The Best Guide to Different Ramen Flavors (2024)

The Best Guide to Different Ramen Flavors (1)

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup that is the most exported cuisine around the world. It was originally called shina soba, literally “Chinese soba”because of its origins in China. However, historians aren’t sure when the jump to Japan happened. Therefore, we have created The Best Guide to Different Ramen Flavors to help you understand this cultural phenomenon.

There are several varieties of ramen broth that give the bowl its base and each has a regional history. And traditionally in Japan, there are a number of regional variations too. We will cover some of the most popular varieties in our The Best Guide to Different Ramen Flavors.

Shio Ramen (she-oh)

This salty broth is considered the oldest of the ramen broths. In fact, shio translates to “salt,” and sea salt is considered the oldest form of ramen seasoning. Its what was available and extended whatever scraps of food were around.

Typically, a shio broth is made with chicken or pork base. You can identify this broth both by its extremely salty flavor, as well as it’s clear yellow coloring. Often, shio ramen contains the essence of seaweed. Chicken is a common stock base in combination with seaweed (nori) for some flavor and to boost the soup stock nutritional value.

Shoyu (show-you)

The Best Guide to Different Ramen Flavors (3)

Shoyu means soy sauce and this is the next oldest flavor type. Instead of salt, a sauce made by fermenting soya beans is used to make the broth salty. This sauce is not your regular table soya sauce, but typically a special sauce with additional ingredients made according to a secret recipe. The broth for Shoyu is the only type that tends not to contain pork. Shoyu soup is also usually clear but is dark-colored and sweeter than Shio soup.

Miso Ramen (me-so)

The Best Guide to Different Ramen Flavors (4)

In more recent times,Miso flavor has also been used to give Ramen broth its savory taste. If Miso is used, it is immediately obvious as the soup will be cloudy or even opaque. Shio or Shoyu flavored soups merely accent the flavor of the underlying broth, while miso leaves a fuller complex taste in the mouth since it also has a strong taste of its own.

Tonkotsu (tong-cots-zoo)

The Best Guide to Different Ramen Flavors (5)

Tonkotsu translates to “pork bone.” This broth is thick and cloudy white in color. The coloring and consistency come from the boiling of pork bones and fat on high heat for many hours (for some places, this means up to 20 hours). Some even say that tonkotsu broth is as creamy as milk. Throw some ginger on this buttery broth and curl up with a good book.

True Japanese Authentic Ramen noodles are the Best

The Best Guide to Different Ramen Flavors (6)

The tradition of drying ramen without frying it will make your bowl of ramen that much better. Non-fried, artificial chemical-free ramen yields a noodle that holds up to the soup broth and toppings and won’t get mushy after 2 minutes. In addition, real Japanese ramen noodles give you the option to cook them to the proper texture for a REAL ramen experience. Ask anyone that loves ramen- it’s the springy noodles that make the bowl enjoyable.

Check out these recipes for your next bowl of ramen!
The Best Guide to Different Ramen Flavors (2024)


What are the 5 elements of ramen? ›

“There are five basic elements to ramen: noodles, tare, broth, topping and aroma oil,” Sun Noodle's executive chef Shigetoshi “Jack” Nakamura says. “For a very long time people in Japan were very poor, so they couldn't eat regular proteins or meat.

How do you make $1 ramen better? ›

It's time to spice up your instant ramen game with these easy hacks.
  1. Try the egg-drop method. ...
  2. Slice up some green onion and sprinkle it on top for added flavor. ...
  3. Add mixed veggies of your choice. ...
  4. Add bean sprouts for an extra crunch. ...
  5. Add sesame. ...
  6. Make and add a ramen egg. ...
  7. Swap your flavor packet for miso paste.
Apr 2, 2024

What are the 4 flavors of ramen? ›

But the main way ramen is categorized is by its primary flavor, which comes from how its broth is made. There are four general classes of ramen: shoyu, tonkotsu, miso, and shio.

What are the four most popular types of ramen? ›

Ramen Types - The Big 4
  • Tangy Shoyu.
  • Bright Shio.
  • Milky Tonkotsu.
  • Savory Miso.
Dec 24, 2018

What flavors of ramen are being discontinued? ›

Maruchan Company also decided to discontinue a few flavors of their ramen noodles, including tomato flavor, instant wonton, and oriental flavor, due to low demand compared to other flavors. So you can still find other flavors of Maruchan ramen noodles, albeit not as readily as before.

What is the pink swirly thing in ramen? ›

Narutomaki: If you've ever noticed a small white disc with a pink swirl in a bowl of ramen or even a picture of ramen, that's narutomaki or fish cake.

What is the water in ramen called? ›

Ramen noodles typically contain wheat flour, salt, water and a special alkaline water called kansui. Kansui is what affects the ramen's texture and appearance.

What is the liquid in ramen called? ›

Broth: A good bowl of ramen begins with a hearty, flavorful broth. Most broths begin with a combination of Japanese soup stock, or “dashi,” and chicken or pork stock. Each ramen chef uses a different “tare,” or flavoring base, that they add to each bowl of broth before serving.

What is a ramen broth called? ›

In Japan, the most popular broth is called tonkotsu, (not to be mistaken for tonkatsu) a rich, milky, pork bone soup that's usually boiled somewhere between 4 to 48 hours, depending on the broth texture and flavour depth the cook wants to attain. As with all ramen, tonkotsu broths include dashi and commonly, chicken.

Should I put cheese in my ramen? ›

There are really no bad choices when it comes to ramen and cheese combinations. Whether you're craving a miso and parmesan take on Italian wedding soup, a plate of Cheese Corn Ramen, or a simple bowl of Classic Cheese Ramen, there is really never a bad time for a cheese and ramen combo.

How to make Kylie Jenner top ramen? ›

You just cook your ramen like normally, then just beat up an egg, add it to your noodles with some garlic powder, the seasoning packet that came with your noodles, and a stick of butter. Give it a little stir for a minute. Little confession.

Can you add raw eggs to ramen? ›

Stir in the seasoning packet that came with the noodles or squirt in your favorite sauces. Turn the heat off of the burner and crack 1 raw egg into the center of the noodles in the pot. Avoid stirring the egg or it will begin to cook and break into clumps.

What are the three main types of ramen? ›

Ramen is typically classified by broth flavor, with three especially common categories: shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt), and miso. A fourth, tonkotsu, references the broth's base ingredient, not flavor.

What is the difference between shoyu ramen and tonkotsu ramen? ›

The main difference between Shoyu and Tonkotsu Ramen is the broth. Shoyu Ramen has a clear and light broth that is flavored with soy sauce, while Tonkotsu Ramen has a cloudy and thick broth that is made from pork bones. The broth affects not only the taste, but also the texture and appearance of the ramen.

What flavor is Korean ramen? ›

Kimchi ramyeon is seasoned with real fried pieces of kimchi for a tangy, spicy, unmistakably Korean flavour. Shin Ramyun is a cult favourite with a spicy, beef-flavoured broth. At 2,700 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), it's pretty fiery, but by no means the spiciest ramyeon available.

Which ramen is not sweet? ›

Shio (Salt) Ramen

Shio in Japanese, literally means “salt”. However contrary to the name, Shio Ramen has a contrastingly light and refreshing flavor. The clear broth is made with chicken, vegetable or fish stock and plenty of salt.

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