Nagi Ramen: 12-hour sardine broth with wide noodles

November and December of 2013 was a ton of traveling. I went to Italy, North Carolina, Beijing, Dubai, and Japan. The next couple of posts will be mostly from these travels (in no particular order), especially since winter in New York is very sad (dirty, dark, and depressing). Once the weather warms up a bit, I’ll be back on the New York grind.

Nagi RamenNagi Niboshi
1-3-1 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

While in Japan, I was on the hunt for the best ramen as well as new kinds of ramen I have not had. I thought I hit a jackpot when I found Nagi as it is consistently very well rated and is unique. Nagi serves up flat, wide noodles (like pappardelle) with traditional wavy noodles and has a distinctive extra-umami broth. The niboshi broth is boiled for 12 hours with dried sardines. For those of you who hate sardines, I know you hate it for its fishiness but the 12 hours of boiling kills that fishiness. LAW, who hates all things fishy, didn’t even notice. The broth is just very fragrant and… umami.

Nagi Ramen
Like a lame tourist, (it’s hard for me to keep my cool, even though this is my third time in Japan), I was excited to use the ticket vending machine to purchase my ramen. I was about as excited as that cartoon in the background.

Nagi Ramen
The ramen dudes were super jolly as they made noodles for their customers. They would poke fun at each other and their customers (me) while serving. They didn’t speak English, but we managed because we didn’t care what they gave us. Everything looked great.

Nagi Ramen
Ugh. Yum. I got the one with everything in it: thick, soft slices of pork belly, seaweed, bamboo shoots, scallions, and a soft-boiled egg.

Nagi Ramen
The pork belly was flavorful: slightly sweet with a perfect 1:2 ratio of fat to lean meat.

Nagi Ramen
The noodles were not as “unique” as I expected because a lot of Chinese noodles are wide and flat like this. They wide noodles were also less al dente as they were very thin, almost like dumpling skins. Nonetheless, they added a new texture to the ramen. The wavy noodles were nice and thick, perfectly al dente.

Nagi Ramen
That egg though…

Nagi RamenThat egg was damn perfect. The egg white was soft. The yolk was orange and gooey, adding a creaminess to every perfect noodle+egg+broth bite. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *