Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Ichiran Ramen Delivers Its World Famous Ramen to Your Door

Bowl of Tonkotsu Ichiran Ramen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As one of the most famous Japanese ramen chains in the world, Ichiran Ramen is renowned for its delicious tonkotsu-style ramen. Originally from Hakata city (also called Fukuoka) in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, Ichiran ramen is intensely flavorful, combining creamy, pork-rich broth with thin noodles and spicy seasoning. Ichiran’s world-famous ramen is also available in America, with three locations in New York City (two in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn).

But you don’t have to visit an Ichiran restaurant to get a taste of its patented ramen. The ramen chain also offers a shelf-stable Take-Home Kit so you can make your own ramen at home. It contains three servings of noodles, soup base, and its signature spicy seasoning. Ichiran has spent years test tasting and crafting its take-home kits. Is it possible to replicate restaurant-quality ramen from a package? At The Manual, we decided to compare the two versions.

$30 at Ichiran

The Restaurant Experience

Dining room of Ichiran Ramen in Times Sq.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What separates Ichiran from other ramen shops is its unique dining setup. Step into an Ichiran location and you’ll notice that instead of counter seating or tables, seating at the restaurant is separated into booths. In front of each diner is a bamboo curtain — this is where all your interactions with the server and food service will take place. Ichiran calls this unique setup “Ramen Focus Booths.” Ichiran believes that eliminating unnecessary distractions gives diners the ability “to focus all of your attention into fully enjoying the flavors of our ramen.”

Specifically, Ichiran is Hakata-style tonkotsu. Ramen in Japan is highly regional with countless variations throughout the country. Kyushu island is known for its tonkotsu ramen, a fatty and salty broth dominated by pork. The creamy and rich broth is achieved by cooking pork bones on a rolling boil instead of a gentle simmer like other ramen styles. Tonkotsu is usually seasoned with salt to preserve the milky color (although soy sauce is also common). In Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, very thin noodles are used instead of thick.

Ichiran does not serve light-tasting, delicate ramen. Each spoonful of broth has a deep pork flavor and the addition of Ichiran’s signature spicy sauce is essential as it helps cut through the richness of the soup. The thinness of the noodles also complements the thick broth — each strand of noodle is perfectly coated in soup, giving diners a well-crafted combination every bite. Another aspect of Ichiran is that it’s highly customizable. Customers can choose their salt level, spice level, noodle doneness, and toppings, which range from pork slices to wood ear mushrooms. This is one of the best aspects of Ichiran Ramen — the amount of customization can result in a totally different flavor profile for each diner.

The Take-Home Kit

Ichiran Take-Home Kit opened on a table.
ichiran_ny/Instagram

Each Ichiran Take-Home Kit comes with three servings. At $29 per kit, it’s definitely on the pricey end for packaged ramen. The good news is that it’s extremely easy to prepare. All three components are separated into packages with instructions on the box. Simply boil noodles to the desired doneness, turn off the heat, add soup mix, stir, and sprinkle spice mix on top (optional but highly recommended). You can also choose to add garnishes like boiled eggs, scallions, or pork slices.

How Do They Compare?

So how does the packaged version compare to the restaurant? The answer is that it’s surprisingly close. Of course, fresh ramen at the restaurant is superior — it’s not possible for any shelf-stable version to taste identical to its fresh counterpart. The take-home version lacks the restaurant ramen’s depth of flavor and there is a slight “packaged” taste to the take-home version. But the consistency of the broth is very good considering it came out of a package. However, because the noodles are so thin, it is quite easy to overcook them. The best recommendation would be to cook the noodles just under what you prefer before adding the soup mix into the hot water. The noodles will continue to cook in the broth.

Although it’s on the expensive side, Ichiran Take-Home Kits are worth a try for those looking to sample Ichiran ramen from the comfort of their home. Remember, this isn’t cheap instant ramen, it’s restaurant ramen curated for the home experience. Ichiran Take-Home Kits are available for delivery on its website.

Editors' Recommendations

Hunter Lu
Hunter Lu is a New York-based food and features writer, editor, and NYU graduate. His fiction has appeared in The Line…
These are the 5 hottest peppers in the world
It's probably not what you think it is
Row of peppers

We love peppers for their spicy, sweet intrigue and character, for their ability to transform a dish with their signature heat and flavor. Poblanos, jalapenos, serranos, and even firey habaneros give us that bit of kick we need every now and then in our food, that fun little zing that makes our brow sweat a bit when we bite into a truly delicious chicken wing. But there's a certain personality that loves to push the limit here. A certain streak of what some might call insanity. This person loves to push that line as far as possible, taking peppers from an ingredient that provides a fun little kick to one that all but catches your insides on fire and sends you to the hospital in a screaming ambulance.

If you ask us, food is meant to be an enjoyable experience, not a painful one. But we're not here to judge. To each their own, we say. Live and let live and all that. So, if you're in the camp that loves to cross that line of insanity, then the peppers on this list are for you.
The Scoville Scale

Read more
Coors Light cooling jersey combines the twin passions of soccer and beer
coors light cooling jersey chill no text center

With summer soccer on the horizon for this season, Coors Light is coming out with another sports-themed promo item: a jersey specially designed to beat the heat. The brand describes it as the first-ever smart jersey, equipped with thermal sensors which detect rising body temperatures and activates a built-in cooling system.

“Anyone who has watched a soccer match knows how heated it can get, especially as your favorite teams go head to head,” said Katie Feldman, director of marketing for the Coors Family of Brands. “Between the second Leagues Cup tournament to soccer events happening across the globe, Coors Light is here to keep fans chill and with their favorite beer and a jersey that keeps them cool.”

Read more
A new premium rum blended from rums from the Caribbean and Latin America
palm republic rum image 2

A new premium rum is being released, backed by Eric Winter -- the actor  starring on ABC's The Rookie. Palm Republic rum will come in both an aged and silver form, having been developed over the last two years to create a unique blend of flavors from across the Caribbean and Latin America.

"To me this is not just another celebrity spirit, this is a passion of mine for the past 20 years," said Winter. "I fell in love with rum when I went on my first trip to Puerto Rico with my now wife Roselyn Sanchez. It was then that I started to appreciate all of the different nuances premium rum had to offer. I mean this when I say it, the real star here is our unique blend of rum that is Palm Republic! As it should be. It's what today's consumer deserves in this flooded market of celebrity spirits."

Read more