From the 1980s to the 1990s a roadside of Tokyo known to the locals as Kan-nana became the go-to spot for salary men to get their ramen fix. Tosakko Ramen was one of the ramen flavors to be created out of this crazy ramen boom. Made with a generous amount of pork back-fat, topped with chashu, flavored bamboo shoots, a hard-boiled egg, and scallions, this ramen has a complex yet full of umami flavor.
In Japan, there’s a style of ramen called “back-fat cha cha” (seabura cha cha). The name comes from the distinct preparation of the fat. Pork back-fat is boiled until tender and strained over the soup. “Cha cha” comes from the motion and sound of the fat raining down.
Tosakko Ramen is a part of the “back-fat cha cha” style ramen as it is known to be a heavier soup with pieces of back-fat floating in the broth.
Though the original roadside shop from the 80s has closed its doors, the legacy and flavors have been carried on and ramen shops serving this ramen can still be found. The shop pictured above in Ikebukuro, Tokyo is among one of them, the signature ramen, Tosakko Ramen is even in the store name.
On our visit we ordered the Tosakko Ramen, by simply sipping the soup, we could really enjoy the sweet, complex flavor. For flavoring they also added chashu stewed in soy sauce. We could really taste the pork’s umami flavor.
Despite the constant innovation in the ramen industry the love for these classics flavor will remain.