In the center of Kyushu lies the prefecture of Kumamoto. Kumamoto ramen is variation of tonkotsu ramen with decidedly thicker (in some instances, spaghetti-like) straight noodles and a soup made with chicken stock as well as pork bones. The chicken stock is very flavorful, but the net result is a soup that is milder and a little bit lighter than most of the region's other tonkotsu ramen styles.
Toppings frequently found in Kumamoto ramen include kikurage (wood-ear mushroom) and seaweed, in addtion to the ubiquitous chashu nad negi, but perhaps the most distinctive feature of this style is the preponderance of cooked garlic as a flavoring, whether roasted as garlic chips and added as a topping or fried to produce garlic oil, which is then blended with the soup. An aroma of burnt garlic characterises Kumamoto ramen and gives it its unique taste. This is often complemented with coarse black pepper as an additional seasoning. It is worth noting that benishoga (red ginger), is not quite as prevalent here.
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