My recommendations are…
Ground pork, pork chashu, chicken chashu, and roast beef.
1. Meat toppings gives you joy
The ramen shop that I used to eat at on my route to work is called Ramen Oyama.
It was next to Lawson, which is a convenience store in Japan.
Chashumen was the most expensive dish there.
When I worked hard and felt very tired at the office,
I ordered a bowl of chashumen for myself as a reward.
2. Pork chashu
Chashu is a thinly-sliced piece of braised pork.
Umami-rich, melt-in-your mouth, tender, marinated thin pork slices on top of a piping hot bowl of flavourful ramen.
Ham has a nice flavor and soft texture. It goes well with almost all dishes.
Ham was invented for preserving meat.
And it has been here since a long time ago.
4. Niku soboro
Niku soboro is flavoured ground chicken, beef, or pork that is fried until they turn dry.
The ground meat is seasoned by soy sauce and sugar.
Unlike its thin-sliced chashu counterpart, kakuni is a thick-sliced or cube-shaped piece of braised pork belly.
The cooking method includes putting cut-up pork cubes into a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, green onion and sake and braising it for hours.
This method yields a piece of meat that has a far richer taste than chashu.
This is a regional dish prominent in the southern parts of Japan, namely, Kagoshima and Okinawa. The Okinawa version of kakuni is called rafute.
The slight difference between the two is that instead of using sake and brown sugar, rafute combines awamori sake (indigenous to Okinawa) and Okinawa black sugar.
6. Sliced pork
Kakuni tastes really good but it takes a lot of time.
This is because you need to boil a big pork block for a long time.
If you use sliced pork, and cook the same way as kakuni,
You can save time,
And get a delicious meat ramen topping.
Everybody loves bacon.
Adding bacon makes all dishes great. I think it is kind of cheating…
Pan fry it for your ramen.
It will add some grilled flavor to your ramen.
If you have span in your cupboard, you can use it for your ramen instead of chashu.
Cut it into thin slices, and pan fry them until they get cooked to a nice brown.
It is a little softer than chashu, but it has a nice grilled flavor and fat.
The gravy from the spam adds some depth into your ramen soup.
9. Chicken chashu
The moist and juicy chicken chashu goes very well with your ramen.
Go to the chashu recipe section above to get the recipe.
10. Steamed chicken
Steamed chicken must be a perfect ramen meat topping for people who are working out or on a diet.
Nice moist chicken meat goes very well with the ramen soup.
11. Roast beef
Some high end ramen restaurants serve roast beef as ramen topping instead of pork chashu.
It will add some luxurious feeling to your ramen.
This is a great topping option for people who are concerned about the fatty pork chashu.
Medium rare red meat goes well with your ramen.
12. Ground pork
If you want to thicken your ramen soup, you should pan-fry ground pork with sesame oil.
Umami from pork definitely adds some thickness into your ramen broth.
And fried pork will add some nice flavor caused by the maillard reaction.
Due to Covid, a lot of good ramen restaurants have closed
It makes me feel very angry.
I used to eat ramen out frequently,
But in this situation,
Ramen shops have started to shorten the hours, limit the number of customers, or even closed their shops.
It has affected the industry so much.
I am afraid good ramen will be gone
But meanwhile, you still can enjoy ramen in the comfort of your own home.
Here are some of my recommendations for ramen lovers.
1. Sapporo Ichiban Shio Flavor
MY THOUGHTS OVERALL ★★★★☆
In truth, Sapporo Ichiban delivers a good quality shio ramen experience.
Actually, it is very difficult to find good shio ramen.
Do you know why?
Because it is very difficult to make it since it is very simple.
There are many good shoyu and miso flavored instant noodles out there.
But I feel specifically, the shio flavor market is monopolized by Sapporo Ichiban.
Think about this for a moment having good shio ramen for your dinner with your favorite ramen toppings.
Now, you want some, don’t you?
2. Nissin Raoh Shoyu Flavor
MY THOUGHTS OVERALL ★★★★★
It is nearly impossible to make restaurant quality noodles at home without the right tools and equipment.
How can you beat that?
Using Raoh’s shoyu flavour will help you achieve this easily. This is top-notch ramen hands down!
One pinnacle of instant noodles is the soy sauce flavor. It is expensive compared to regular ones but let me tell you, it deserves every single penny.
In a nutshell, I loved every bit of it.
...And I am sure you will too.
3. The problem here is that no toppings come with these packets.
Here are some topping options and recipes for you.
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Are you still struggling with...
😢 ...small bowls that aren’t large enough for soups, noodles and toppings.
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😢 ...low-quality tableware and utensils that don’t compliment your food.
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About the Author
Kei is a self-proclaimed ramen lover, blog writer and founder of "Apex S.K. Japanese tableware".
"I am from Ibaraki, Japan.
Ramen is great! It can bring you a sense of happiness and satisfaction that no other food can. I have been eating ramen for 30 years.
If there is no ramen, my life would be miserable.
Ten years ago, I worked as an office worker. The job was really stressful - excessive working hours, low wages, unpaid overtime work, and constantly being yelled at by my boss.
I was new and alone, no girlfriend, no friends, and felt very lonely.
My only oasis was the ramen shop near the office. For me, the ramen chef there was literally an angel. I saw a halo on his head. (No joke)
Tonkotsu shoyu ramen was my all-time favorite. He made ramen with broth chock-full of umami flavor, nice chewy handmade noodles, and tender chashu.
My greatest dream is connect people with ramen through my blog. I want to share a lot of interesting and funny stories and ramen trivia with you.
Knowing more about ramen can help you appreciate your ramen and make it taste extra delicious."
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