Ramen broth is by far the most important part of a bowl of ramen noodle soup. Do you think making a restaurant-quality complex flavored ramen broth at home is possible? You bet it is! Read on because I share my ramen broth recipe with secrets and tips to make an authentic, easy yet complex flavored broth.
Types of Ramen Broth
Ramen broth can be classified by ingredients into three categories. The first one is chicken broth made from chicken carcass. The second is a combination broth made from chicken and Japanese dashi stock. And the third is Tonkotsu which is made from pork bones.
Ingredients for Homemade broth recipe
Many ramen restaurant chefs create their own unique flavored broth for their ramen and that is their secret weapon. In order to make a similarly full of Umami flavored broth, I go for the second type of broth. You need to gather the following ingredients.
- Chicken Carcasses
- Chicken wings
- Bonito flake
- Dried Shiitake mushrooms
Why are Chicken Carcasses used?
Well, it is because Chicken carcasses contain a large amount of one of the Umami components; glutamic acid. So this becomes the basis of the ramen soup flavor. Also, chicken feet, known as “Momiji”, are often used. However, it is a little difficult to get these so I substitute them with chicken wings.
Adding a little bit of meat on those chicken wings will add sweetness and deep rich flavor to the broth without turbidity. Chicken wings are readily available and quite cheap from supermarkets. I get Chicken carcasses from local butchers. It is also cheap. I got 4 of them for A$2 (approximately US$1.3)
Why add Ginger, Garlic, Scallions & Sake
Because those aromatic root vegetables and Sake (Japanese alcohol) conceal the gamey odor of the chicken carcass. Also, onion adds natural sweetness to the broth. So all the vegetables added enrich the flavor of the broth. (step by step photo 4-7)
3 tips to Make Rich and Super Clear Chicken Broth
- Clean the chicken carcass under cold running water carefully so that no organs and blood remain. (step by step photos 9 & 10)
- Poach the chicken carcasses and wings for 30 seconds or until they become white. Don’t do this too long as we may lose the Umami flavor. This process is important to clean the chicken carcass further. Drain the chicken carcasses and wings. Discard the poaching water. (step by step photo 11 & 12 )
- Place prepared chicken and vegetables in a large pot with COLD water. Turn the heat down to low when it boils and remove the scum. Simmer gently for 3 hours. Skim the scum off occasionally. (step by step photos 13-16)
How to Make it a Rich & Flavourful Ramen Broth?
You can make delicious ramen with this chicken broth but there is a Japanese secret to make it richer and more flavourful; Adding dashi to the broth. The easiest way to make dashi for the broth is to place all dashi ingredients in a large jar, add water and leave it overnight.
Dashi Ingredients for the Broth
You need Kelp, Bonito flakes and dried Shiitake mushrooms. Combining inocine acid extracted from the Bonito flakes and glutamic acid abundantly contained in kelp gives the broth a complex and robust umami flavor.
Tare (tah-ray) is the seasonings added to the ramen broth to make different flavored ramen. Three common and classic flavors are, Shio, Shoyu and Miso.
How to make each Tare
Shio – Combine dashi (you can take 1/4 cup from the overnight dashi made for the broth), Sake, and Mirin in a saucepan over low heat. Add salt and resolve it.
Shoyu – Convenient way to make Shoyu tare is to use the sauce that was used to make Chashu. After straining the sauce put it in a saucepan over low heat and reduce the amount to half. After it has cooled down, I usually divide the sauce into small portions and keep in the fridge/freezer for other uses.
Miso – Blend all ingredients with a stick blender or food processor and add miso to combine. You can keep this in the fridge/freezer and use for other recipes such as Yaki Onigiri Grilled Rice Balls and stir fry.
Putting them Together
You can combine them together in individual ramen serving bowls as ramen restaurants do. Or put them together in a saucepan then pour into individual ramen bowls. You need a different amount of each tare, so see how much you need in the recipe below.
How to Store the Broth
Although it is worth the effort to taste such robust flavourful ramen at home, we don’t have time to make such long process broth. So I make it in batches and divide the broth into one use portion in a ziplock bag and freeze them. The broth will keep for a couple days in the fridge and about a month in the freezer.
