I discovered ramen in Tokyo doesn’t always translate to firm, chewy noodles simmering in a delicious soup base brimming with robust porky/ fish flavours which never fail to recreate the most epic dreams of your first ramen crush. Rather, it can take the equally delicious form of noodles tossed in a wonderfully spicy sauce which give an addictive zing with each bite. This, is essentially what makes us so dangerously addicted to Abura Soba.
At Abura Soba (translated literally as “oil noodles”), the noodles are served dry with a spicy, oily base at the bottom and chilli flakes thrown in for that extra kick. But wait, it gets better because you can add vinegar, chilli oil, pepper, chilli paste and a mound of chopped spring onions to the mix (it sounds way better than the description here, trust me!). Toss the noodles well in this spicy piquant mix along with the strips of seaweed and bamboo shoots. Coat the fatty marbled pork strips evenly with this mixture. Take a bite of the mixed noodles + melt-in-your-mouth pork strips + slivers of seaweed + a crushed handful of spring onions, and babyyy you’ve just walked into another form of ramen heaven!
Insider tip: Get the karai (spicy) miso ramen when ordering, as it elevates your abura soba experience to a whole different devilishly spicy level (WHICH I ONLY DISCOVERED AFTER A YEAR OF RELIGIOUSLY EATING AT ABURA SOBA!). Apparently you can also get an order of mayonaise to go with your spicy miso ramen for that extra layer of smoothness on top of the spiciness coating your ramen.
Signing off with a video of me making a hot mess of my abura soba. Super fun and delicious, and feels as though I made my own meal :)
Wherefore art thou?
So, Abura Soba has branches all over Tokyo (yup, Japan proves that chain restaurants can actually be delicious!). Best to do a quick Google search for the Abura Soba branch nearest you. I usually go to the branch at Hiroo which is smack in the middle of the Hiroo main shopping street, and walk off the deliciously addictive noodle carnage after…