Shishikotsu Ramen, made with wild boar!
Omishima-island, in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, is famous for the Oyamagi Shrine.
A lot of worshippers visit this shrine to see the national treasures dedicated here.
It is very unique to have so many national treasures in one place.
Also, this shrine is known as the head shrine for Oyama Shrines and Mishima Shrines all over Japan.
You can find a vivid sign on the next street over from the Torii gate of Omishima Shrine.
This is “Shishikotsu Ramen”!
Maybe you know of “Tonkostu Ramen, ” which is a very popular ramen with a soup made with pork bone.
Even most Japanese have never heard of this.
“Shishi” means wild boar and “kotsu” means bone, so that means….
This shop is unique in Japan because it serves a ramen soup cooked with the bone of wild boars for more than 8 hours.
I realize that you cannot imagine how it tastes.
You can hear rock music at the entrance of the restaurant, and find various wild boar-related items inside…!
Yeah, it is a pretty maniac style, but at the same time, it has a kind of “cute” atmosphere.
The secret of good taste, Omishima wild boar
Ryo Yoshii, the owner of the restaurant, is a member of the “Association for the Best Use of Shimanami Wild Boar.”
This group aims for regional revitalization through the sales of meat or processed food from wild boar caught on the island.
Yoshii goes on patrol as a hunter early in the morning every day, and sometimes does the field dressing of the wild boar.
And of course, this ramen is made with wild boar caught locally.
Delicious wild boar taste with a slight sweetness
If you would like to try the taste of wild boar, Yoshii recommends the specialty dish of this restaurant, “Shishikostu Shio (salt) Ramen (800yen).”
The salt used for this is “Hakata-no-Shio” (salt made in Hakata) which is produced at the factory in Omishima.
You can taste the slight sweetness of wild boar, and its deliciousness will surprise you.
The simple taste of salt emphasizes the flavor.
At first, eat it adding nothing.
Later you can enjoy it by squeezing a lemon over it.
The lemons are also grown in Omishima.
You can choose the soup base: salt, soy sauce, or miso.
Also, there are several kinds of ramen you can choose.
One is “Shishikotsu Syoyu Ramen” (800yen) with a soy sauce base.
This has a sweet flavor and is made in Shodoshima-island.
“Shishikotsu Miso Ramen (800yen)” is good for people who don’t like wild game very much.
Several kinds of miso, red, white, or Hatcho miso are blended, which makes the soup very aromatic.
Also, you can have “Shishikotsu Aburasoba” available in limited quantities on weekdays.
The secret of roasted wild boar meat fillets
You can find the toppings for roasted wild boar fillet in many kinds of ramen.
The soft texture of the meat is just like a high-quality roasted beef, because it takes time to roast over a low temperature.
There are various cuts of meat, such as rib, loins, ham, and so on, but Yoshii roasts using the best method for each individual part.
“The wild boars in Omishima eat mainly fruits like citrus, persimmons, or chestnuts,” Yoshii tells us, “so the flavor of the meat is milder than wild boars in other areas which eat acorns or bugs. And the fat also tastes good and is not so greasy.”
“Each individual is pretty big, so many hunters from various regions come here to hunt,” Yoshii says.
He knows so much about the appeals of wild boar in Omishima as a hunter. So it is obvious that his wild boar ramen tastes great, isn’t it?
Address／ 5516, Miyaura, Omishima-cho, Imabari-shi, Ehime Prefecture
Closed／Monday and Tuesday *Open on national holidays
Parking lot／5 vehicles
*The price in the article is including tax.
*Closed temporary or sold out of some soups. Please check Facebook page for opening time.
*The phone may not be answered during opening hours. Please leave a message on voicemail, and they will call you back.
Photographs and text by Kaoru Masuda
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Kaori Masuda I was born in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture and am a writer and a poet. I run Hoshimugi (https://hoshitsumugi.wordpress.com/), a workshop website dedicated to poems and essays. I spent many years in Tokyo and Kanagawa studying at university and starting my adult life there. I moved to Shikoku with my husband and son about 10-years ago, and am going to write about all the breathtaking spots we have here on the islands of Ehime. Ehime is really a fantastic place. Please come and see for yourself.
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