To be able to enjoy a comforting bowl of Ramen in your own home really is some kind of bliss. There are times you want to be able to enjoy restaurant quality at home or at a lower cost, and Ramen truly are the humble dish with great flavour. In this article, we break down the various kinds of Ramen to give you the full spectrum of taste and inspiration!
What are the different styles of Ramen?
If you’ve ever had the privilege of eating the real-del Ramen, then you’ve been exposed to the various types. Ramen soup is generally made from at stock based on either chicken or pork, but in later years more and more broths that are vegetable-based have showed up due to the larger demand in a plant based diet. As you can imagine, there are always a lot of options and the differences in tastes and broth-textures are notable. Here are some of the most popular types:
This is the most common style of Ramen. Shoyu is the Japanese word for soy sauce, and that’s exactly what’s simmered into the base of this broth. The result is a light-bodied broth that is brown and clear, unlike the more milky and opaque tonkatsu broth.
Another light broth—in both body and flavor—is shio, which means salt. This simple broth is golden in color and is made up of chicken or fish bones.
Made with fermented soy bean paste, miso can be white or red in color. The broth is packed with umami and feels thicker on the palate than the lighter broths used for shio or shoyu broths.
Full-bodied, fatty, and satisfying. The tonkatsu broth is the richest of them all. It’s made up of simmered pork bones which break down during the cooking process and release collagen, which makes a broth so thick it’ll coat the back of your spoon! The broth is often fortified with pork or chicken fat.
What noodles are used for Ramen bowls?
If you live near an East Asian market, you’ll likely find a variety of fresh and dried Ramen noodles.
The most common noodle for Ramen are a thin, wheat-based noodle made from wheat flour and were in the beginning imported from China during the Meiji period in the late 19th century.
Other varieties that are used in Ramen is Udon, a thick wheat noodle that are a common comfort food noodle – or the Soba noodle, that are made from buckwheat flour and wheat flour and have a slightly nutty, earthy taste.
On top of it all
Ramen can be seasoned and flavoured with any number of toppings such as pork, chicken, fish, tofu, seaweed, scallions, eggs, mushrooms and much more. Seasonings commonly added to ramen are white and black pepper, butter, chili, sesame seeds, and crushed garlic. Soup recipes and methods of preparation tend to be closely guarded secrets. During the last few decades, a proliferation of regional variations have been showed – everything between signature broths, toppings or noodles.
Ramen is offered in various types of restaurants and you can buy most of the ingredients yourself in a local supermarket or as an instant noodle cup. However, the best quality ramen is usually only available in a so called ramen-ya or ramen shops.