Useful terms to enjoy Ramen
Shio ramen soup is a light, clear broth seasoned with salt. It is typically made from chicken broth, but can also be flavored with other meats such as pork. Shio ramen is the oldest and most fundamental style of ramen. It consists of an amber-tinted soup base made from salt, chicken, fish, vegetables and sea weed. This ramen’s selling point is that, because the base is not boiled very long, the soup stays clear; this allows you to savor the natural, individual flavor of each ingredient. Thus, shio ramen has the lightest taste out of all four ramen variations.
Miso ramen’s soup is flavored with soybean paste (miso), resulting in a thick, brown soup with a rich and complex flavor. The style originated in Hokkaido where the long cold winters spurred the need for a heartier type of ramen soup, but it has spread to the point where it can be found pretty much anywhere in Japan.
“Shoyu” basically means soy sauce in Japanese. The soup is usually made of chicken broth but often contains other meats such as pork, beef or fish depending on the region. Shoyu ramen is the most common type of ramen and is usually what is served when the menu does not specify a specific type of soup. The soup consists of vegetable and chicken foundation with some soy sauce. The soup is clear brown and has a light, but firm taste. Despite its salty flavor, the abundance of soy sauce gives it a slight difference from its shio-based cousin.
Tonkotsu is directly translated into pork bones. You get the soup by boiling porkbones for a very long time, resulting in a very white soup base perfect for ramen.
- Going off tangent from the traditional ramen style, is this “Tan Tan Men”. This type of noodles originated in Szechwan, where people love spicy food. Using many different spices such as peppers and chili oil, the fried minced meat packs a punch of spice on top of the spicy sauce, making it a very attractive option for spicy gourmets.
- The “Paitan” soup is a chicken based broth. It is made from the process of not boiling the soup while it is cooking to increase its transparency, and it has a very delicate flavor.
- “Tan Men” is a style originated in Japan where you simmer fried meat and vegetables in a salt based soup, poured on top of the noodles. The salt based soup is made with a very light flavor, making it very easy to eat. “Tan Men” offers both meat and vegetables which means this is a very healthy style of ramen.
- Barbecued marinated pork