10 Delicious Toppings for Japanese Ramen

Updated on August 6, 2019
poppyr profile image

Poppy is passionate about dining out and will always try new types of foods on her travels. She currently lives in Tokyo.

Ramen noodles originally hailed from China but have become an incredibly popular food in Japan, as well. A hearty dish consisting of noodles in a hot broth with a variety of toppings, ramen can be found in every town and city in Japan, whether it be large chain stores or independent hole-in-the-wall eateries.

A delicious bowl of ramen
A delicious bowl of ramen | Source

When buying a bowl of ramen, it is important to know that there are many different kinds you can get.

Typical Ramen Broth Bases

  • Miso (soy bean paste). Miso ramen wasn't invented in Japan until the 1960s but is now considered one of the more common varieties. Miso is particularly popular in the Hokkaido region.
  • Shoyu (soy sauce). Darker in color and tangy in flavor, shoyu ramen hails from the Tokyo area.
  • Tonkotsu (pork bone). Delicious, thick, and meaty, tonkotsu is a popular base for ramen and originally came from the Kyushu area of Japan.
  • Shio (salt). Shio ramen is clearer in color and is a common base for Chinese ramen as well. It's considered a more traditional type of ramen.

Toppings also come in a huge variety so every ramen experience is different. Here are ten common toppings you can find on Japanese ramen.

1. Seaweed

Seaweed is a healthy and common ingredient in Japanese food. You will often find it on top of ramen in neat, dark green squares. It's delicious when dipped into the broth. There are two main types of seaweed found in ramen:

  • Wakame, which is sweeter and softer. It's also often found in miso soup.
  • Nori, which is harder and crunchier and is a sort of "processed" version of seaweed. You will often find nori on onigiri rice balls and certain types of sushi.

2. Bamboo

Crunchy strips of bamboo go perfectly with a bowl of hot ramen. Locally called menma, bamboo is one of my favorite ramen toppings and is highly recommended!

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3. Negi Onion

Negi onion (finely chopped scallions) is a refreshing addition to ramen to combat the saltiness of some other toppings. They're crunchy, delicious, and a yummy veggie part of the dish. Choosing negi or other greens is ideal if you're looking for a ramen dish that isn't too heavy or high in calories.

4. Pork

Chashu pork is an incredibly popular ramen topping. Depending on the restaurant, they will either serve thin strips or juicy thick pieces. The latter is just heaven for meat lovers, especially when it's cooked to melt in your mouth!

Source

5. Egg

Eggs often come with ramen dishes but there is nearly always the option to add extra. There are two types of egg you can get:

  • Kata-yude tamago (hard-boiled)
  • Han-juku tamago (soft-boiled)

I personally love soft-boiled, which goes perfectly with some hot broth. Japanese eggs are often eaten soft-boiled or raw, and their high quality ensures there is no risk of food poisoning. I usually get an extra egg and save it for the end. Yum!

6. Naruto

Naruto is a little fish cake sometimes found in ramen. They're easy to eat and their cute shape make them aesthetically pleasing as well as delicious.

Source

7. Garlic

Garlic can sometimes be ordered at no extra cost to crush and add to your ramen broth to give it a garlicky kick. Just be careful not to accidentally eat a piece whole!

8. Butter

Butter is less common but still found in some ramen restaurants. I've never ordered it, but I imagine it's yummy when it's melted into the hot broth and onto your noodles.

9. Corn

If you're a fan of corn, it's a good idea to get a handful of it on top of your ramen. It mixes in with the noodles and provides a pleasant crunch to your meal.

Source

10. Beansprouts

Beansprouts, or moyashi in Japanese, are another essential ramen topping! A big pile of crunchy beansprouts is just delicious with hot and salty ramen broth. Give it a try.

These aren't all of the toppings you can find on ramen, but they're the most common! There is nothing like a delicious bowl of noodles with your favorite ingredients to warm you up on a winter's day. If you're a fan of spicy food, you can also find ramen with chili peppers to give your meal a spicy kick. What is your favorite topping?

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Poppy

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      • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

        Poppy 

        3 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        I crave ramen after a night out too! Bless those ramen restaurant owners whose places are open until the wee hours.

      • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

        Poppy 

        3 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Hi, Liza. Thank you for your comment. Eggs are a winner for sure.

      • profile image

        Jo 

        3 months ago

        Looks delicious. I love a big bowl of ramen after a night out in Nagoya.

      • lizmalay profile image

        Liza 

        3 months ago from UT,USA

        Hi Poppy, I love spicy ramen. My favorite toppings are beansprouts, sliced scallions and of course eggs! Ramen is one of my favorite food during cold weather. Thanks for sharing!

      • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

        Poppy 

        3 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Thank you so much, Shawindi!

      • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

        Poppy 

        3 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Hi, Liz! Ramen is very versatile. There are healthy versions and proper junk food versions. It's the classic dish after a drunk night out. Sort of like kebabs to English people.

      • Shawindi Silva profile image

        Shawindi Silva 

        3 months ago from Sri lanka

        Amazing !!!

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

        You have given ideas in this article to suit every taste. Ramen sound like a very versatile dish.

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