Kitakyushu ramen, like much of the ramen from the region, features a white, opaque tonkotsu soup, albeit one that is similar to the Kurume rather than the Hakata style. There are two kinds of Kitakyushu tonkotsu soup, a rich and oily kotteri and a lighter assari. The noodles are relatively thicker than those of neighboring Hakata (but still are thin, firm and unrisen compared to "standard" ramen) and they are only very lightly boiled.
Perhaps the defining characteristic of Kitakyushu ramen is the emphasis on toppings. Idiosyncratic chefs load up their bowls with everything from mentaiko (spicy cod roe) to karashi takana (spicy pickled mustard greens), and the stubborn shopkeeps in the region tend to close their shops early.
photo by akiko nakatani
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