Serving up one of Aomori's more modern soul foods, Aji no Sapporo Onishi offers up a unique ramen dish unlike any other – Miso Curry Milk Ramen.
While soy sauce / niboshi (dried sardine) ramen typically dominates up in the Aomori region, owner Onishi-san provides a twist on the familiar Sapporo-style that originates across the waters of the Tsugaru Straits in Hokkaido. Legend has it that some local students challenged Onishi to combine the three bowls on the menu at the time—curry, milk and miso— and, voila, Miso Curry Milk Ramen was born.
There's no mistaking what's in the bowl really – the miso base combines with curry and milk to provide a unique blend. The Hokkaido influences are quick to see: curly, egg noodles provide a good bite and the slab of butter slowly melts into the bowl, adding extra complexity to the flavour. Pork slices, wakame seaweed and bamboo shoots complete the experience.
It's an instantly memorable bowl – and perfectly suited to the colder months which Aomori Bay sees from early autumn.
The setup here is very much local shokudo/canteen-style, with 700 yen a bargain for such a well-known dish in the local community, loved by locals and Aomori visitors alike.