New extra-thick instant tonkotsu ramen: Japan’s next stuck-working-during-vacation meal solution

Maruchan eases the pain of working while everyone else is playing.

Right now, Japan is in the middle of the Golden Week holiday period. While Wednesday to Friday are national holidays, many people elected to take Monday and Tuesday off as well, giving them a solid five days of rest and recreation, a rarity in industrious Japan.

But not everyone has plans to stay at a luxurious hot spring resort or head out into the big city to dine on fine (sometimes free) food. For those who are stuck working over the next few days, or who simply don’t have any social appointments during the period, Golden Week is like any other week, except that everywhere is more crowded than usual.

So if you’re not in the mood to fight the crowds, either because you’re exhausted from work or don’t feel like going out alone, for dinner you may find yourself just wanting to eat some instant ramen at home. But hey, at least there’s a new type of instant ramen to try.

Maruchan, one of the first instant ramen makers to achieve international success and recognition, has just added a new flavor to its Dekamaru line, which promises bigger flavors and portions than its other offerings. Called Dekamaru Noko Doro Tonkotsu Ramen, its point of pride is a pork stock broth that’s rich and thick. As a matter of fact, Maruchan bills it as “the thickest Dekamaru broth ever.”

We picked up a pack at our local convenience store for 216 yen (US$1.95). It turns out that Dekamaru Noko Doro Tonkotsu Ramen is a slightly labor-intensive instant ramen, as peeling back the lid revealed three flavoring packets, one more than most deluxe instant ramen varieties come with.

Still, this was well within our cooking skills, since all you have to do is pour on the two dry seasoning packets, add hot water, wait three minutes, and then stir in the liquid flavor packet.

We grabbed our chopsticks, tried a mouthful of noodles, and found that the ramen is as rich and flavorful as we’d hoped. However, in sipping the broth, we couldn’t help but feel like Maruchan may have over-hyped its thickness. Sure, it was thicker than average for instant ramen, but far from the “mud ramen” that we tried in Aichi Prefecture last year.

Still, this is a tasty, totally acceptable meal, especially considering that it cost us less than two bucks. In a way, you could say it’s the perfect instant ramen, since it’ll satisfy you if you’re stuck at home, but won’t tempt you to pass up legitimate opportunities to go out instead once it’s your turn to have a day off.

Photos ©SoraNews24

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