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Food & Beverage

Japan's leading ramen chain Ippudo goes vegan

Restaurants serve up fare that is healthy for people and the planet

Ippudo's plant-based "tonkotsu" ramen is made without pork or other animal products.

TOKYO -- Ippudo has redefined the experience of eating tonkotsu ramen. When the restaurant chain was founded in 1985, it perfected a recipe for rich and flavorful tonkotsu broth -- a sublime milky-white pork-bone soup.

The wood-themed interiors of the chain's shops create a warm, relaxing atmosphere. Jazz playing in the background adds an air of sophistication. The ramen is served in stylish Arita porcelain bowls. The idea is to dispel tonkotsu ramen's image as a smelly, unrefined dish. The strategy has paid off handsomely, attracting many women to its shops.

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