What is Tsukemen?

Tsukemen in Roppongi, Tokyo at Menya 305

There’s something innately fun about dipping your food.  Whether it’s chips, veggie sticks, toast, or fries, food is just more fun when you can drench it in your favorite sauce, isn’t it?  So why not dip noodles too? That’s what Tsukemen is all about!

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Tsukemen is a very thick, dense hot broth served alongside a plate of chewy ramen noodles.  It comes with the usual pork and green onions, and you can add your favorite toppings just like regular ramen – bamboo shoots, eggs, mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc.   How do you eat tsukemen?  Yup – you guessed it!  Dip it.. dip it good.. dip it like you know you should!

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If you’re not in the mood for a ‘dip’,  tsukemen shops also sell regular ramen too.

*Eat like a local* Near the end of your tsukemen meal, you can ask the server “supu wari o kudasai” (pronounced: sue-pooh wah-rlee o koo-da-sah-ee) , which means “please dilute my soup”.  They’ll add broth into your soup to make it more of a traditional ramen soup consistency so you can add your noodles like regular ramen or just drink the soup!

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There are tons of tsukemen shops all around Tokyo, many of which are uber-popular.  One of my favorites is Menya 305 in Roppongi across from Tokyo Midtown.  You can pick up a bowl for 500 yen (about $5-6), pretty reasonable for Tokyo!

Have you tried tsukemen?  What do you think?

Love ramen?  You may also be interested in Nishi Azabu Gogyo, Abura Soba, Kohmen, or Santouka.

19 thoughts on “What is Tsukemen?

    • Ohh Daikokuya has tsukemen! I don’t remember seeing it on the menu when I was living in LA, but it could be because I was so focused on the ramen! How is it at Daikokuya?

      • I love Daikokuya’s tsukemen! It’s kotteri style and full of flavor. I like the noodles more in the tsukemen dish than in the regular ramen. I’m not sure when they added it to the menu but I know they didn’t always have it. I’ll have to try tsukemen again in Japan!

  1. Tsukemen is my absolute favourite!! I used to frequent this hole-in-the-wall shop somewhere between Takadanobaba and Ikebukuro with really hot chefs… ah I want some now!

      • The tencho was really ripped and always had a huge bottle of protein sitting on the shelf and his then-assistant (I am not sure if he’s still there) was a really cute English-speaking Korean guy who was also a musician (I attended his gig in Shibuya once hehe)… That was a good 6 years ago, I don’t know if it’s still there anymore. If I remember correctly, the shop is located across the street from Ippudo. :) Good luck!

      • Hahaha seems like you really got ‘in’ with the staff there! :P With my luck, it’s probably filled with old guys now. lol I’ll definitely keep my eye out though! Why not have some eye candy with my side of ramen? :)

  2. I’ve heard of this word so many times, but I just did not know what it meant until just now. Here in Bay Area, I’ve tried this only a small handful of times. Ramen’s good for the soup broth, as well as the noodles – so I wonder, wouldn’t I want the soup broth to be infused into the ramen?

    I love ramen and the photos are making me awfully hungry and it’s close to midnight. More posts about ramen vocabulary please! :D

    • Thanks J! I’m so glad that my post was useful :) That’s a good point – the broth is my favorite part too! Hmm.. off the top of my head, tsukemen has some benefits over ramen: Unless you eat ramen very quickly (like many Japanese guys do!), the noodles towards the end can overcook in the hot soup. Having to individually dip solves this. Also, you usually have to drink ramen broth in order to taste the full flavor of the ramen. With tsukemen, the broth is denser so you get more flavor coating each noodle, without having to drink all the soup. Hahaha I’m by no ways a tsukemen or ramen expert!

      Speaking of photos making me hungry.. I was drooling this afternoon looking at your pictures from Hong Kong! I love love love Cantonese food, and it looked like you hit some really yummy spots!!

  3. Pingback: Ramen Fest at Makan Decatur | oh my omiyage

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