Did you think that the main dish of Japanese cuisine is sushi?
It is not so. That’s why we bring you recipes for ramen, a strong and rich soup that belongs to the traditional dishes of Japan.
What goes into this meal?
There are many variations, but the basis is an honest broth, meat, spicy seasonings and lots of vegetables.
If you want to try a recipe from the other side of the world, get inspired by our tips.
A full bowl of fragrant hot Asian soup doesn’t have to be a waste of time or money. Simple chicken ramen can be prepared easily even without previous experience in cooking Japanese food.
For the broth:
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 4 spring onions
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 small carrot
- 100 g mushrooms (mushrooms, shiitake)
- 200 g Chinese cabbage, fresh spinach, curly cabbage or similar types of salad
- a piece of fresh ginger (about 8 cm)
- 1.5 l of chicken stock (homemade is ideal)
- 1 tablespoon of cane sugar
For the soup:
- 4 larger eggs
- 500 g ramen noodles (pre-cooked or 300 g dry)
- 2 chicken breasts
- soy sauce
- sriracha or other Asian hot sauce
- a handful of fresh coriander
- chili peppers (optional to taste)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add finely chopped spring onion, diced carrots, mushrooms and cabbage. Sauté for 3 minutes or until the vegetables soften a bit.
- Add grated ginger and sugar. Sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Finally, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
- Add salt to taste.
- While the broth is cooking, hard-boil the eggs, ideally for 7 minutes, to soften the yolk a little. Put the boiled eggs in cold water so that they peel well and set aside.
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the product package.
- Boil the chicken in salted water, after cooking, cut it into slices.
- Divide the noodles into large bowls (4 servings).
- Pour the broth with the vegetables and add the eggs cut in half and the chicken.
- Sprinkle each bowl with cilantro and chilli and a squeeze of lime. Serve the sauces separately so that everyone can enjoy the soup in their own way.
Traditional Japanese soup can be prepared from different types of meat, this time it is a recipe with ground pork. In this variant, a less well-known but now commonly available vegetable is used – Chinese brussels sprouts. If you can’t find it, at least use Chinese cabbage instead.
- 30 g dried mushrooms (shiitake or champignons)
- 400 g of dried ramen noodles
- 2 smaller broccoli
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 500 g of minced pork
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 4 spring onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons of white or yellow miso paste
- 2 liters of homemade chicken stock
- 2 spoons of soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons srirachi
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 zucchini
- 4 larger eggs
- 1 handful of coarsely chopped basil
- Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them soak until needed.
- Pour the chicken stock into the pot and bring to a boil.
- Cook the ramen noodles in the broth according to the instructions on the package, and during the last minute of cooking, add the rutabagas, cut in half. After cooking the noodles and the tuber, take them out and rinse them in cold water.
- Heat the sesame oil in a pot, add the pork, ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ pepper. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add half of the chopped spring onions and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes.
- Add the miso and stir for another 30 seconds.
- Add broccoli stock, soy sauce and 2 teaspoons sriracha.
- Drain the mushrooms and add them to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Then uncover the lid and cook for another 5 minutes. You can season the soup to taste.
- While the soup is cooking, hard-boil the eggs and grate the carrots and zucchini lengthwise into thin strips.
- Divide the noodles, tuberose, carrot and zucchini into the prepared bowls.
- Then pour the soup evenly, top with the sliced eggs, basil and the rest of the spring onions.
- You can drizzle with sesame oil and sriracha to taste.
Creamy miso soup
This creamy, vegetarian miso option comes in handy whenever you’re in the mood for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner. The soup has a pleasant creamy consistency, is slightly spicy and flavored with special Asian flavorings, which you can usually find in stores today. You won’t find any meat in it, but that’s not a bad thing at all.
- 1.5 l of vegetable broth
- 60 ml of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 60 g sesame tahini paste
- 3 tablespoons of white miso paste
- 50 g of dried mushrooms
- 600 g of fresh mushrooms (shiitake or champignons)
- 400 g Chinese cabbage or baby spinach
- a piece of fresh ginger (about 7-8 cm)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 small shallots
- 2 packages of ramen noodles (200 g each)
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- 2 handfuls of fresh coriander
- 4-6 eggs
- 1 carrot
- 2 spring onions
- In a large soup pot, combine the stock, soy sauce, vinegar, tahini, and miso. Add dried mushrooms, grated ginger and crushed garlic. Place on the stove over medium heat and let it cook.
