The Ultimate Guide to the Most Delicious Types of Ramen | byFood (2024)

Ramen is one of Japan’s most popular dishes, both at home and internationally. From cheap and cheerful bowls slurped by salarymen on the way home to creative reinventions in the country’s top restaurants, it's a soul-warming staple feature of the culinary scene here. There’s an amazing variety of types of ramen out there, including many regional specialties that developed as different cities and prefectures put their own unique spin on the meal. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed though, as this article will take you through all of the most delicious styles of ramen on offer!

Blue ramen?! Taste this—and other—"viral" food in Tokyo.

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The origins of ramen

Although now considered a Japanese classic, ramen actually originated in China. There are some conflicting accounts of how it traveled to Japan, but the most widely accepted theory is that the dish was introduced in 1859 by Chinese immigrants living in major port towns such as Yokohama.

Ramen quickly became popular among the urban working class thanks to the fact that it was both cheap and filling, and more and more street vendors and restaurants began serving the dish. It’s believed that the first specialist ramen shop, Rairaiken, opened in Tokyo’s Asakusa district in 1910.

The dish truly hit the mainstream with the invention of instant ramen noodles by Momof*cku Ando in 1958, which meant people could make the dish themselves with ease. Today there are ramen joints all over Japan, from tiny hole-in-the-wall spots to large family restaurants. You’ll even find whole streets lined with ramen stalls, such as Kyoto’s Ichijoji Ramen Street. It’s also a common inclusion on the menu of more general types of eateries, whether at vegan cafes in Kobe or Michelin-starred restaurants in Tokyo.

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What is Ramen?

Ramen is a type of noodle soup with three key elements: broth, noodles, and toppings. The steaming broth can be created using a range of different bases, which we’ll go into more detail about below. Meanwhile, the noodles are made from wheat, and there are many different types of ramen noodles that vary in thickness, texture, and shape. When it comes to toppings, this is one of the ways in which the numerous kinds of ramen distinguish themselves. Bowls can be topped with anything from meat and fish to egg, vegetables, and seaweed, with some ingredients unique to specific regions.

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Types of Ramen

Here are 15 of the most popular different types of ramen in Japan. Which do you want to try first?

  1. Shoyu ramen
  2. Shio ramen
  3. Miso ramen
  4. Tonkotsu ramen
  5. Tsukemen ramen
  6. Kare ramen
  7. Instant ramen
  8. Asahikawa ramen
  9. Sapporo ramen
  10. Hakodate ramen
  11. Kitakata ramen
  12. Tokyo ramen
  13. Yokohama ramen
  14. Hakata ramen
  15. Kagoshima ramen

The main styles of ramen

The most common kinds of ramen are categorized according to the main flavor or ingredient of their broth:

Shoyu Ramen

Shoyu is Japanese for soy sauce, and shoyu ramen uses this as the base for its soup alongside other ingredients such as chicken broth. This is the most widespread of all the types of ramen, with a clear brown broth and a huge variety of potential toppings.

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Shio Ramen

Taking its name for the Japanese word for salt, shio ramen is typically made with a chicken broth base that’s flavored with sea salt. The result is a clear, lighter-bodied soup with a tangy taste and thinner texture.

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Miso Ramen

Miso ramen is made using different kinds of fermented soybean paste to flavor the broth, which gives it a rich umami taste, darker color, and thicker texture. The style originated in Hokkaido, but is now popular across all of Japan.

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Tonkotsu Ramen

This is a very rich, thick kind of ramen made using simmered pork bones that dissolve to create a creamy white broth. It's a hearty dish that originated on the island of Kyushu, and can now be found all over the country.

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Tsukemen Ramen

Tsukemen is one of the more unique kinds of ramen, in which thick, chewy noodles are chilled and served separately alongside a bowl of rich and creamy broth. You then dip the noodles into the soup to soak up the flavor before tucking in.

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Kare Ramen

A relatively new style, kare ramen consists of thick and curly noodles served in a curry-flavored broth. Japanese curry is usually rich, creamy, dark brown in color, and not overly spicy in taste, making this a perfect comfort meal.

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Instant Ramen

Instant ramen – also known as cup ramen – is a quick and easy food option beloved all around the world. It consists of characteristic thin and curly noodles, which can be cooked by simply adding boiling water and seasoning. Although often thought of as a meal for broke students and those who can’t cook, you can actually use them to make a delicious and wholesome dish.

So, what to add to make ramen better? Try upgrading the broth with extra seasoning, pop in an egg for a different texture, or throw in some fresh vegetables and tofu for a more filling meal. If you’re looking for a way to order instant ramen from Japanese producers, we can help you out!

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Regional Ramen

There are countless regional styles of ramen to explore, with different areas having unique takes on the dish in terms of the types of ramen noodles they use, toppings they feature, or ingredients in the broth. Here are just some of the most popular varieties you can try:

Asahikawa Ramen

This kind of ramen hails from Asahikawa in Hokkaido, and is made using thick, wavy noodles and a rich, oily soy sauce broth. It’s a hearty dish often topped with slices of chashu pork, that’s perfect for warming up in the cold weather.

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Sapporo Ramen

Sapporo’s take on ramen features a rich miso base with added pork bone broth and medium-thick crinkled noodles. The dish is usually topped with local Hokkaido specialties such as bright yellow corn and a pat of melting butter, and there are plenty of amazing ramen restaurants in Sapporo where you can sample a bowl!

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Hakodate Ramen

Another Hokkaido variety, Hakodate ramen features thin, straight noodles in a light and clear salt-based broth. It’s usually topped with chashu pork and bamboo shoots, plus white fish cakes with a distinctive pink swirl.

