A piping hot bowl of tonkotsu ramen will warm you right up on a chilly day. OBON Sushi Bar Ramen offers it, but this winter only, try their special Sapporo-Style Red Miso Ramen with Brown Butter.
In the ramen spectrum ranging from light to heavy, Sapporo is on the heaviest end. A younger style of ramen, the red miso-based ramen broth is from Hokkaido, Japan's snowy northern prefecture. While the broth is already rich, sweet corn and a pat of butter take it over the top.
At OBON Tucson, head chef Ruben Pantaleon's take is respectful of the traditional version with a few minor twists. The red miso broth also includes pork for additional richness. The pat of butter is replaced with brown butter, which complements the corn's sweetness and the miso's nutty flavor. Traditional cabbage is replaced with red cabbage, which has a slight bitterness that complements the brown butter. Shards of spicy green onions slowly melt into the broth for subtle heat. Lastly, a special version of nori harvested from rocks instead of the water provides a unique brininess.
The usual menma (bamboo shoots) adds texture and the slices of slow-roasted chashu (pork belly) are as meltingly-succulent as always at OBON.
This special seasonal ramen will disappear once the weather warms up in spring, so get it while you can.
OBON Sushi Bar Ramen is located at 350 E. Congress St. For more information, call (520) 485-3590 or visit fukushuconcepts.com.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran's Fats. Although he...