Pig Out On This Pork-Based Soup

A La Carte Columns

March 26, 2017

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: A. Consillio

Tan Tan Men ($10.50; shown with marinated egg for additional $1.50)

Tan Tan Men ($10.50; shown with marinated egg for additional $1.50)

When Eiji Kato moved to the United States from Japan as a teenager, he was really picky about food. Settling first into Vermont and Texas, he had trouble finding restaurants that served what he wanted to eat.

The solution? He started cooking for himself.

Later, after moving to Hawaii, he went on to work as a kitchen manager and chef at a couple of local restaurants. While working at a ramen shop, he decided to strike out on his own. He went on to open ramen eatery Junpuu, which was previously housed in the former

Shirokiya before settling at its current South King Street location. It’s celebrating its one-year anniversary at the new locale this month.

Everything at Junpuu is made from scratch — “We really take our time to make the soup,” he says — and the shop specializes in a signature tonkotsu broth.

“It’s a rich soup,” Kato adds. “We cook pork bones for 16 hours on high heat to get that richness. Before that, we even pre-cook the bones to get out the gaminess — it’s a really smooth soup.”


For a taste of Junpuu’s ramen, owner Eiji Kato recommends Tan Tan Men ($10.50), which features spinach, spicy ground pork, bamboo shoots and an egg. It’s complemented with a paste comprised of roasted almonds and peanuts.

Another popular soup is Garlic Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen ($10), featuring char siu, onions, and bamboo shoots. It’s all topped with blackened garlic oil.


1010 S. King St., Honolulu
Daily, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (last call)

Honolulu, HI 96814

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best