What better way to commemorate your visit to Hokkaido than with a bowl of brains?
When we laid eyes on this ramen available for 378 yen (US$3.60), we just had to have it. It’s called Zomramen, a combination of the words “zombie” and “ramen.” It’s not the name of the product that intrigued us most, but rather the name of the flavor: “noumiso,” or “brains.” You may have tried brain ramen from Village Vanguard, but this is on a completely different level.
▼ Just looking at the packaging was enough to gross us out (in a good way).
The package features the character Zombear, a friendly zombie bear from Otaru city in Hokkaido. There’s also a picture of a bowl of steaming, brain-flavored, blue ramen noodles accented with what appears to be fingers, an eyeball, and some grey matter.
▼ Thankfully (or maybe not?), the fingers and eyeballs were not included in the packet.
The instructions were the same as for most other instant ramen products: boil the dried ramen noodles for a few minutes, then add the soup seasoning.
▼ We can safely say we’ve never tried ramen this color before.
As the noodles–or brain matter, if you prefer–cooked, the blue color started to seep into the water for a creepy effect.
▼ Mmm, it just kept getting more and more unappetizing!
We turned off the heat and prepared to add the “brain-flavored” soup seasoning. We braced ourselves for, well, we weren’t sure what kind of smell…and were pleasantly surprised by a scent we initially identified as…garlic?
▼ That didn’t make it look any better, unfortunately.
With the noodles cooked and soup seasoning added, we transferred the concoction to a bowl slightly more appropriate for eating. The smell of the soup was just enough to give us the courage to try the first bite without much hesitation.
And the flavor of brains is…?
Miso. “This is what they meant by ‘noumiso‘!?” we thought. While those well-versed in puns may have guessed that word on first glance, but we were totally stumped. It certainly took away the shock factor, but besides that, we found Zomramen to be delicious!
We’d definitely recommend it as a souvenir. For extra grossness, try pairing it with some cow poop mochi!