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A Hot Debate Topic: Is Ramen Considered a Noodle or Soup?

No, ramen is classified in its own category. 

(At least in Japan).

Did you know...?

Ramen consists of...

Soup, noodles, and toppings.

Soup and noodles are the most important aspects in a bowl of ramen.

Are you happy with this answer?


Probably you aren’t...

...And that is why you are here still reading this blog and trying to find the answer.

Let me explain further...

"Ramen is a type of noodle" vs. "Ramen is a type of soup"...

Which one is more correct and important?

This is the ultimate subject for ramen enthusiasts.

If you find yourself having this argument with another ramen enthusiast, you might be losing this friends over this topic.

There is no right or wrong answer to this.


Although both are equally important and ramen cannot exist without one of these two components.

I would personally say that the soup is more important.

Here are reasons why...

Reason 1: The broth is essentially the “soul” of the ramen

The soup sets the overall “ambience” of the ramen you are about to enjoy. 

Have you ever noticed how soup is unique and different in each restaurant?

The differentiating aspect of a bowl of ramen is its soup.

The texture of noodles is important, but the most important element of ramen is its flavor and taste.

In Japan, usually, the priority of elements of a ramen dish goes a little something like this...

Soup > Noodles > Toppings

Reason 2: Ramen is identified by the type of broth it is served in

For example:

When you choose a ramen shop for meal time, you choose by the broth type.

Shoyu, shio, tonkotsu, miso,


Fish base, clam base, chicken base, pork bone base etc..

You usually don't start thinking about what type of noodles or kinds of toppings you want to have when you pick out a restaurant to go to.


Reason 3: Chef's effort

The broth is the aspect in which most ramen chefs put most of their effort in.

Have you ever heard of this?

Some chefs will close down their store for the day if they aren't 100% satisfied with the flavor of their broth.

They are very serious about the soup they create. Right?

This is because the soup is a very important element of the dish and will alter the overall taste of the ramen. 

Back to what I was saying in the beginning, ramen should be its own category.

So whether you are Team Soup or Team Noodles, you might find a bowl of perfect ramen one day with...

Tender-roasted, juicy chashu, 

well-marinated, soft and creamy ramen eggs,

nice and chewy noodles, 

and a flavourful broth brimming with umami... 

You will be confused.

"Is ramen considered a type of noodle, soup, or topping?”

And you probably might think “There is nothing else like it."

Your journey as a ramen lover, ramen enthusiast or even ramen philosopher continues forever...

By the way, are you a “ramenologist” or know of someone who is? I have designed a special T-shirt just for you!

Check them out!


  • The APEX team

    Hi JB,
    That’s a great question!
    I think instant ramen can still be considered soup since the effort and mindful preparation was completed during the production stage.
    What are your thoughts on this?

  • JB

    What about instant noodles when there is no careful preparation of the soup? Is it considered noodle or soup?

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