- Then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the broth is fragrant.
- Remove the mushrooms and increase the cooking temperature again. Stir in the noodles, chopped Chinese cabbage and cilantro and cook for 5 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the fresh mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Coat a baking tray with baking paper with olive oil.
- Add finely chopped shallots, mushrooms, sesame seeds, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes (stir halfway through) until the mushrooms are golden.
- Meanwhile, hard-boil the eggs.
- Prepare the bowls. Add cooked noodles with cabbage, add fried mushrooms, finely chopped carrot strips and spring onions.
- Pour the broth over the base and add one boiled egg, cut in half, to each bowl.
- Top with fresh cilantro.
Discover similar tips
Beef ramen with sweet potato
Ramen with beef is a very popular variant of this Japanese specialty. Tender slices of beef and a strong broth with fresh vegetables work great, and it’s up to everyone how spicy they make the soup. Lemon grass or different types of sprouts are also suitable for decoration.
- 4 spring onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 liter of beef broth
- 500 ml of water
- 1 sweet potato (batata)
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 225 g ramen noodles
- 250 g beef tenderloin
- bean sprout
- fresh cilantro
- Saute finely chopped spring onion (white part), garlic and ginger together with chili flakes in olive oil.
- Add broth, water, sweet potato cut into smaller pieces, fish sauce and soy sauce.
- Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the sweet potato is sweet.
- Add the noodles to the broth and cook for 3 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, sear the meat on both sides in a pan over high heat, season with salt and pepper.
- Leave to rest for 5 minutes and then slice the tenderloin.
- Pour the soup into bowls, add the meat and garnish with bean sprouts, green parts of spring onions and coriander. Drizzle with lime.
TIP: Do you like the strong taste of beef broth? Check out our inspiring beef stock recipes.
Japanese soup with shrimp
How to transform the taste of a strong vegetable broth into a soup with the taste of seafood? Put her in the hands of the shrimp. Shrimp with lime acidity, a bit of hot srirachi and lots of fresh vegetables taste really good.
For the soup:
- 250 g of fresh shrimp (they can also be frozen)
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped shallots
- 120-180 g portobello mushrooms
- 1 liter of high-quality vegetable broth
- 120 g ramen noodles
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- 2-3 spoons of finely chopped fresh spring onions
- 1 lime
For decoration (optional):
- sesame seeds
- chili flakes
- jalapeño peppers (cut into rounds)
- fresh spinach
- boiled eggs
- If using frozen shrimp, thaw them. You can also use the tail, this crust will give the broth a great seafood taste.
- Heat the oil over medium heat and fry the sliced shallots and mushrooms.
- Put the mushrooms and shallots aside and pour the stock into the pot. Bring it to a boil and cook the noodles in it according to the instructions. Shortly before cooking the noodles, add the soy sauce, sriracha and shrimp to the broth.
- Stir in the juice of half a lime and season as needed.
- Pour the broth and noodles into bowls.
- Garnish the soup with lime quarters, green onions, sesame seeds and other garnishes to taste.
Why is this soup so traditional?
If you were ever looking for a truly traditional Japanese meal, it would be ramen. A strong broth with meat, spicy spices and lots of vegetables is a staple of Japanese cuisine today, and you can find it on every corner.
However, the tradition does not go back very far. The soup began to be cooked about a hundred years ago, its origin is even according to some sources in China. From there, traders brought it to Japan, and the tradition is so strong in Japan today that ramen even has its own museum in Yokohama.
There are many versions, and more like a soup, ramen is seen as a main course. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation, but the base is a strong broth with various types of meat, fresh vegetables, eggs and noodles.
The noodles may be the main distinction by which this dish is divided – ramen udon and ramen soba. Udon noodles are wider, white wheat noodles, while soba noodles are thin, darker, and usually made from buckwheat or rye. As for our recipes, it’s up to you which ones you use in the broth.
You will also often come across the term miso in connection with recipes for this Asian specialty. This is one of the popular ingredients. Miso is a special soy paste made from boiled soybeans mixed with sea salt and koji mushroom culture. All this is left to ferment for several months, often even several years.
Japanese food is traditionally eaten with chopsticks, but how you enjoy it is up to you.