Ramen 101

Thanks for reading our first blog post, and our first edition of Noodle News! Noodle News highlights ramen happenings, articles, and pretty much anything that's related to ramen that's not a restaurant review or a DIY recipe.

Doesn't ramen come in a packet?

You might be asking yourself what the big deal is about a packet of dried noodles that you throw into a pot of water. While instant ramen is a staple of colleges everywhere, and shares the name, it is far from the ramen we are talking about, and considerably less tasty. Ramen has so many varieties and has such complex flavors all made with the freshest ingredients; it's a thing of beauty. 

Ramen basics: 

Ramen consists of a broth, noodles, and countless toppings. Here is a brief overview of the more common varieties.

Broth:

  • Tonkotsu - A pork bone based broth
  • Shoyu - A broth seasoned with soy sauce
  • Miso - A broth seasoned miso
  • Shio - A broth seasoned with salt

Noodles: 

  • Thin
  • Wavy  
  • Thick

Common toppings include:

  • Chashu Pork - Roasted pork
  • Egg
  • Kikurage - Wood Ear Mushrooms  
  • Menma - lacto-fermented bamboo shoots

  • Scallions  
  • Kamaboko - Fish Cake
  • Corn
  • Nori -  Seaweed

We could break it down further, but rather than attempt to explain it all properly we decided to share Serious Eats Guide to Ramen Styles written by the kind of ramen expert we hope to be some day - J. Kenji López-Alt the Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats.

grew up as a nomad, and currently calls New York home. When he's not slurping noodles he's editing stuff for TV. He's a quarter Japanese and has been using chopsticks since he can remember. His go to ramen order: Spicy shoyu with wavy noodles.