Food & Drink, Traditional & Culture

Chocolate Matcha Ramen Has Arrived in Japan for Valentine’s Day, and It’s Savory

The “Cha”Ghana ramen is topped with green tea, milk chocolate… and a soy-based sauce.

A Valentine’s Meal Not for the Faint of Heart

Japan is no stranger to weird, or at least out of the ordinary, holiday food and drink. Like every year, Valentine’s Day 2021 will bring us treats like very, very chocolatey drinks and over the top pancake concoctions, and this is not even the first time we’ve covered “chocolate ramen” on Japankuru! But this year, this dish is taking it to the next level.

From February 11th to 14th, anyone living in certain areas of Tokyo can order the special Valentine’s Day “Cha” Ghana ramen, a limited-quantity menu item from ramen shop Menya Musashi, released in collaboration with Lotte’s Ghana chocolate brand, and Uber Eats. The ramen pulls in the bitter notes of matcha green tea, the sweetness of Ghana chocolate, and the savory flavors of… ramen.

For a deeper look at what’s going on here, let’s examine the official press release for some vital points of information:

On Top

・The ramen is sprinkled with matcha powder and fresh mint, for a “fresh, slightly bitter accent.”
・Toppings include a rice-flour dumpling filled with chocolate, and a quail egg boiled in kombu broth. “To make it cute.”
・To brighten things up and add texture, roast walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios, and cranberries are sprinkled on top.

Other Highlights

・On top of the noodles is ground pork cooked with Chinese sweet flour paste, roasted green tea (houji-cha, ほうじ茶) powder, sake, black shichimi spice, and “approximately one bar of chocolate.” 
・The thick noodles are coated in a special sauce of roasted green tea, soybean powder, white sesame, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili oil.
・Uber Eats will deliver it in a nice box “so you can use it as a Valentine’s present.”

Now What?

After seeing just about everything that went into this dish, it’s clear that the “Cha”Ghana ramen is actually an “abura soba” (油そば), which is like ramen with a sauce instead of a whole bowl of soup. In fact, it’s an abura soba covered in soy sauce and chili oil, then coated in green tea powder, chocolate pork, and an exceedingly confusing pair of lookalike eggs and rice dumplings.

Needless to say, my curiosity is piqued.

If you are also interested in trying this strange Valentine’s Day limited-edition dish (and either have an equally courageous partner or no Valentine’s Day plans in the first place), it will be available on Uber Eats for customers within delivery distance of four Menya Musashi shops, in Shinjuku, Takadanobaba, Okachimachi (Ueno), and Kichijoji. And if you really do order it, please, please share your thoughts. The Japankuru team is reachable through twitterinstagram, and facebook!


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