Ramen Toppings & Side Dish Suggestions
You can make everything from scratch and if you do, you know what’s in it of course. It is cheaper and delicious. Make melt in your mouth ramen pork chashu and use the sauce for Shoyu tare. Also, read this easy ramen egg recipe too. The best companion dish for Ramen is of course Gyoza!
A: Yes, you can. Basically, after cleaning and poaching the chicken, you can place everything in a slow cooker and leave it for 7 to 8 hours on low.
A: I remove the meat part from the bone and keep it in the fridge or freezer. You can use it for adding to fried rice, soup, or making a chicken sandwich etc. I also keep the mushroom too. Remove the stem to discard and then slice the mushrooms. Use it for adding to miso soup, use as ramen toppings etc.
References and Resources
Resourceful website about Ramen in English that I referenced to write this post. Also I recommend this Ramen book Ramen: Japanese Noodles and Small Dishes that I own.
Did you like this ramen broth? If you made this and liked it, please leave a comment below and also give a good rating!
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Basic Ramen Broth
Overnight Dashi stock *2
- 0.35oz/10g Kelp
- 0.35oz/10g Bonito flake * or 1 cup
- 0.7oz/20g shiitake mushrooms *or 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 6cups/1.5L water
- 2 Chicken carcassess *1
- 4 Chicken wings
- 1/2 onion cut into quarters
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and smashed
- 1oz/30g of ginger thinly sliced
- 2 Scallions chopped into one third length
- 1/2 cup sake
- 12cups/3L water
- 1/4 cup Dashi stock *2
- 2 tbsp Sake *3
- 1 tbsp Mirin *4
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 2.5 tbsp Chashu leftover sauce *5
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 white part of scallion
- 2 tbsp Smooth peanut butter *All natural, no sugar added
- 1 tbsp Sake *3
- 2 tbsp Mirin *4
- 1 tsp Rayu Chilli oil
- 1/2 cup Miso paste *14
Overnight Dashi Stock *6
- Place all ingredients in a large jar, pour in the water.
- Put a lid on, and soak the dashi ingredients overnight.
- Clean the chicken carcasses and wings under running water. Remove all organs, and wash off blood.
- Boil the water (not listed in the ingredients) in a large pot, poach the chicken carcasses and wings for about 30 seconds or till the chicken colour becomes white.
- Strain the the chicken carcasses and wings. Discard the poaching water.
- Place all ingredients in a large pot, pour in the water and bring it to boil over high heat. *7
- Once it has begun to boil, reduce the heat to low. Remove the scum that forms on the top of the soup. *8
- Simmer gently over low heat for about 3 hours. *9
- Occasionally, remove the scum that forms on the top of the soup and keep adding the overnight dashi stock as needed.
- Once it has simmered for 3 hours, add the remaining of the overnight dashi stock with kelp, bonito flakes and shiitake mushrooms. Remove from heat and strain the soup into another large pot or bowl. Throw away the remaining chicken carcass and vegetables.
- Simmer gently again for further 2 hours.
- Remove from heat and strain the soup into another large pot or bowl with a sieve lined with kitchen paper towel. *10
- The broth should be reduced to about 10cups/2.5L *11
- Use straight away for ramen soup or store in the fridge or freezer. *12
- Combine all ingredients and stir to dissolve the salt.
- Place 2.5 tbsp of combined shio tare in a ramen bowl.
- Pour 2 cups/500ml of ramen broth into the ramen bowl and stir all together.
- Place 3 tbsp shoyu tare in a ramen bowl.
- Pour 2 cups/500ml of ramen broth into the ramen bowl and stir all together.
- Place all ingredients in a small container. Beat all ingredients with a stick blender or food processor until it become creamy.
- Transfer the mixture into a small saucepan and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes.
- Keep stirring constantly to avoid it burning.
- Turn the heat off and add miso paste. Combine all together well. *13
- Place 2 tbsp of miso tare in a ramen bowl. Pour 2 cups/500ml ramen broth.
- Stir well to dissolve the miso tare into ramen broth.
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