Ordering Ramen? Here Are 5 Popular Types, Explained
Ramen is a popular Japanese dish consisting of wheat noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and accompanied by toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, and green onions. Over the years, ramen has evolved into many different varieties, each with its own unique flavors, ingredients, and cultural influences. Here, we’ll explore some of the most popular forms of ramen:
1. Shoyu Ramen
Shoyu ramen features a soy sauce-based broth made with a combination of chicken and pork bones, soy sauce, and other ingredients such as sake and mirin. The broth is light and salty, with a rich, savory flavor that pairs well with the noodles and toppings. Shoyu ramen is often garnished with slices of grilled pork, dried seaweed, and green onions, and is a popular choice for those who prefer a classic, straightforward flavor.
2. Miso Ramen
Miso ramen, on the other hand, has a broth made from — you guessed it — miso! The fermented soybean paste gives the broth a rich, hearty flavor, with a slightly sweet and sour taste that’s balanced by the saltiness of the soy sauce. Miso ramen is often garnished with sliced pork, bean sprouts, and corn, and is a popular choice for those who prefer a bold and flavorful broth.
3. Shio Ramen
Shio ramen, which translates to “salt” in Japanese, has a light and refreshing broth made with a combination of chicken and fish and seasoned with salt, sake, and mirin. Shio ramen is known for its clean, light flavor, and is often garnished with slices of grilled chicken, dried seaweed, and green onions. It’s a popular choice for those who prefer a lighter, more delicate flavor in their ramen.
4. Tonkotsu Ramen
Tonkotsu ramen boasts a rich, creamy broth made from boiling pork bones for many hours until the broth is thick and flavorful. Tonkotsu ramen is often garnished with slices of grilled pork, dried seaweed, and green onions, and it is a popular choice for those who prefer a hearty, filling meal.
5. Vegetarian Ramen
Finally, vegetarian ramen, as the name suggests, is a vegetarian version of the traditional dish, made with a vegetable-based broth and topped with a variety of vegetables such as bean sprouts, mushrooms, and carrots. Vegetarian ramen is a popular choice for those who prefer a lighter, healthier meal, or for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Whether you prefer a light and refreshing shio ramen, a hearty and filling tonkotsu ramen, or a vegetarian option, there is a type of ramen for everyone. The popularity of ramen continues to grow, and it remains a beloved dish in Japan and around the world.