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One Great Dish: Noodles by Takashi's Miso Ramen

By Minna A in Food on Apr 1, 2011 5:00PM

Chicago weather, as tumultuous as it is, gives us this rare week an opportunity to both celebrate (and wish away) the nice parts of winter while lusting for spring flowers to bloom. Atop the Macy’s shopping complex on State St. sits Takashi Yagihashi’s Noodles by Takashi, where you can enjoy a traditional bowl of ramen, then mosey down stairs to see Towers of Flowers in spring bloom.

Ramen, a traditional Japanese dish, is made from a salty broth with wrinkled, yellow noodles, a perfect dish to warm the body and soul in puffy-jacket cold weather. What you choose to top your bowl of ramen with varies depending on which region you’re choosing to pay homage to, or for some home cooks, what mix of ingredients you can muster up from the fridge.

A relatively new variety of ramen is the miso ramen, which hails from Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan. This ramen is different from the traditional kind, as the broth is an equal mix of pork broth and miso paste, making for a thicker and slightly sweeter soup. Noodles by Takashi in Macy’s is one place to get this unique dish, and the miso and pork broth is topped with a heaping pile of yellow noodles, slices of braised pork, a handful of fresh bean sprouts, green onions to taste, corn for added sweet flavor and a sprinkling of toasted seaweed and sesame seeds. The nuttier flavor of the miso paste, along with the kernels of sweet corn, makes for a good balance in a normally salty dish. The combination of salty and sweet, of warm broth and filling ingredients is a perfect bowl in slightly chilled weather.

Craving more of Yagihashi’s unique Japanese dishes? Join Yagihashi and friends (Jimmy Bannos Jr - The Purple Pig, Bill Kim - Urban Belly, Paul Virant - Vie, and Emmanuel Nony and Andrew Zimmerman - Sepia) for dinner on Mon., April 18 at Takashi in Bucktown, for an all-inclusive dinner (food, wine, tax and gratuity) starting at $200, with 100% of the proceeds going to relief efforts in Japan.

Noodle by Takashi is located at Macy's on State at 111 N. State St., 7th floor.
Takashi Restaurant is located in Bucktown at 1952 N. Damen.