Usually, ramen soup consists of 3 components:
Broth (dashi) + Sauce (tare) + Seasoning Oil (Koumiyu)
Ramen soup is the core of ramen.
1. It is something like besker for Mandalorians
"The soup is essentially the soul of the ramen."
This is a widely agreed upon "fact" of ramen enthusiasts.
But why is the soup so important?
Do you know how much time and effort goes into preparing ramen broth?
Let's take a look behind the scenes today…
2. I am a ramen lover, soup is part of my religion
10 PM on a day in December when I was 9 years old, I heard the sound of a horn.
It was the sign of a ramen food truck in my neighborhood - think ice cream truck, but selling ramen.
I asked my dad if we could eat ramen.
He was tipsy and feeling happy because of the beer. And said to me "Sure".
When I was a kid, I was not supposed to eat anything after 8 PM, and I was supposed to sleep at this late hour.
So eating ramen at 10 PM was something that made me feel a little guilty,
But I was excited and I felt like I was a grown-up.
Have you ever had this kind of experience when you were a kid?
We brought 2,000 yen and 2 soup bowls to the street...
3. What is "Dashi"?
A lot of ramen restaurants start preparing the broth at least two days before it is used.
In Japan, some chefs will close down their store for the day if they aren't 100% satisfied with the flavor of their broth.
This is because the soup is a very important element of the dish and will alter the overall taste of the ramen.
(They are so serious about their art, right?)
Broth is made up of water and a combination of pork bone, beef bone, chicken bone, bonito, konbu (kelp), mushroom, or scallops.
You boil the ingredients for many hours to get the flavors to transfer into the soup.
The ingredients itself, however, are not used and are thrown away in the end.
The broth is the building block of ramen soup stock,
As it has the most important element of "umami."
4. Element of umami is very important
The key point is combining different types of umami taste together:
Inosinic acid + Glutamic acid + Guanosine Monophosphate
Mix a combination of these together:
Inosinic acid - pork and/or bonito
Glutamic acid - chicken bone and/or konbu.
Guanosine monophosphate - shiitake mushrooms
The umami flavor gets bolder and exponentially stronger when you combine them together versus using only one type of umami.
5. What is "Tare"?
The purpose of tare is to give the soup its salty taste. There are many types of tare - soy sauce tare, salt tare, and miso tare.
Soy sauce tare is in a liquid form, miso tare is a paste, and salt tare is a powder.
Chefs choose tare based on the broth they are making.
For example, if the broth is a light one, you pick salt tare to match the plain and simple style of the broth.
If the broth is thick, you use miso tare in order to create a thick and creamy soup base.
6. What is "Koumiyu"?
Seasoning oil gives ramen its flavor.
In addition, using koumiyu keeps the ramen hot because it covers the surface of the soup, trapping the heat inside.
Some types of koumiyu include chicken oil, pork fatback, and bonito.
You must be thinking “How can I make ramen broth from scratch?” or "Is it even possible to make ramen soup at home?"
The answer is YES!
7. Let me share a ramen soup recipe with you
This should be the first recipe you learn when making ramen soup from scratch.
Because it is a standard and widely-used recipe in Japanese ramen restaurants and proven to be popular amongst diners.
8. How to make “dashi” (broth)
Ingredients (3 Ramen Bowl Servings)
- Ginger 1 small piece
- Garlic 2 cloves
- Onion 1
- Green onion 1
- bonito 1 handful
- Pork bone (shin-bone and thigh-bone) 17oz (or 500 ml)
- Bone of whole chicken
- Chicken wings 4 pieces
In a large pot, boil pork bones and chicken bones together.
The bones need to be boiled in water before they are used in the soup in order to thoroughly clean them from any residual smell.
They should be boiled until the bones change into a lighter color, which should take about 1 minute or less.
Wash the bones thoroughly with cold water in order to get rid of any residue still remaining.
If not cleaned thoroughly, the soup will not be transparent and umami flavor cannot come out
Make cracks in the pork bone using a hammer, without breaking it off into small pieces.
This step ensures that the umami flavor from inside the pork bone can be transferred into the soup.
Making the Soup
- Put pork bone, onion, green onion, garlic, and ginger into a pot of water.
- Using high heat, mix them and get rid of the foam that floats to the top.
Put the chicken bone and wings into the pot.
- Close the lid.
After the water boils, open the lid and get rid of the foam again.
- Boil the contents in the pot for one hour using medium heat.
Put bonito in and boil it for another two hours using medium heat.
Get rid of all the contents in the pot, except the liquid and your broth is done!
Some key points to remember:
Refrain from getting rid of the foam many times as they will break into small pieces and make taking them out of the pot more difficult.
This will cause your broth to become cloudy.
Great! You now have the recipe for an amazing ramen base, so now, how do we kick your ramen game up a notch?
Let’s look at how to make shoyu ramen sauce (tare) and seasoning oil (koumiyu) today!
9. How to make “tare” (sauce)
tare ramen sauce how to make
Tare gives ramen its saltiness. In the past, ramen chefs used to use chashu marinade as tare.
Nowadays, chefs make their own separate variations of tare, which is unique to their own restaurant.
Popular tare types are soy sauce tare, miso tare, and salt tare.
This time, we will be looking at soy sauce tare.
Ingredients (for 3 ramen bowls):
- Chicken skin: 3.5oz (100g)
- Soy sauce: 1.7oz (50ml)
- Water: 1.7oz (50ml)
- Sake: 1 tbsp (or 15ml)
Place chicken skin onto a frying pan (The umami flavor for this sauce comes from chicken skin)
Cook chicken skin using low heat
After the skin gets crispy, pour in sake, soy sauce and water.
After boiling, turn off the heat and put the lid on.
Wait until the sauce gets cold before using (Cooling down the sauce makes the soy sauce taste milder)
10. How to make “koumiyu” (seasoning oil)
The appetizing flavor in a ramen bowl comes from this flavored seasoning oil.
If there is no koumiyu, ramen soup becomes bland and the taste becomes flat.
Ingredients (for 3 ramen bowls):
- Bonito Flakes: 1 tbsp
- Lard (or olive oil) : 5 tbsp
Heat up the bonito in a pan in order to get its flavor. You’ll know it’s ready once you can smell the fragrant flavor of the bonito. Be careful not to burn the bonito flakes as they are thin and can burn easily.
Combine lard/oil with your heated bonito.
Heat up the pan using low to medium heat for 3 minutes.
Cool the pan down.
Try these recipes out along with the dashi recipe above to make your OWN ramen broth that is restaurant-grade!
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.
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?
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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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