Friday, February 13, 2015

February 13, 2014: Kagamigahara, Japan - Shige Ramen

While in Japan, ramen is a must try.  I'm not talking about the instant ramen where you add hot water to a cup, but ramen where the broth is made from scratch and the ingredients are fresh.  No freeze dried carrots or freeze dried meat bits here.

A local lunch spot is Shige (phonetically it sounds like "she-gay". That's how it sounds to my American ear.).

There are actually two Shige's across the street from one another.  According to the locals, Shige-the restaurant is owned by the Dad while the son opened up Shige-the ramen joint.

Also, according to the locals, the restaurant is a Chinese restaurant.
What?!?!?  My gaijin American mind is thinking - there's no General Tso's,  Sweet and Sour Chicken or Family Dinner #3.  I guess Shige the restaurant ain't know Panda Express knock-off.

Back to the ramen..
There are two options.  The most popular amounst us is the Chili Noodle.The other option is the Shoyu Noodle.

Chili Ramen - Rich, thick hearty spicy broth.  Pork and sesame paste (Guessing it's sesame paste based upon the jars next to the wok. Laden with bean sprouts, little bits of ground meat and topped minced green onions and blackened garlic oil (?).

The wheat noodles that are thick like spaghetti.

Searching the web for ramen broth with sesame paste, I find a reference to Tantanmen.  Which is a ramen version of Dan Dan Noodles - a spicy Szechuan spicy noodle dish.

Is this ramen shop showing it's Chinese heritage?

Besides ramen, there's gyoza and kari-age (fried chicken).  There's a larger menu which I can't read so I stick to the Set lunches.

Set A - Ramen (Chili Noodle) with a stir-fried side dish (that varies daily).  Today's dish is stir-fried eggplant with minced pork.

Set B - Chili Noodle, rice and fried chicken (Kari-age).  Delicious fried chicken that's not greasy at all.
A little salt-pepper powder for the chicken - The Magic Dust. The little salad is has a slightly sweet sesame dressing that's a nice foil to the spicy broth and chicken.

Freshly made gyoza - fried dumplings.  Can't go wrong with these little bundles of joy.

The sprog making dumplings.

Shige senior's is on the left while Shige junior's is on the right.

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