machine, but when we pulled the tab on the can, the first thing we noticed was there was no heady, rich tonkotsu aroma. However, we had heard that the chain purposely tweaked the amount of salt, garlic and oil in its original recipe to make it more palatable as a canned beverage-of-sorts.

Peering inside, we could see the broth had the same cloudy appearance as a white “Shiromaru” Ippudo ramen, so we poured some of it into a glass to reveal its true hue. The colour was definitely tonkotsu-like, but there were no noodles or other ingredients hiding inside — this was pure, naked broth.

After being surprised by both the colour and aroma, we braced ourselves for the taste. Again, we were served another surprise when we found that the liquid was significantly more diluted than Ippudo’s original broth. However, when we took another sip, rather than be disappointed by the mild flavour and thinned-down consistency, we actually found ourselves grateful for it.

There was no pungent garlic flavour so we didn’t have to worry about garlic breath afterwards, and the calorie content was comparatively low, making it a far healthier option than feasting on a bowlful of Ippudo ramen.

Remarkably, however, the tonkotsu flavour was definitely there. And it was not too heavy, not too light, but dare we say it — just right!

The lightness in body made it incredibly easy to drink, and despite it not containing any noodles, the familiar tonkotsu flavour fooled us into thinking we were eating ramen, which did a great job of keeping hunger pangs away in between breakfast and lunch.

The canned broth turned out to be surprisingly delicious, and like the new Japanese Curry in a can, it’s a tasty, convenient and innovative new way to enjoy the taste of a restaurant meal on the go.

Definitely give it a try if you can, and if you want to add Ippudo ramen chips to the mix, we definitely won’t judge you!

Related: Koku to Umami no Ippudo Ramen Soup online sales
Photos: ©SoraNews24

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