The most popular Ramen types in Japan
Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup. However, the popularity of Ramen has reached beyond Japan's borders and become a popular dish enjoyed by both Japanese and international foodies.
Waku WakuPublished on 23 Apr 2021, 12:00
With a long history of development, affected by many external factors like culture or weather, each area in Japan might have their own way of making Ramen. However, in this article, we will only introduce the most popular ramen's types that you can easily find anywhere in Japan.
Originated in Fukuoka on Kyushu Island, "Tonkotsu Ramen" is probably the most popular Ramen outside of Japan. It's so special that it can be called a separate dish rather than just a style of Ramen.
"Tonkotsu Ramen" consists of extremely rich and fatty pork broth (this happens after hours and hours of having pork bones boiled), fresh noodles, soft-york eggs and melty pork belly slices. For toppings, it can vary from bamboo shoots, scallions, seaweed, corn, just to name a few.
Noodles used in this style of Ramen is often thinner and less in volume than other styles. Thinner noodles don't normally absorb the broth as much as thicker noodle therefore, by doing this, foodies can enjoy even more the taste of the fatty milky broth and have a good excuse to order extra noodles.
It is truly an amazing style of Ramen that can satisfy many people.
Shoyu is soy sauce in Japanese. Shoyu Ramen broth is made by adding soy sauce to a pot of chicken bones, vegetables and water. These ingredients then got simmered to get the light brown (or dark) broth.
Unlike Tonkotsu, Shoyu Ramen's broth is clear, with no fatty or milky broth. At the same time, you might find its broth a little salty, which is one of its characteristic. It is often served with marinated bamboo shoot, green onions, seaweed, boiled egg, bean sprout and pork slices.
This style of Ramen is the most common one in Japan and an especially familiar type you'll find in Tokyo. If you get into a restaurant, and the menu doesn't clearly indicate which type of Ramen, there's a high chance they serve Shoyu Ramen.
Shio Ramen probably has the longest history in Ramen's family. Shio ramen’s broth is made with chicken bones or dashi (sometimes pork bones, too), vegetables and SALT which results in a pale, clear and yellowish colour soup.
When it comes to topping, it's fairly simple compared to other styles. Common toppings are green onions, marinated bamboo shoot and pork slices.
Shio (Japanese word for SALT) is one main contributor of salinity to the flavour base but it isn't the distinguishing feature of Shio Ramen since all Ramen are quite salty. As a result, many chefs say that this is the most difficult Ramen type to make because it cannot rely on Shoyu or Miso to provide dimension for the broth.
But it also encourages experimentation and creativity; moreover, its flavour focus on the broth which shows the originality of the one who made it.
This style is a newcomer in this list, originated from Sapporo (Hokkaido), it now becomes a popular dish throughout Japan.
Miso ramen soup is flavoured with Miso paste (soybean paste) which results in savoury, hearty and brown colour broth.
If you like lots of toppings then Miso Ramen might be just right for you because of its abundant topping. Common are spicy bean paste, butter and corn, leeks, onions, bean sprouts, ground pork, cabbage, sesame seeds, white pepper, and chopped garlic.
Thick and curly noodle, which helps absorbing miso broth, is typically served with Miso Ramen.
Instant Ramen - Cup Noodles Ramen
This list won't be completed without mentioning this type of Ramen. A package or cup of pre-cooked and dried noodles, packing with seasoning oil or flavouring power.
Instant Ramen inventor - Mr Momofuku Ando, has invented this convenient way of eating ramen so that people can enjoy this inexpensive and easy-to-prepare ramen yet delicious without having to wait in long lines for a fresh-made bowl of ramen.
One great thing about Instant Ramen is that it always comes with many different types of flavour, some of which are very unique. While chicken, pork, beef, shrimp are popular flavours, you can also find many brands offering the fresh ramen's flavour listed above.
And if you are looking for something unusual, how about Tomato Yogurt Ramen, Cheese Burger Ramen or Hotdog Ramen? Crazy flavours aren't they?
Have you tried any above flavour of Ramen? What is your favourite? Or if you have tried any of those crazy flavours, please share with us your experiences in the comment section below!
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