There’s a first time for everybody, and for me, it’s writing a cooking post. I’m usually too involved in the consumption of food to bother writing anything remotely like a post of said food. Now, however, I couldn’t resist.

My partner’s mother is Japanese, born and raised in Sasebo, Nagasaki. She recently returned from Japan with a bunch of edible goodies for us, including instant tonkotsu ramen.

Wait, instant tonkotsu ramen?!? (You’ll read why I was excited in a minute).

Meet Umaka-chan.


Even the packaging makes me hungry.

Umaka-chan hails from the Kyushu region of Japan. Umaka-chan is very special because it’s instant tonkotsu ramen. Tonkotsu, based on pork bones, is not to be confused with tonkatsu, which is pork cutlet. The broth in tonkotsu ramen takes a notoriously long time to prepare, as you’re essentially boiling bones down to a liquid, which takes hours. When House Foods started manufacturing instant tonkotsu ramen in the late ‘70s, you bet people went crazy over it. I’ve only ever had tonkotsu ramen in restaurants, so to discover an instant ramen version existed made me drool.


The orange and yellow color scheme is A+

We’ve got noodles, powdered seasoning (the larger packet) and seasoning oil (the smaller packet).

Time to cook!

1. Boil 550ml of water, or 1/2 a liter in a pot. (Yes, I had to look up the conversion rate.)

2. Dump the noodles in. I let them cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally with my Japanese cooking chopsticks called 菜箸, or saibashi.

3. Remove the pot from the heat and mix the seasoning in with the noodles.

4. Pour the ramen into a bowl, preferably a bowl designed for ramen.

5. Add the seasoning oil.

And there you go!



If you’ve got toppings to add, like green onions, seaweed or steamed fish cake, add them! I was too hungry to bother adding any, so while it looks a little plain, the taste was anything but. It had been a long time since I last ate tonkotsu ramen, and the instant version was almost exactly like ramen made in-house. Fortunately, my partner’s mother gave us a 5-pack of Umaka-chan, so I’ll be stocked for a while.

If you’re desperate for some tonkotsu ramen, but don’t have a Japanese restaurant in your area, then Umaka-chan is your savior.

Until next week!

Alyssa / アリッサ