Kuro-Obi

Ramen

Ever since Shigemi Kawahara opened his first shop in Japan in 1985, Ippudo has been bringing its take on the 400-year tradition of Japanese ramen to the world. Ippudo first landed in the East Village in 2008 and has seen lines out the door of its New York locations ever since. Kuro-Obi offers the popular Ippudo style and quality without the wait. Kuro-Obi elevates the precise craft of true Japanese ramen making into a takeaway format. Ippudo's Ramen Master has created a new ramen recipe for Kuro-Obi, which will focus on "tori paitan", a silky chicken base.

Get to know: Kuro-Obi

Fumihiro Kanegae

Ramen Master

With locations in midtown and SoHo, what distinguishes this Lower East Side Kuro-Obi location?

It's a conglomeration of knowledge we have gained from all the previous Kuro Obis. The menu is a good example, as most other Kuro Obi locations differ from each other in, that certain locations are lacking menu items that others have, but this new location will have all items from all locations.

When the ramen experts of Ippudo New York conceived the take-away format of Kuro-Obi what modifications had to be made to the traditional process?

The most important thing that we considered were the noodles. We needed noodles that would last longer within the soup without changing their consistency. For the soup, Ippudo is traditionally a pork based soup ramen restaurant, but for Kuro Obi locations we decided to use a chicken based soup. We felt there are many people who cannot, or will not, eat pork, for various reasons, and felt a chicken based soup would be more accessible. Also for the soup, we tried to make modifications so it can be enjoyed after sitting for a while and cooling off.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of…

A town for young people.

Best thing about NYC and worst thing about NYC:

The best thing about NYC is undoubtedly the diversity of the city. There are all sorts of people from all the around the world in this city, and we are able to interact with them through our ramen. You could say that we consider it the cultural center of the world, and we often have the mindset that if people from New York City enjoy it, it is likely to be enjoyed by the rest of the world.

The worst thing about NYC is the high cost of operating here.

What is your earliest food memory?

The Chirashi Sushi that mother made when I was young. It was the first time I ate Chirashi Sushi, and at the time I felt the presentation was so beautiful, almost like a jewelry box. It left a lasting impression on me and was one of my favorites dishes growing up. My second answer would be the ice cream I bought from my local candy store when I was maybe 3 years old. Ice cream was not something we ate very often so it became a fond memory.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Meat in general, specifically steak.

Preferred method of transportation:

Subway

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

At Ippudo, the most essential, ingredient is of course the pork bones. Personally, I often use salt as the basis of my flavor profile and put a lot of significance into it. For example, if we are using ingredients from the ocean-like fish I like to use sea salt, while if we use animals or plants I like to use rock salt. Salt is very important!

With locations in midtown and SoHo, what distinguishes this Lower East Side Kuro-Obi location?

It's a conglomeration of knowledge we have gained from all the previous Kuro Obis. The menu is a good example, as most other Kuro Obi locations differ from each other in, that certain locations are lacking menu items that others have, but this new location will have all items from all locations.

When the ramen experts of Ippudo New York conceived the take-away format of Kuro-Obi what modifications had to be made to the traditional process?

The most important thing that we considered were the noodles. We needed noodles that would last longer within the soup without changing their consistency. For the soup, Ippudo is traditionally a pork based soup ramen restaurant, but for Kuro Obi locations we decided to use a chicken based soup. We felt there are many people who cannot, or will not, eat pork, for various reasons, and felt a chicken based soup would be more accessible. Also for the soup, we tried to make modifications so it can be enjoyed after sitting for a while and cooling off.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of…

A town for young people.

Best thing about NYC and worst thing about NYC:

The best thing about NYC is undoubtedly the diversity of the city. There are all sorts of people from all the around the world in this city, and we are able to interact with them through our ramen. You could say that we consider it the cultural center of the world, and we often have the mindset that if people from New York City enjoy it, it is likely to be enjoyed by the rest of the world.

The worst thing about NYC is the high cost of operating here.

What is your earliest food memory?

The Chirashi Sushi that mother made when I was young. It was the first time I ate Chirashi Sushi, and at the time I felt the presentation was so beautiful, almost like a jewelry box. It left a lasting impression on me and was one of my favorites dishes growing up. My second answer would be the ice cream I bought from my local candy store when I was maybe 3 years old. Ice cream was not something we ate very often so it became a fond memory.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Meat in general, specifically steak.

Preferred method of transportation:

Subway

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

At Ippudo, the most essential, ingredient is of course the pork bones. Personally, I often use salt as the basis of my flavor profile and put a lot of significance into it. For example, if we are using ingredients from the ocean-like fish I like to use sea salt, while if we use animals or plants I like to use rock salt. Salt is very important!

With locations in midtown and SoHo, what distinguishes this Lower East Side Kuro-Obi location?

It's a conglomeration of knowledge we have gained from all the previous Kuro Obis. The menu is a good example, as most other Kuro Obi locations differ from each other in, that certain locations are lacking menu items that others have, but this new location will have all items from all locations.

When the ramen experts of Ippudo New York conceived the take-away format of Kuro-Obi what modifications had to be made to the traditional process?

The most important thing that we considered were the noodles. We needed noodles that would last longer within the soup without changing their consistency. For the soup, Ippudo is traditionally a pork based soup ramen restaurant, but for Kuro Obi locations we decided to use a chicken based soup. We felt there are many people who cannot, or will not, eat pork, for various reasons, and felt a chicken based soup would be more accessible. Also for the soup, we tried to make modifications so it can be enjoyed after sitting for a while and cooling off.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of…

A town for young people.

Best thing about NYC and worst thing about NYC:

The best thing about NYC is undoubtedly the diversity of the city. There are all sorts of people from all the around the world in this city, and we are able to interact with them through our ramen. You could say that we consider it the cultural center of the world, and we often have the mindset that if people from New York City enjoy it, it is likely to be enjoyed by the rest of the world.

The worst thing about NYC is the high cost of operating here.

What is your earliest food memory?

The Chirashi Sushi that mother made when I was young. It was the first time I ate Chirashi Sushi, and at the time I felt the presentation was so beautiful, almost like a jewelry box. It left a lasting impression on me and was one of my favorites dishes growing up. My second answer would be the ice cream I bought from my local candy store when I was maybe 3 years old. Ice cream was not something we ate very often so it became a fond memory.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Meat in general, specifically steak.

Preferred method of transportation:

Subway

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

At Ippudo, the most essential, ingredient is of course the pork bones. Personally, I often use salt as the basis of my flavor profile and put a lot of significance into it. For example, if we are using ingredients from the ocean-like fish I like to use sea salt, while if we use animals or plants I like to use rock salt. Salt is very important!