Brooklyn Ramen is a 博多 (Hakata) style Ramen store, which sits in the back corner of the Maruichi Japanese supermarket in Brookline (299 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 02446), has takeout, build-your-own kits, limited dine-in, UberEats (delivery and pickup), Grubhub (delivery and pickup), and Seamless(delivery) options at the moment. The menu includes 塩 (shio/salt based), 醤油 (shoyu/soy sauce based), 豚骨 (tonkotsu/pork short rib broth based), カレー (Japanese curry based) broth ramens, as well as an 油そば (aburasoba/brothless ramen) option. The Maruichi market itself is a treasure trove of snacks and foods that I grew up with, so it serves as a home away from home in the area for me, and I often find myself popping in just to buy pick-me-ups on rainy days.
In this particular visit, I chose to go with the Brooklyn ramen DIY Ramen Kit (Classic Tonkotsu for 2), along with some extra toppings. Here, the noodles are medium thickness egg noodles which you are instructed to boil for 2 minutes; I tend to prefer my ramen to be バリカタ to ハリガネ, or extra hard to extremely hard, so I cooked mine for about 25 seconds (I needed to leave the noodles in the soup while I took photos so I undercooked it slightly more than I would otherwise). I also boiled the tonkotsu broth at the same time to heat it up; once cooked to my preference, the noodles went into the broth in my $10 university student bowl, then did the 盛り付け (arranging the toppings). The kit came with some diced onions (green and red), some corn, 木耳 (kikurage) mushrooms, an 味玉 (ajitama/seasoned soft boiled egg), and a piece of チャーシュー (chashu/braised pork belly). I like to place my onions in the middle and work my way around, so that the pork belly sits at the end closest to me. The only ingredient not included which I added was some ground black pepper and 塩コショウ, a Japanese salt-pepper mix available at Maruichi, H-Mart or Super88.
I found that the tonkotsu broth in the Brooklyn Ramen DIY kit was lighter than other options in Boston; I found this to be familiar and comforting, as my favorite style of Ramen is the lighter tonkotsu broths from Kagoshima, where my family is from. In this tonkotsu, the マー油 (black garlic oil) in the broth accents the sweet flavor of the corn and what I think was a particularly sweet ajitama. The thickness of the noodles matched the thinness of the broth, and chashu is always great. Overall, I really enjoyed this kit; it took less than 15 minutes to make, cost around 15$ for both the soup and noodles (soup is supposed to feed two, but I happened to be craving ramen extra that day), and since you can cook it at your own leisure, you don’t need to worry about the noodles getting soggy or for the soup to be lukewarm when you want to eat.