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Shinjuku eats

    Ramen

    Abura Soba – Soupless Ramen with Less Calories

    No soup?? Abura soba might not have the soup, but it still delivers on deliciousness. Abura soba uniquely uses an oil-like sauce. Now let’s be clear, abura soba is not exactly a healthy dish. But this oil (abura) does mean there’s less calories than the soup in a bowl of ramen.

    Now Abura soba doesn’t get as much love as ramen. But it’s easy to find in Tokyo and with a history since the 1950s, has its own dedicated following.

    If you’re in Tokyo, the easiest way to get abura soba is visit the biggest chain, simply named “Abura Soba”. Follow the red neon sign, like below.

    Abura Soba - Soupless Ramen with Less Calories

    Abura soba’s “oil” includes pork grease, a thicker soy sauce, Japanese chili oil, and garlic. You’ll find this oil at the very bottom of the bowl. It’s their secret sauce. On top of this are the noodles and on top of them are toppings like chashu pork, green onions, white onions, seaweed, and menma.

    Abura Soba - Soupless Ramen with Less Calories 1

    The abura soba pictured above includes some extra trimmings – chashu pork and more green onions.

    At this restaurant chain, you can get the regular for 760 Yen or the extra spicy miso for 820 Yen. No matter what size you get, it’s the same price:

    • Regular (Nami): 160 grams of noodles
    • Large (O-mori): 240 grams of noodles
    • Largest (W-mori): 320 grams of noodles

    Without any soup, the ramen-like noodles a slightlier chewier. There’s no soup to dilute anything – the special oil makes abura soba bursts with flavors in every bite. It’s a greasy experience but a truly savory one.

    Abura Soba - Soupless Ramen with Less Calories

    You’re meant to mix well, digging up that oil and having it blend with the noodles. But to each their own.

    I personally like mixing everything heavily together so that the oil is distributed evenly among the noodles. Try playing around and seeing what you like best.

    Abura Soba - Soupless Ramen with Less Calories

    The neon-lit “Abura soba” chain has vinegar, chili oil and a vat of diced onions as condiments. They also have “yuzu kosho” (a citrusy chili pepper) or garlic available on request. Some other Tokyo abura soba spots might have ginger or miso paste for you to add. Adding mayonnaise or parmesan cheese is 50 Yen each.

    Abura Soba - Soupless Ramen with Less Calories

    Abura Soba - Soupless Ramen with Less Calories

    Right at home

    Red neon “Abura Soba” has 18 shops, including (links): Akasaka-Mitsuke / Shibuya / Ginza / Ikebukuro / Shinjuku