Tonkotsu Seafood instant ramen is a bold new idea, but it’s one our palates might already be partially prepared for.

Manufacturer Nissin is always cycling limited-time flavors in and out of its Cup Noodle instant ramen lineup, but there are a few varieties that are always available. One of those is Cup Noodle Seafood Noodle, which is so popular that it’s getting a spinoff that’s going to be on sale at the same time as the regular Seafood Cup Noodle.

The new flavor is called Cup Noodle Creamy Tonkotsu Seafood, and it’s pretty self-explanatory provided you know that “tonkotsu” is the Japanese word for “pork stock.” Tonkotsu ramen is most strongly associated with Fukuoka Prefecture, but you can find tonkotsu restaurants and fans nationwide, who love it for its boldly meaty and salty taste.

For Cup Noodle Creamy Tonkotsu Seafood, Nissin is mixing together the standard Seafood Noodle broth and a tonkotsu broth, which it describes as “adding an unmistakably delicious flavor to another unmistakably delicious flavor.” The result, the company promises, is an extra rich and flavorful ramen broth with a creamy quality that will have people coming back for more.

As for toppings, the Cup Noodle Creamy Tonkotsu Seafood comes with squid, imitation crab, egg, cabbage, and green onion, just like the standard Cup Noodle Seafood Noodle.

While there are many ramen restaurants in Japan that serve a mixed tonkotsu/soy sauce broth, that’s a case of mixing a heavily flavored broth with a lighter one. Tonkotsu/Seafood is a combination of two strong flavors, which usually presents a greater potential to go off the rails, but there’s something working in the Cup Noodle Creamy Tonkotsu Seafood’s favor, which is that the regular Cup Noodle Seafood Noodle broth already contains, according to Nissin’s website, “pork seasoning” (though no such ingredients are listed on Nissin USA’s website, implying that the two markets use slightly different recipes). So if the presence of pork is already part of the proven-hit taste of the standard seafood broth, adding in even more by mixing in tonkotsu broth just might make it taste even better. There’s also the fact that Nissin is bringing out the Cup Noodle Creamy Tonkotsu Seafood, as part of its jumbo-sized Cup Noodle “Big” line, at a time of the year when the weather is getting colder and cream stews become a popular dinner choice in Japan.

The Cup Noodle Creamy Tonkotsu Seafood Big comes out October 23, priced at 271 yen (US$1.80).

Source: Nissin (1, 2, 3)
Images: Nissin
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