Have you wondered about the different bottles of spices and sauces sitting on the table or counter of ramen restaurants?
Today, I will be introducing these different spices so that you can customize the taste of your ramen next time you visit a ramen restaurant.
1. Black pepper
Pepper adds a bit of a spicy kick to your ramen. It can be an accent to the ramen when used in moderation. When you feel the taste of the soup is a little too simple, give it a try!
2. Grated or diced garlic
The fragrant taste of garlic helps stimulate your appetite. The aromatic flavours of the garlic can also enhances the overall taste of the ramen.
3. Chili pepper
This is a good option for people who likes spices.
4. Sesame oil
Sesame oil adds a sweet-scented roasted sesame aroma to your ramen.
5. Rayu (Chili Oil)
It is a type of hot spicy oil that goes well with miso ramen and tantan-men.
Rayu is frequently used for as a condiment for gyoza (Japanese dumplings), but some people use rayu to make their ramen spicy.
Rayu is a well-known condiment of Sichuan cuisine in China. Some famous Sichuan dishes that uses rayu are mapo tofu and tantan noodles. You can buy small bottles of rayu at most Asian markets.
However, did you know you can make rayu at home by yourself? It is not difficult to make it from scratch!
By making your own, you can adjust the spiciness to your liking and even make different kinds of rayu by choosing different ingredients.
There are two kinds of rayu.
One is simply flavored oil without any other additions. The other type has some ingredients like peppers, spices, peanuts, leaks, garlic chips, and fried onions.
Oil (vegetable oil or sesame oil) 10oz (300cc)
Cayenne pepper powder 0.7oz (20g)
Chili peppers 15
Garlic 6 cloves
Ginger 1oz (30g)
Green onion 1 piece
Peanuts 1oz (30g)
Water or sake 1.4oz (40cc)
1. Peel the skin of ginger and garlic and dice them.
2. Cut the green onion in half and wash thoroughly.
3. Cut the green onion into 1 inch each.
4. Crush peanuts into small pieces.
5. Mix cayenne pepper powder with 30cc of water or sake. (it prevents cayenne pepper powder from burning)
6. Deep fry green onions, chili peppers with all the oil in a small pan with low heat.
7. Put cayenne pepper mixture into the pan, stirring frequently as to not burn the pepper powder.
8. When the oil turns red, put garlic and ginger in the pan and mix them. (When the green onions and chili peppers are about to burn, take it out. We will put this back into our rayu at the end).
9. After 5 minutes, put crushed peanuts in.
10. Heat everything together for 3 minutes.
11. Put in an airtight jar and put it into the fridge overnight.
Other optional Ingredients:
Sesame 1 TBSP
Soy sauce 2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Star anise 2 pieces
Used in moderation, vineger can bring some fresh flavor to your ramen.
7. Ramen Tare (Sauce)
Using house special ramen sauce can make your ramen thicker and saltier.
8. Sansho (Japanese pepper)
Usually sansho is used for unagi no kabayaki (roasted eel). Using sansho makes your ramen spicy in a numbing way.
It goes well with miso ramen. Adding it to your ramen will make your ramen broth thicker and creamier.
Yuzukosho is paste that is made from chili peppers, yuzu peel, and salt. Usually, it is used in Japanese soup, hot pot, sashimi, tempura, yakitori, and tofu. It goes well with shoyu and shio ramen.
It originally came from the Kyushu area (southern Japan), which is known for the production of yuzu.
People use this condiment for Japanese-style hot pot, soup, sashimi, tempura, tofu, and yakitori (grilled chicken skewers).
People also use yuzukosho in their ramen. This citrusy taste pairs well with shio or shoyu ramen.
This condiment can be a little more difficult to find in foreign countries, so I will be sharing a recipe on how you can make your own!
Yuzu 2 pieces
Green chili 10g
1. Wash the yuzu and get rid of hulls.
2. Grate the yuzu skin. (You only need the yuzu for its skin in this recipe. Some suggestions for other uses of the fruit would be yuzu cocktail, or yuzu sparkling water)
3. Chop green chili into small pieces.
4. Put grated yuzu skin and chopped green chili into a small bowl and mix with salt.
ENJOY with your ramen (and other Japanese dishes)!
7-flavored spices that goes well with miso ramen.
Although, we love ramen on its own, adding some condiments to it can significantly enhance and change its overall flavour!
Now that you know about these Japanese spices, why not try them at home? Here are some of our favorite bowls to get you started on home-cooked ramen!