How to Eat Ramen: Must-Try Dishes

Ramen menus can vary widely depending on the restaurant's specialties, but look for some of these staple bowls and appetizers.

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Navigating the Menu

Heading out for a bowl of ramen? Menus can vary widely from restaurant to restaurant, but here are some classics you'll want to zone in on if they're offered.

Pork Gyoza

Fried pork dumplings served with soy sauce

Nikuman

Steamed flour dough buns stuffed with meat (usually pork) or vegetables and served with soy sauce for dipping

Fried Pig Ears

Crispy fried pig ears, seasoned and served with lemon

Donburi

A hearty rice dish often served with seafood and topped with nori seaweed and a blend of spices

Shio

Shio or "salt" ramen is a pale, clear, yellowish broth made with plenty of salt and any combination of chicken, vegetables, fish and seaweed. The noodle texture and thickness varies for shio ramen, but the noodles are usually straight rather than curly.

Shoyu

Shoyu or "soy sauce" ramen has a clear brown broth based on a chicken and vegetable stock with plenty of soy sauce added, resulting in a tangy, salty and savory soup that is still fairly light on the palate. This take on the classic Japanese soup is often served with curly noodles rather than straight ones.

Miso

This uniquely Japanese ramen usually features thick, curly noodles and a broth combining miso (fermented soybean paste) with chicken or fish broth.

Tonkotsu

Tonkotsu or "pork bone" ramen has a cloudy, white-colored broth made from boiling pork fat and bones over high heat for many hours, resulting in a hearty pork flavor and a creamy consistency that resembles milk, melted butter or gravy, depending on the shop. This rich broth usually comes with straight, thin noodles.

Spicy Tonkotsu

HinoMaru's signature bowl of spicy Tonkotsu ramen

Meat Toppings

Pork belly and chicken meatballs

Seafood Toppings

Squid, crab, oyster and shrimp with a spicy sauce

Vegetable Toppings

Greens, bean sprouts, cucumber, scallion, corn, mushroom, carrot, broccoli and cauliflower 

More from:

Restaurants