There are many different flavours of ramen in Japan, since many different prefectures have their own unique flavours of ramen specific to their region. Three common and popular flavours are Miso, Shoyu (soy sauce) and Shio (salt) ramen. The flavour of ramen also depends on what type of stock is used for soup base, as this will change the flavour (for example, pork bone stock soup, which is called Tonkotsu is quite rich, but it could also be combined with Miso, Shoyu, or Shio).
In Japan, you can experience delicious Ramen where everything is cooked from scratch in Japan. However, it is quite time consuming to achieve the same level of tastiness of a professional ramen shop at home. So, what do Japanese people do when they want to have delicious ramen at home, but also want the superior taste of ramen just like in a noodle bar?
The answer lies in a simple and cheap solution: ramen soup packets you can buy from supermarkets! They are very cheap (equivalent to about 50 cents each) and you can choose from Miso, Shoyu, or Shio ramen flavour.
The noodles I use is Nissin brand of dry noodle called “Raoh“. This Shio ramen is a bit like 2 minute noodles, however this one takes about 4 minutes to cook and taste way better. You will not believe this is 2 minute noodles! I chose Shio flavour which a salt based flavour, but Miso and Shoyu is also available if you prefer. You could also choose to buy readymade egg noodles from an Asian grocer and keep them in the freezer.
The most common ramen toppings are Chashu, Miso Egg, Menma, Naruto, and veggies. If you want to learn more about Chashu or Miso Egg, please check my previous posts so you find out all about these ingredients, and can even learn make your own! For those who don’t know, Menma is a Japanese condiment of bamboo shoots which are often used as ramen topping, and Naruto is a white fish cake decorated with pink spiral (but you may know it more famously as a Japanese anime character’s name).
My mum always insisted that “You have to eat veggies!”, and she usually add finely chopped green shallots and bean sprouts (Moyashi) into our ramen when I was young. I did not have Moyashi growing in my Japanese backyard veggie patch, but I did have some chrysanthemum growing (also called Shungiku, which is also great for recipes like Udon).
I also had some Shiraga Negi, which is what we call the white part of green shallots, but they are cut in such a way so as to resemble fine strands of grey hair (Shiraga Negi is also what Japanese people call the bright white hair that you may see on older people).
To make Shiraga Negi, chop about 5 cm from the bottom of your green shallots (or scallion) and score in in the centre. Lay the outer 2-3 layers flat on chopping board and slice it thinly along the shallot fibre. Soak it in a bowl of icy water for 10 minutes. Shiraga Negi is also great for other dish toppings such as on Karaage chicken.
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Shio ramen recipe
- 1 Raoh Ramen packet">Raoh Ramen packet *1
- 3 slices of Chashu
- 1 Miso egg
- 3 slices of Naruto fish cakes
- Shiraga Negi White part of green shallots
- Shungiku Chrysanthemum
- 10 g Menma Bamboo shoots
Slice the Chashu and Naruto.
Prepare Shiraga Negi (separate instructions are listed below).
Open and empty the soup packet into a ramen bowl (do not pour the boiling water yet!)
Boil water in a large pot.
When the water starts to boil, add the ramen noodles and cook for 4 minutes *2
During the last two minutes of the cooking process, start to boil water in a kettle or a saucepan and pour 1 cup of boiling water into the ramen bowl to dissolve the soup.
Drain the ramen noodle and place in to the ramen soup.
Top with Chashu, Miso Egg, Naruto, Menma, Shiraga Negi, and Shungiku.
Add a tiny bit of Rayu (Chilli oil) if you want your ramen to have a little bit of a spicy kick (Optional).
Wash and cut the bottom 5 cm white stalks from a bunch of green shallots.
Score the side through to the centre.
Remove the core, using only the 2-3 outer layers of shallots.
Lay them flat on a chopping board.
Slice very thinly, then soak in a small bowl of icy water for 10 minutes.
*1 If you do not have Raoh brand, you can use other brands of noodles and flavour packets.
*2 If using another brand, follow the cooking directions on your packet of your choice.