Noodles of different thickness, all in one bowl: Men-souken Kurenai in Chofu

by Ramen Hero - December 11, 2018

At Chofu train station, which is to the west of Tokyo, is a ramen shop called “Kurenai". Interestingly, the two stores on both sides of Kurenai are also their chain ramen shops.

Kurenai ramen. The broth is a tonkotsu-based, rich and creamy miso soup with several spices in it for a spicy kick.

Added to this is some fried garlic and chill oil to increase appetite.

Sliced cabbage, bean sprouts, and thinly sliced red peppers are topped in the center.  Stewed pork belly slices are used in the topping instead of the traditional chashu.

What really makes this bowl special are the noodles. The noodles are of seven different thicknesses, with a lower absorbency rate and tougher texture. Since the thicknesses vary, the texture changes in the mouth constantly, keeping things interesting.

I think it’s pretty rare to find a dish like this in the world, where different kinds of noodles come together in one dish. Even with pasta, it is of a consistent size and shape in one dish, and different sizes/shapes are just paired with different sauces. For Kurenai to use different noodles and on top of that, seven different kinds of noodles, is pretty daring. There is so much potential to ramen and the explorations are endless—this dish is a great example of it.