Sapporo ICHIBAN Tonkotsu (“Pork”) is More Like Instant Chicken Ramen

During this funny happy time, I thought I would try more instant ramen, but after only a week in, I am now fantasizing about snow crab and pitchers of beer (with bikini models, but I always fantasized about that).

Working from home, I thought quick and easy lunches where I did not have to do any elaborate cooking would be great, but I’m realizing this is where I draw the line.

1 guy, 1 bowl, 3 packets

Unfortunately, after downing this bowl, I realized how I love elaborate which is why I’m going to break it down as to why this bowl came up short. 

The package contains noodles and 3 packets which are soup, garnish, and liquid seasoning.

I did not include every single ingredient below, but I sorted everything into 3 categories to get a better idea of what Sanyo foods was attempting to do in terms of flavor.

The noodles

Ingredients: Enriched wheat flour, palm oil , tapioca starch, salt, guar gum, sodium carbonate, tocopherols, and potassium carbonate.

The soup packet

Ingredients: Salt, sugar, monosodium glutamate, non-dairy creamer, sodium caseinate, natural and artificial seasoning, maltodextrin, modified food starch, natural and artificial flavors, lactose, chicken broth powder, maltodextrin, chicken broth flavor (contains chicken broth, salt, flavor), garlic powder, yeast extract, spices, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, caramel color, and tricalcium phosphate.

The garnish

Ingredients: sesame seeds and dried leeks.

“Liquid seasoning”

Ingredients: sesame oil, canola oil, pork fat flavor (modified food starch, rendered bacon fat, natural flavor), coconut oil, corn syrup solids, and corn oil.

Spongy artificialness ready in 3 minutes

Deep-fried noodles just don’t cut it with me, and I highly suggest you buy the Morimoto (Momosan) style ramen that Sanyo Foods also sells because it is a lot better product, and you can see my full review here.

The mount Fuji of seasoning.

That looks porky, but like anybody who has done cocaine knows that looks can be deceiving, and I bet there’s a lot of cut in there (chicken filler).

If you can boil water, you can make instant ramen.

That’s not a microwave safe bowl, or a souvenir bowl, so don’t think about using it in a microwave or after you’re done with it, putting it up on your mantle next to your 4th place bowling trophy.

The 3rd and final packet, the oil/fat.

You call that pork

Pork flavor must be really hard to synthesize because it is very hard to come across an instant noodle product that tastes like pork.

Chicken and beef always taste somewhat like chicken or beef, but pork is just too elusive (like the chance I’ll be able to eat crab and drink beer with super hot bikini models).

Tastes like chicken

Even by their own product description they say it tastes like chicken:

DESCRIPTION: Wavy instant noodles in a light but rich broth with essence of chicken, vegetables, and spices.”

– Sanyo Foods

Just look at the description Wal-Mart uses for the product description:

“Sapporo Ichiban White Chicken Broth Japanese Tonkotsu Ramen, 3.7 oz, 5 pack”

– Wal-Mart


“The man” knows that tonkotsu (pork) ramen is popular, so I think this is their half-hearted or full-hearted attempt? I say that, but I have no clue what goes into the decisions/product development because this product seems like a straight out chicken ramen. The only apparent “tonkotsu” ingredients would be the use of pork fat and milk-like additives and creamers to give it a slight creaminess which makes it a “nanchatte tonkotsu” ramen, a style made popular in LA, at an old school place called Foo-Foo Tei over in Hacienda Heights.

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