Flavors of Ramen : 7 Popular Types of Ramen in Japan

Tips Apr 21, 2022

*Note: This delicacy might contain non halal ingredients.

What is Ramen?

Ramen is a dish born from the influx of Chinese noodles into Japan and their fusion with Japanese food culture. By combining elements such as noodles, broth, sauce, ingredients, and fat/oil, an unlimited number of recipes can be created, and many variations exist in terms of both taste and style, including soy sauce ramen, salt  flavored ramen, and dipping noodles etc. There are also "local ramen" reflecting the different climates, customs, and food cultures of different regions. In this way, ramen has continued to evolve uniquely in Japan. This article introduces seven of the most famous types of ramen in Japan.

1. 醤油ラーメン Soy Sauce Ramen ( Shoyu Ramen)

In Japan, the most common type of ramen is soy sauce ramen. About 100 years ago, Japan's first ramen restaurant, located in Asakusa, Tokyo, also served shoyu ramen.

It is made by combining a soy sauce-based sauce with soup made from pork, chicken, seafood, etc. The type of soy sauce and soup varies from restaurant to restaurant and region to region. Therefore, the taste of shoyu ramen varies from store to shop. The type of noodle to be served with it also makes a very different impression when you eat it.

2.塩ラーメン Salt flavored Ramen (Shio Ramen)

Generally speaking, salt flavored ramen is considered to have a lighter taste. Unlike soy sauce and miso, salt does not have its own color, so it is often transparent looking.

The broth is often taken from chicken or pork.

3. 味噌ラーメン Miso Ramen

Miso ramen is one of the most popular ramen, although there are not as many places to eat it as shoyu or shio ramen. The unique flavor of miso ramen is created by pouring miso paste, vegetables, and broth into a wok and stir-frying it at high temperature.

A large amount of lard floats on the surface, giving it a rich flavor and at the same time acting as a lid to prevent the soup from getting cold.

4. 豚骨ラーメン Tonkotsu Ramen (Pork bone Ramen)

Tonkotsu ramen is often found especially in Kyushu. Note that "tonkotsu" means pig bones, and any dish with this Chinese character in it contains pork.

The soup is generally made by boiling pork bones for a long time to make a cloudy white color, and its density and flavor vary depending on the amount of time spent boiling and the part of the pig used.

5. 鶏白湯ラーメン Toripaitan Ramen(Chicken broth Ramen)

Toripaitan Ramen is a cloudy white soup made by simmering chicken for a long time. It looks similar to pork bone ramen, but tastes completely different.

鶏 means chicken, but this ramen possibly includes pork..

Compared to other ramen, it is less likely to divide people into liking or disliking it, and it is an easy ramen to eat (Not that oily).

6.つけ麺  Tsukemen (Dipping noodle)

Tsukemen are noodles dipped in soup like zaru soba. Ramen noodles are usually served with freshly boiled noodles in a hot soup, but in the case of tsukemen, the noodles are boiled, then cooled in cold water and served in a separate bowl from the soup.

Because the noodles are the main component of the dish, the noodles are generally thicker and larger in quantity than ramen. In addition, the soup is usually thicker and more seasoned to match the presence of the noodles and it’s usually cold.

7. 油そば Aburasoba(Oil soba)

Aburasoba is ramen without soup, also called "soupless" or "mazesoba”.

It is characterized by a small amount of oily sauce that is mixed with the noodles. Since the sauce tends to pool at the bottom, it is recommended that the noodles be mixed well before eating. Also, contrary to the name “abura soba,(abura means oil )" it is actually said to have fewer calories than ramen because of the lack of broth.

So far, the seven most popular types of ramen in Japan have been introduced.

Ramen noodles available in regular Japanese restaurants often contain pork extract. In addition, the topping called chashu is made from pork.

Furthermore, many of the seasonings commonly used in Japan, such as soy sauce and mirin, contain alcohol (called sake in Japanese).

However, there are restaurants in Japan that are halal certified. There are also ramen stores that specialize in vegan ramen.

This app can help you to  find restaurants with halal certification.

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Why not try some authentic ramen when you come to Japan?


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