Ramen hotspot Ippudo is about to unleash a big new menu change — one that will finally offer more options for vegetarians. The Japanese ramen chain will be debuting its new, New York-only menu next Monday, including a sesame-based vegetarian broth that’s been in the works for close to three years. "Since they opened Ippudo NY, they've had many customers request that they offer more options that cater to people who don't eat pork," a spokeswoman says. "Going to a traditional ramen restaurant, pork is difficult to avoid — but they wanted everyone to enjoy their experience at Ippudo and spread the joy of ramen."
The new sesame broth is intended to mimic the richness of Ippudo’s popular tonkotsu broth ramen. Besides house-made noodles, the "karaka spicy New York ramen" also includes tofu chashu in place of pork cashu, cabbage, sesame, kikurage mushrooms, scallions, garlic oil, and a blend of spices.
Ippudo’s had a bunch of smaller menu changes since it opened in New York eight years ago, but the addition of this new vegetarian broth — which is only happening in the city — is big step for the chain. Tonkotsu broth is the basis of the restaurant, and Ippudo’s success helped launch a tonkotsu ramen frenzy in the city. They currently have just one vegetarian broth option on menus at both locations.
Besides the sesame-based broth, other menu additions bring some non-pork options to the table. The restaurant’s two locations will soon also be serving okonomi with ramen noodles and washugyu beef and sumiyaki chicken, grilled on white charcoal. The menu will also feature a section dedicated to tofu as part of the bid to be more vegetarian-friendly. Signatures like the tonkotsu broth-based ramen will be staying.
Both Ippudo East Village, at 65 4th Ave. near East 10th Street, and Ippudo Westside, at 321 West 51st St. near 8th Avenue, will start offering the new menu on Monday, October 31.