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Shio vs Shoyu: Learn This and Be Prepared for Your Next Visit to a Ramen Shop

The difference between shio ramen and shoyu ramen is their soup.

Shio ramen soup has a yellowish transparent color.

And shoyu ramen soup has a dark brownish translucent color.

Here is a picture of shio ramen.

Shio means salt in Japanese.

So this ramen is a noodle dish made with a salt-based broth.

And this is a picture of shoyu ramen.

The sauce is made up of mainly soy sauce and some other ingredients.

This is how this ramen got its name (shoyu means soy sauce in Japanese).

Harry Potter fan anyone?
If shio and shoyu ramen were House of Hogwarts...

1. Shio ramen is Ravenclaw

Shio ramen has a thin and simple taste compared to other ramen types.

That is the best part of it, and what I find myself always craving.

Actually, shio ramen is very difficult to make since it is very simple.
Ironic, isn’t it?

It needs the best and freshest ingredients and a well-balanced harmony of all the components.


Good shio ramen is REALLY GOOD!

I feel good shio ramen has a sense of “coolness” and “smartness”.

That is the reason why shio ramen is Ravenclaw.

2. Shoyu ramen is Gryffindor

Shoyu ramen soup is usually made from chicken or pork broth.

Japanese soup stock made up of various vegetables, konbu (kelp), or niboshi (dried sardines) is added to the broth to give depth to the flavour of the soup.

Shoyu ramen is the most popular type of ramen.

And It has a lot of diversity because more creative things are going on with shoyu ramen.

So I think shoyu ramen is Gryffindor.

3. Which should you pick?

It depends on your mood.

If you want a sense of freshness, pick shio ramen.

Or, if the ramen shop’s specialty was shio, definitely pick shio ramen.

When you don’t want to make a mistake, shoyu ramen is the safest choice.

4. Here are detailed differences between Shio vs. Shoyu…

1. Soup Differences

Soup is made of…

Broth (dashi) + Sauce (tare) + Seasoning Oil (koumiyu)

Shio and shoyu ramen broths are  made up of water and a combination of pork bone, beef bone, chicken, bonito, konbu (kelp), mushroom, or scallops.

Seasoning oil of shio and shoyu ramen  includes chicken oil, pork fatback, bonito, vegetables, etc..

Shio tare is made of salt.

A lot of ramen shops blend different kinds of salt that are from different parts of the world for their shio ramen.

Salt is an obvious ingredient for shio ramen, but shio tare needs more ingredients.

They are…

Scallop, kelp, bonito, shitake mushroom, mirin, sake, water and a little bit of soy sauce.

Shoyu ramen sauce is mainly made of soy sauce.

And other ingredients are…

Kelp, bonito, mirin, sake, and water.

2. Noodle Differences

1. Shio ramen goes well with straight, thin to medium-thick, and high water addition noodles.

Soup of shio ramen is light.

So if the taste of noodles is too strong, they won’t go well with the soup.

Noodles for shio ramen have to be mild.

That is why chefs use straight, thin to medium-thick, and high water addition noodles for shio ramen.

These noodles are smooth, soft, and have a nice chew.

2. Shoyu ramen goes well with straight, medium-thick, and low water addition noodles.

A lot of shoyu ramen restaurants use straight noodles.

Low water addition noodles go well with shoyu soup.

Do you know why?

Shoyu soup has a distinctive flavor and taste, so it is better for noodles to have a wheat flavor.

So noodles for shoyu ramen are a little hard and dense rather than being soft and springy.

3. Topping Differences

Shio and shoyu ramen have similar toppings despite miso and tonkotsu ramen toppings being very different.

Shio ramen toppings are...

chashu, ajitama, green onions, and menma(sliced bamboo shoots)

Shoyu ramen toppings are...

Chashu, ajitama, green onion, menma, and nori (dried seaweed)

4. History of shio and shoyu ramen

1. History of shio ramen is...

In 1884, a ramen restaurant called “Youwaken” in Hakodate published an advertisement in the newspaper.

This is the oldest record that ramen was ever served at a restaurant.

Since Hakodate was a port city, there were many foreigners including Chinese merchants who came to Japan to look for konbu (kelp) and other seafood.

Youwaken’s main customer base were these Chinese merchants.

For that reason the root of Hakodate ramen is salt-based soup noodles which were created to cater to these Chinese merchants’ taste preference.

2. History of shoyu ramen is…

In 1910, an inexpensive restaurant called Rairaiken opened in Asakusa,Tokyo.

It served the first shoyu ramen which was also known as Tokyo ramen.

Among Japanese ramen, shoyu ramen has one of the longest histories.

For that reason, there are many variations of shoyu ramen all over Japan.

5. Shio vs Shoyu: Calorie differences are...

Shoyu ramen has 470 calories.

And shio ramen has 460 calories.

They are very similar!

I thought shoyu had a lot more calories.

What do you think?

6. Shio vs Shoyu: Which ramen is popular?

Ramen popularity in Japan goes like this…

Shoyu > Miso > Tonkotsu > Shio

So shoyu ramen is more popular than shio ramen.

Is that what you were expecting?

7. Due to Covid, a lot of good ramen restaurants have closed

It makes me feel very sad.

I used to eat ramen out frequently,

But in this situation, 

Ramen shops started to shorten the hours, limit the number of customers, or closed their shops.

It has affected the industry so much.

8. I am afraid good ramen will be gone

But meanwhile, you still can enjoy shio and shoyu ramen.

Here are some of my recommendations for ramen lovers.

1. Sapporo Ichiban Shio Flavor


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


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 love 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.

Green onion

4. Have you ever faced these issues...

A lack of large, high-quality soup bowl sets at home?

Are you still struggling with...

😢 ...small bowls that aren’t large enough for soups, noodles and toppings.

😢 ...spillage every time you eat out of your bowl.

😢 ...low-quality tableware and utensils that don’t compliment your food.

Look no further, 

Our best-selling bowls are here to fix all the issues you face with small, inefficient tableware.

After struggling with spillage and leakage during dinner time, 

We decided to introduce APEX S.K’s large soup bowls to the market.

Want to hear why some people absolutely love our ramen bowls?

"These are perfect for homemade ramen soup nights! The bowls we have at home are not large enough and my wife has been trying to look for larger bowls. I'm so glad I stumbled upon these. They made a great Christmas gift for the whole family. Everybody was so excited and we can't wait to put them to use on our next ramen night."

"Amazing quality! They are very durable. I dropped it from standing height to test if they would break, but no dents or anything."

"The shape, the color, and the overall appearance of the bowl was exactly what I was looking for - the shape, the color"

Check our sets on Amazon..


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."


  • Kei

    Hello A. Marie,
    I’m so glad you found the Harry Potter references useful! Thank you for reading my article.

  • A Marie

    The Harry Potter reference was very helpful, surprisingly. Thank you!

  • Kei

    Hello DM,
    Thanks for reaching out! Yes, I totally agree – we have to bring these ramen shops back!

  • DM

    I, too, am worried to see great ramen disappearing and more and more indie restaurants in my area close. Thank you for the tips on options for home, but we’ve got to bring back the ramen shops!!!

  • Kei

    Hi Hans,
    Thanks for leaving a comment!
    I’m so glad you found our article fun to read!
    Hope you were able to learn some new facts about ramen!

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