Photo: SoraNews24

Instant-ramen coated fried chicken appears in Tokyo, instantly makes us hungry, happy

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

As Japanese food fans ay already know, karaage is the word for Japanese-style fried chicken. What makes it “Japanese-style” is how the meat is seasoned, with a mix of soy sauce, ginger, mirin (cooking sake), and garlic.


But we recently came across a kind of karaage that’s Japanese in yet another way while walking around downtown Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood. It’s called Ikekara, and as the restaurant’s bilingual sign helpfully explains, it’s fried chicken coated in instant ramen noodles.

So why the “Ikekara” name? The “Ike” part is a reference to Ikeda, a city in Osaka Prefecture. While not as well known as Osaka City, Ikeda does have a claim to fame: it’s the town where inventor and entrepreneur Momofuku Ando was living when he created Chicken Ramen, Japan’s first-ever instant ramen, whose success would spur Ando to found the company Nissin and develop its flagship Cup Noodle brand.

▼ Chicken Ramen


Chicken Ramen is still a big seller today, so in an edible salute to the local hero, restaurants and food vendors in Ikeda recently started selling Ikeda karaage, or “Ikekara,” in which pieces of uncooked Chicken Ramen are used as the breading.

▼ Ikekara


As of the end of October, there’s now an Ikekara shop in Tokyo too, simply called Ikekara, which is part of the Shinjuku Yokocho restaurant row building, with both eat-in and takeout options. For to-go orders, you can choose between either a regular size for 500 yen that come in a cup or an extra-large “box” for 1,500 yen.


Back at SoraNews24 HQ, we assembled a panel of taste testers, and they all agreed that Ikekara is some seriously tasty stuff that they’d like to eat again. As you can probably imagine, the outside is very crispy, with a strong Chicken Ramen flavor that’s complemented by the chicken breast meat inside the noodle coating.

We did feel, though, that Ikekara probably works better as a snack than a main dish, since the flavor is so strong and there’s a lot of crunching in every bite. So grab some friends (and maybe some beers) when you grab an order of this instant ramen-covered karaage, and everyone will be instantly happy.

Restaurant information

Ikekara (Shinjuku Yokocho branch) / 池カラ(新宿横丁店)

Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-20-8 Topshouse Shinjuku Yokocho

東京都新宿区新宿3-20-8 TOPSHOUSE 新宿横丁

Open 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Mos Burger opens fried chicken ramen pop-up restaurant serving free food in Tokyo

-- Forget chocolate and strawberry – Japan now has fried chicken-flavored ice cream

-- Cup Noodle upgrades its Mystery Meat with new Lemon Karaage flavor

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I find it quite tasty. You can get it at the tourist info shop near the Cup Noodle Museum in Ikeda as well.

Also available at the tourist info shop are chicken burgers with the chicken coated in instant ramen, and the shop's piece de resistance, soft-serve icecream coated with it as well. Not as gross as it might sound.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I normally don’t eat any fried food, but I’ve been in the mood this year to try some new stuff — thanks to Casey and Oona! If I were in Tokyo, I’d give it a try.

If any Tokyoites do try it, let us know how it was.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Not for me thank you kindly.

As Mr Haircut says you can get similar at Ikeda, not been there for years, need to take my dear son he’d love it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Looks and sounds delicious.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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