Japanese dumpling chain Osaka Ohsho may have had humble beginnings in Osaka, but it now has more than 300 locations all over Asia. OO prides itself on mastering dumplings of all kinds, and it presumably does a reasonable job: It’s competing for the attention of dumpling lovers not only in Japan, but also in Thailand, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
The dumpling competition is fierce in Asia, so it’s no surprise that Osaka Ohsho wants to innovate to stay on top of its game. Enter the ramen doughnut, which is only available for a limited time: the promotion started September 10th and runs until September 30th. They’re ¥210 ($2) apiece.
It’s clearly made from a yeast-raised dough, stuffed, and then deep-fried. So at first glance, it does resemble a doughnut pretty closely.
But it’s not really a doughnut at all (even though that’s what they’re calling it)—it’s a large fried dumpling. Think about steamed bao, only fried—or Korean favorite wang mandu; that’s more what that looks like to us. The difference is that these are fried, instead of being steamed.
Calling it a “donut” is something of a misnomer, because we all expect doughnuts to be sweet. This offering is filled with spicy dan dan ramen, according to Grub Street—so maybe the correct analog is really the Japanese bakery treat known as yakisoba pan.
This actually seems like a pretty substantial afternoon snack to us, and we’d definitely try it if we had an Osaka Ohsho nearby.
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