It’s not hard finding great ramen in Tokyo. Ichiran, which has many restaurants throughout Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, is actually known for something else besides its popular restaurants: In Asia, the company sells boxes of its instant ramen that many consider the finest of the packet genre extant. It fetches a rather high price, five packs of instant ramen boxset $42.
The package arrived with the standard deep-fried brick of noodles, a soup seasoning packet (1), a white goo it labels “special oil” (2) and a packet of red chili powder. Not surprisingly, the cooking instructions provided were explicit—five settings of noodle firmness are laid out with precise boiling times. I prefer mine on the al dente side of firm, so after my 500 ml of water reached a boil, the ramen was ready in 2 minutes 30 seconds.