First Time To Try Toyama Black Ramen And The Soup Was Really Dark

I'm not sure when I heard the "Toyama Black" for the first time but I knew the ramen from my hometown, Toyama prefecture, was famous in Tokyo.
However, I'd never really got a chance to try or didn't even know which shop is the original or the best.

When I was back to my hometown in November, I asked a friend of mine what the Toyama Black was like.
He said that it's originally for blue-collar workers to replace lost salt from work so that the soup uses stronger/saltier soy sauce.

According to some info I found, it's meant for those manual laborers to take supplemental salt or to eat with white rice with so that the soup is pretty salty.
The concentration of soy sauce is high and a large amount of cracked black pepper is sprinkled over the top, and they create an unique saltiness.
The toppings are most popular and ordinary items like  menma (bamboo shoots) and seaweed, however, the amount of leeks is relatively more.
The noodles tend to be thick and slightly hard.

And I could try one of the famous shop called "Menya Iroha" black ramen for the first time while I was in my hometown still.

On the homepage of  麺家 いろは (Menya Iroha), there're 3 characteristic points which make the black ramen special.
1. Jet black sauce made from a secret fish sauce simmered for a long time
2. Chicken soup made from whole chicken and vegetables
3. Dried Shiro-Ebi shrimp shell, deep ocean water, kelp and bonito flake are used to create rich flavored seafood soup.
*Shiro-Ebi shrimp is broad velvet shrimp (Metapenaeopsis lata), which never turns red even thou you cook them.

This is Shiro-Ebi shrimp tempura, it's still white.

This is the sign of 麺家 いろは at the front.

This is a menu book. 
I didn't take any other pages but there're other types of ramen and some little snacks like edamame, Shiro-Ebi tempura, fried chicken, and etc.

I wasn't sure if I could eat all the noodles and I prefer not to have eggs, so I ordered the simplest ramen called ブラックらーめん (Black Ramen).

After about 10 minutes, my ramen was served.
As the picture shows, the soup was dark.
The black sheet is at the back is a slice of seaweed.
White pieces at the right top are char siu.

To me, the amount of naganei onion leeks was ordinary, not surprising portion.

This is the soup.
As you can see, you can't see the bottom of the white spoon at all.
And you can see how deep black the soup is in the bowl.
The soup wasn't that salty than I thought but it was definitely had more salt in it any other ramen I had.
However, even though the soup was salty, it had a lot of flavors and the strongest one was bonito flakes.
Usually if dishes use fish sauce, I can smell it instantly but this one didn't have that widely known distinctive scent.

Noodles were thick and cooked slightly harder, like al dente.
While I was eating, the saltiness increased more and more.
And more noodles were sitting under the soup which was so dark that I couldn't see anything beneath.

I enjoyed trying this bowl and it was less salty than I thought when I had the first bite.
And the soup wasn't only salty and dark, but also it had a lot of different flavors from the soup they mixed a lot of ingredients.

Black Ramen: 750 JPY

麺家いろは / Menya Iroha
1555-1, Hibari, Imizu-shi, Toyama
Hours open differs from day to day.

Interestingly enough, there're 2 oversea shops.
One in Los Angels and another one is in Hong Kong.

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