Restaurant: Yokohama Iekei Ramen
City: Union City, CA

I took my parents out for dinner nearby home to celebrate Mother’s Day! Yokohama Iekei Ramen is a ramen place that just opened late last year.

When I was growing up, the very same location was a Chinese-Vietnamese restaurant named Soon Kee Noodle House. My family would eat dinner there whenever my mom was too exhausted to cook, or as a special treat for the Chinese crispy noodle dish that my sister and I loved. It’s somewhat nostalgic everytime I come to this particular location. ;)

I ordered the classic shio ramen (salt flavor); tonkotsu clam soup, yuzu, Tokyo negi (green onion), nori (seaweed), sesame, spinach, chives, kikurage (cloud ear fungus), roasted pork, bamboo shoot, and soft boiled egg. The roasted pork was excellent.

shio ramen

Here’s some info about shio ramen, from Wikipedia:

Ramen soup is generally made from stock based on chicken or pork, combined with a variety of ingredients such as kombu (kelp), katsuobushi (skipjack tuna flakes), niboshi (dried baby sardines), beef bones, shiitake, and onions, and then flavored with salt, miso, or soy sauce.

Other styles that have emerged later on include curry ramen and other flavors. The resulting combination is generally divided into four categories (although new and original variations often make this categorisation less clear-cut): shio, tonkotsu, shoyu, and miso.

Shio (“salt”) ramen is probably the oldest of the four and is a pale, clear, yellowish broth made with plenty of salt and any combination of chicken, vegetables, fish, and seaweed. Occasionally pork bones are also used, but they are not boiled as long as they are for tonkotsu ramen, so the soup remains light and clear. Chāshū is sometimes swapped for lean chicken meatballs, and pickled plums and kamaboko (a slice of processed fish roll sometimes served as a frilly white circle with a pink or red spiral called narutomaki) are popular toppings as well. Noodle texture and thickness varies among shio ramen, but they are usually straight rather than curly.

And some more info, from rameniac:

Hakodate ramen is synonymous with shio ramen, a clear, salt-based soup with straight noodles virtually reminiscent of original Chinese noodle soups. As a port city with extensive international trade influence, Hakodate was introduced to ramen very early on compared to many other parts of Japan. Hokkaido ramen typically tends to be very rich due to the cold climate; Hakodate’s slightly milder weather and geographic location in the south of the island allowed for shio ramen to flourish over the years.