Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

HINOMARU, 33-18 Ditmars Boulevard (between 33rd and 35th Street), Astoria, Queens

It always feels like the good stuff happens once you leave a place. I lived in Astoria for 12 years (not a day goes by that I don’t miss it) and now that I have left, it feels like the neighborhood is being bombarded with exciting restaurants, bars, and even a brewery!

Case in point is HinoMaru, a colorful little ramen shop that hasn’t gained too much attention in the media, but has found a loyal following of locals. I was back in the neighborhood to film a new beer video (debuting soon) and had to stop in for a slurp.

Here they don’t specialize in one specific type of ramen, but offer up quite a few different broths (miso, ship, shoyu, tonkotsu). One of the most provocative ingredients on the menu is the possible addition of a fire ball. I knew this wasn’t that sucking candy of my youth, but wasn’t quite sure what it was. I ordered one anyway.

Spicy Miso Ramen at HINOMARU

The fire ball looked llike a mound of steak tartare. It was bright red and shaped like a huge meatball. In actuality, it’s a ball of ground pork seasoned with over 30 different spices. The meat and spices melted into the miso broth and mingled with the other ingredients like corn, cabbage, scallions, a fish cake, two slices of smoky charred pork, and some irresistibly springy ramen noodles. The miso broth came to life with deep umami flavors (there are three types of miso) and potent spices.

It’s a hearty and flavorful bowl of ramen noodles. And frustratingly, it’s something I couldn’t get when I lived in the neighborhood a few years ago. Anybody want to sublet me their apartment in Astoria?

HINOMARU RAMEN
33-18 Ditmars Boulevard (between 33rd and 35th Street),
Astoria, Queens
(718) 777-0228
hinomaruramen.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

2 Responses to DISH OF THE WEEK: Spicy Miso Ramen at HINOMARU RAMEN

  1. Yvo says:

    Do you know what the three types of miso used are? I’m constantly trying to perfect my ramen at home.

  2. Brian Hoffman says:

    I asked the woman and I believe it’s shiro, aka, and awase. Now the ratio is the big mystery. Have you tried their ramen yet?

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