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Kitakata Ramen

Originating in a city in f*ckushima prefecture, Kitakata ramen is made using deliciously chewy noodles which are extra thick, firm, and wavy. The broth is soy sauce-based and often infused with niboshi sardines for extra flavor.

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Tokyo Ramen

Japan’s capital has a wealth of first-rate ramen shops and is also home to one of the oldest and most common kinds of ramen in Japan. It has medium-thick wavy noodles served in a dark brown broth made with soy sauce and dashi fish stock, finished off with a multitude of different toppings.

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Yokohama Ramen

Home to its very own ramen museum, it’s no surprise that Yokohama also has its own version of the dish. Made with a hybrid shoyu-tonkotsu base, it uses thick straight noodles and is often topped with boiled spinach for a splash of dark green.

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Hakata ramen

Hakata ramen hails from f*ckuoka in Kyushu, and is one of the most popular regional types of ramen. It’s an especially rich and creamy variety of tonkotsu ramen, with thin noodles and a select few toppings such as chashu pork and green negi spring onions.

Kagoshima ramen

Located at the southern tip of Kyushu, Kagoshima has a style of ramen that uses a light and mild soup made from chicken stock, pork bone broth and dried sardines. It’s usually served with thick noodles and slices of pickled daikon radish.

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As you can see, there are all sorts of mouth-watering kinds of ramen out there, and we’ve only just scratched the surface. That’s why it’s almost impossible to answer the question of what is the most popular type of ramen. So be sure to try as many varieties as you can and see which tickle your tastebuds – if you’re heading to Tokyo, be sure to check out our guide to the best ramen in Tokyo to help you on this mission!

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.

The Ultimate Guide to the Most Delicious Types of Ramen | byFood (2024)


What is the most delicious type of ramen? ›

A shoyu type ramen that comes from the city of the same name in Hokkaido, asahikawa ramen is oily, complex, and delicious. Using wavy noodles, lots of soy sauce, and a broth made up of chicken, pork, and fish all add to the richness of this dish.

What was Naruto's ramen order? ›

Naruto's favorite ramen is miso based with extra chasu, or pork. Ramen broth comes served in one of three ways- miso, salt, or soy sauce based. You may also see soup classed as tonkotsu, which refers to the pork stock base most commonly used in ramen.

What is the rarest type of ramen? ›

I tried Japan's rarest ramen flavor. It's called the Ice Ramen, and its ingredients are so insane. that only brave people are able to eat it, because you can only get it at the Ice Ramen restaurant, which is completely made of ice.

What ramen would Naruto eat? ›

ep 3: part 1 - naruto's ramen from ichiraku ramen - tonkotsu miso rame... naruto ramen | TikTok.

What is the number 1 ramen in Japan? ›

1 Ramen (Tsukemen) Tomita's tsukemen is everything you'd expect it to be. It's the pinnacle of tonkotsu gyokai (pork and fish tsukemen).

What is Kakashi's favorite ramen? ›

Leading the series is Naruto's Miso Ramen drawing from the titular character's favorite order from Ramen Ichiraku, followed by Sasuke's Purple Cold Vermicelli Noodle Salad, Sakura's Beet and Shoyu Ramen and Kakashi's Chidori Ramen.

Who ate Naruto's ramen? ›

Naruto takes Hinata Hyūga to Ramen Ichiraku for their first date; in the anime, this in turn causes Hinata to become a regular customer, to the point that she has won at least one of its eating contests.

What is the Uzumaki thing in ramen? ›

Narutomaki, a type of cured fish cake, is a popular ramen topping with a distinctive pink swirl.

Which ramen is black? ›

In 2011, they introduced Shin Black, the premium version of their traditional ramen.

What is hippie ramen? ›


Curly noodles topped with spinach, and finished with house-made scallion oil, fragrant sweet onion and a hint of ginger. Try with cheese topping like they do in Japan!

What is the milky ramen called? ›

Tonkotsu ramen was invented in December 1937 by Tokio Miyamoto at his yatai originated in Kurume, f*ckuoka Prefecture, which is located on the northern shore of Kyushu island in Japan. The dish was further refined to its milky appearance by Katsumi Sugino when he accidentally overcooked his origin broth.

Does Boruto eat ramen? ›

And while Boruto's excitement at the thought of eating burgers is well-documented throughout Boruto, he doesn't eat them all the time. This marks one thing that'll always remain the same about the boy who wished to be Hokage — his love of ramen.

Who eats more ramen Naruto or Hinata? ›

This ending even feeds into the idea of Hinata being able to eat much more ramen than Naruto; as she's piling up bowl after bowl, Naruto nearly hurls from overeating.

Is ramen healthy? ›

While instant ramen is not bad for you, it isn't recommended as a single food daily or multiple times per day on its own due to its high-sodium flavoring packet or broth. Adding additional toppings, such as protein and vegetables, to the wheat noodle and broth base can increase its nutrition profile.

What is the most sold ramen flavor? ›

The classic Chicken flavor is Maruchan Ramen's most popular choice, offering a simple yet satisfying taste.

What is the tastiest ramen broth? ›

The most widely recognized and celebrated broth worldwide these days is tonkotsu, a boiled pork bone broth. The best tonkotsu broths are a milky, golden color and leave a sticky sheen of gelatin on your lips as you slurp them.

What is the most delicious Korean ramen? ›

Best Overall: Nongshim Shin Noodle Soup

Since hitting the Korean market in 1986, Shin ramyun has been one of the most popular ramyun in and out of Korea. One of many reasons this iconic ramyun has remained at the top of the chart is the distinct spicy flavors in the broth.

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