The Gold Standard: Tei-An's tonkotsu ramen. Photography by Kevin Marple.

Ramen is Set to Become the new ‘It Soup’ in Dallas

This Japanese soup with a broth and style that varies by region, has been trying to gain the spotlight for a couple of years. Let's catch up on its progress.

Remember when matzo ball soup was the go-to bowl of goodness that cured every ailment and sorrow? It all but disappeared after the pho revolution of 2011. Ramen, a Japanese soup with a broth and style that varies by region, has been trying to gain the spotlight for a couple of years. Teiichi Sakurai’s set the excellence bar high with the tonkotsu ramen served at Tei-An. We are still waiting for his street-style ramen shop Ten to open in Sylvan|Thirty.

Our former ramen correspondent, Carol Shih, made this observation in July 2013.

North Texas, then, is about 100 years behind the trend, but we’ve fully embraced it now. Thing is, in a city of steaks and hamburgers, a proper bowl of ramen can still prove elusive. In its simplest form, three components make or break a bowl of ramen: the broth (made from chicken, fish, pork, or a combination of all three), the noodles (from thick and straight to curly and thin), and the toppings (seaweed, pork, soft-boiled egg, scallions, corn, ground meat, bamboo shoots, and fish cakes). Ramen differs from region to region in Japan. It’s essentially a culinary tabula rasa that gives the noodle maker room to experiment. Here are the five best results in North Texas, the finest looking bowls we’ve seen. None is a classic Japanese presentation. But, then, there is no such thing as a classic Japanese presentation.

Last year, Ramen Hakata opened in Addison. I think it’s worth driving across town to try. This morning we learn from TG that the folks behind Piranha Killer Sushi are opening a ramen shop called Wabi House on Lowest Greenville this spring. Even Justin Holt, the co-sous chef at Lucia, is getting back to the popular pop-up ramen dinners he started four years ago. You can catch his act on March 14 at the Time Out Tavern and March 28 at The Dubliner.

Where do you go for ramen? Tanoshii? 20 Feet Seafood Joint? Your kitchen?

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