Few restaurants are less suited to these pandemic times than ramen shops. The inevitable wait in line at the door, the elbow-to-elbow seating, and the billowing clouds of steam and aromas are part and parcel of the pleasure of slurping a great bowl. But all add to the risk factor.
Takeout is only an option if you live close by, and home delivery is surely out of the question. Not necessarily: Some of Tokyo’s top ramen specialists have come up with delivery solutions, to spare us from having to resort to convenience store cup noodles.
Even before the coronavirus shut down our lives, Yuki Onishi (Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta) offered a take-home version of his Michelin-starred ramen, which can also be ordered online. Each box contains three servings of fine, semidried noodles and foil pouches of rich, concentrated shoyu soup, which only needs diluting with hot water.
Even without toppings, the flavor is remarkably deep and complex. To enhance it further, try the suggested recipes on the website (jsn-tsuta.stores.jp; shipping inside Japan only).
Meanwhile, Naohito Kuroki (Motenashi Kuroki) has developed a frozen version of his legendary shio (salt) ramen, which is now available for shipment through his new online store (motenashikuroki.raku-uru.jp; registration in Japanese only; shipping inside Japan only).
It works out a bit pricier than what you’d pay at his Asakusabashi restaurant, but it’s every bit as good. Meanwhile, Kuroki is also working on a range of other noodles that will be announced via his Twitter feed.