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Release | Daisuke Sato

Delicious seaweed ramen using “Yayan Kombu,” the new specialty of Muroran!

Have you heard about “Yayan Kombu” which you can find in Muroran City? 

“Yayan” means “normal” in Ainu language. The unusually delicious ramen using “normal” kelp came out. 
Yayan is excellent and delicious! 

 

What kind of kelp is Yayan Kombu?  

Muroran City is on the left side of Hokkaido and has a shape like a key. 
The city was an industrial town with shipments of coals and iron and steel industry. However, the city also has rich marine resources as almost 70% of fish species can be caught in Hokkaido is available. 

“Yayan Kombu” is a kind of Japanese kelp which grow around Muroran Port and Oinaoshi Fishing Port. Yayan Kombu used to grow around Hakodate Bay, too. However, we barely see the kelps now as people developed the bay. 

As they have many folds and each one has different shapes, it is difficult to be a luxurious ingredient such as the famous “Hidaka Kombu” and “Rishiri Kombu,” but they have rich in nutrition just like famous kelps such as fucoidan and alginic acid. 
Therefore, they have been used mainly for processed foods. 


ヤヤン▲You can find Yayan Kombu for cooking at Michi No Eki Mitara Muroran, etc. 


However, someone developed a main dish using Yayan Kombu in 2018 winter! 

 

A company in Noboritbetsu, the city next to Muroran, developed noodles using Yayan Kombu

Satoru Izumida, the chairman of “Mochizuki Seimenjo” which has the headquarter in Noboribetsu City, the city next to Muroran, developed the noodle. Izumida is a middle-aged man who was born in Muroran and still has a challenging spirit like a boy. He tries everything he gets interested. 


会長▲“I was working on research about vinegar in the next room a while ago,” Izumida told me as I did the interviews. (What? Vinegar?)


By the way, he also tried to develop hop in the field he bought at Satsunai to develop beer. He is brisk, maybe more than brisk. 


ホップ▲The hop he grows in his farm. 


Mochizuki Seimenjo has developed and sold various products such as “Muroran Curry Ramen” and “Noboribetsu Enma Ramen.” The noodle he developed using Yayan Kombu is not for consumers; it’s for professionals. 

He tested the rare flour for noodles from Date City called “Tsurukichi” and “Kitahonami.”


めん商品▲They offer not only ramen but also many unique noodles such as Tantan-men. You can find them at Shin-Chitose Airport and supermarkets. 


It usually takes a lot of work to develop a new product using new ingredients. Battles between staffs and competitors, many tests and trashes. 

However, they almost did not have all of that. 

As I have mentioned already, Mochizuki Seimenjo is a professional of developing noodles. 
The development of Yayan Kombu noodles went without huge troubles. They had to test only a few times. 


めん▲They adjusted the ratio of Yayan Kombu powder, and Hokkaido produced flours to complete the development. 


Izumida found a characteristic of Yayan Kombu while he developed the noodle. That is “there are no distinct characteristics.” 

Regular “delicious” kelps in the market usually have some uniqueness in flavor, and those are distinct. However, Yayan Kombu does not have any of that. 
Although there are no distinct characteristics, it does not mean the kelp does not have umami flavors. He had thought the kelp is perfect to use as ingredients. 

 

Visit “Teppei” where you can have Yayan Kombu noodles! They offer for a limited amount

“Teppei” is Muroran Seimenjo’s directly owned shop located in “Puratto Tetsuichi” in Wanishi-Cho, Muroran City. They are not only a ramen restaurant loved by locals as they use no chemical condiments at all but also an experiment site to test noodles they produced in the factory.  

The Yayan Kombu noodles turned into a product after four sampling events. 


観光業界関係者やメディア関係者が集まった試食会の様子▲Tourism industry related people and media gathered at one of the sampling events. 


ラーメン▲Yayan Kombu ramen attracts salt-ramen lovers. 


They, of course, use Yayan Kombu for the dashi broth. They also use Yayan Kombu and other seaweeds for toppings. There is a total of four kinds of seaweed including Tsunomata. You can taste the delicious flavor of the ocean with this “Yayan Kombu salt ramen (880 yen, provided for a limited amount)” is a healthy bowl which does not use any oil.  

The bowl is already really delicious, but I also want you to try flavor oils made with Yayan Kombu which the store manager Shiga developed.

He added Yayan Kombu powder to lard and transferred umami flavor and aroma of the kelp with low temperature. When you pour a little into the soup, wow. 
I could feel the flavor of the ocean deeper and stronger. 


香味油▲The flavor oil with the magic of the ocean makes the ramen more delicious. 


Izumida, who is a big seaweed ramen fan, strongly recommended this ramen. 

Many people expect this ramen to be new local ramen of Muroran, following curry ramen. 
Ramen fans and healthy eaters both should try the new standard of lunch in Muroran! 


会長店長▲The chairman of Mochizuki Seimenjo, Izumida and the store manager of Teppei, Shiga. 
  • Delicious seaweed ramen using “Yayan Kombu,” the new specialty of Muroran!

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Daisuke Sato

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