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Skip the ramen shop and make this weeknight easy Shoyu Ramen Broth at home instead. With this simplified method and the right components on hand, you'll be enjoying your ramen bar worthy bowl in about 30 minutes - including making the broth.
Some ramen toppings like Soy Sauce Eggs and Chashu Pork or Crispy Pork Belly are easy to make, but need to be made a day or two in advance. But a little bit of forethought will be well worth the result! Follow the easy steps below to build your perfect bowl of ramen.
Shoyu Ramen Broth Ingredients
- Water: ideally filtered water
- Dried Kombu: Look for this dried, eidble sea kelp / seaweed in an Asian market or in the Asian food section of many large supermarkets.
- Katsobushi: also called bonito flakes (simmered, smoked and fermented skipjack tuna)
- Pork Broth: ideally homemade Pork Bone Broth
- Chicken Broth: ideally homemade Chicken Broth
- Soy Sauce: ideally good quality Japanese soy sauce ("shoyu" is a term that refers to Japanese style soy sauce) or use tamari for a gluten free version
- Rice Vinegar: unseasoned
- Mirin: or sake (higher alcohol content and lower sugar)
How is ramen broth made?
Ramen broth has two major components: stock and tare. The stock includes both animal broth made from bones (chicken, beef, pork or a combination) and dashi, which is fish stock. Steeping kombu (thick, dried sea kelp / seaweed) and katsuobushi (simmered, smoked and fermented skipjack tuna that is shaved and dried into paper thin flakes - also called bonito flakes) in water is the most common dashi (dried shiitake mushrooms are another typical ingredient).
While stock creates the complex but subtle foundation of broth, tare is the bold seasoning element made with a variety of ingredient combinations of: miso, mirin, soy sauce, salt and vinegar (among many others).
A Quick and Easy Method
Many shoyu ramen recipes have you steep a large quantity of dashi, which only lasts a few days in the refrigerator and no more than 3 months in the freezer. The more convenient way is to store dashi ingredients in your pantry. When stored in a cool dry place in a well sealed container, opened bonito flakes will last for 6 months to 1 year and dried seaweed / kelp will keep even longer.
And this quick and easy method incorporates all of the necessary elements at once: the meat broths, the dashi, and the tare ingredients. So you can make just enough Shoyu Ramen Broth (or Miso Ramen Broth) for one meal (or make more if you want leftovers), because you'll always have the ingredients on hand.
Essential Ramen Bowl Components
Broth: You'll need dashi (included in this recipe) and two varieties of meat broth, which you can buy or, ideally, make your own with these easy recipes: Homemade Chicken Broth and Pork Bone Broth (Beef Bone Broth would also be delicious!).
Ramen Noodles: You'll want 4 to 5-ounces of fresh noodles or 2 ½ to 3-ounces of dried per serving. I recommend Homemade Ramen Noodles; they're so much better than store bought and freeze beautifully.
Toppings: Your options are infinite when it comes to ramen toppings, from meats, vegetables, and eggs, to finishing touches like seasoned oils and sprinkled spice blends for extra flavor and crunch!
Chashu Pork is an unctuous ramen topping that's simple to make with just 10 minutes of prep and no rolling necessary.
Soy Sauce Eggs, made with 4 simple ingredients and 5 minutes of prep. Be sure to make them several hours ahead of time (ideally a day ahead) to give them time to soak up the richly flavorful marinade.
Vegetables: Blanched, steamed or stir-fried vegetables are a welcome addition to ramen bowls. Follow your cravings to let what you have on hand guide you: mushrooms, snap peas, spring onion or green onion, spinach, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, chard, bok choy, and more.
Shoyu Ramen Recipe, Step by Step
- Set bowls out in a warm place.
- Prepare your desired toppings (vegetables and meats) and garnishes so they're ready to add to the bowl (including peeling eggs and cutting in half if using).
- Heat a large pot of water to boil for the noodles.
- Set broth in another pan to simmer while the noodle water comes to boil.
- Add fresh ramen noodles to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes (dried ramen noodles for 4 minutes).
- Meanwhile, ladle hot broth into bowls (~12 ounces / 1 ½-cups per bowl).
- Drain noodles and divide among bowls.
- Arrange hot garnishes like Chashu Pork and cooked vegetables in the bowl along with egg halves.
- Drizzle broth with seasoned oil if using.
- Finish with sprinkled seasonings, finely sliced green onion and/or nori if desired. Serve right away.
How to Make Shoyu Ramen Broth
Bring cold water and kombu to simmer in a medium saucepan.
Remove saucepan from heat and stir in bonito flakes; let stand 5 minutes. Strain out and discard solids.
Return liquid (dashi) to saucepan and add pork broth, chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar and mirin; bring to simmer. Serve.
Shoyu Ramen Broth
- 2 cups water
- ¼ ounce dried kombu 7g (recipe note #1)
- ¼ ounce dried bonito flakes 7g, or a lightly rounded, loosely filled ½ cup dry measure (also called shaved katsobushi - recipe note #1)
- 2 cups pork broth low sodium, ideally homemade Pork Bone Broth
- 2 cups chicken broth low sodium, ideally homemade Chicken Broth
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- In a medium saucepan, combine water and kombu; bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in bonito flakes; let stand 5 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out and discard solids (or reserve for a second use). Return liquid (dashi) to saucepan and add remaining ingredients (pork broth, chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar and mirin). Bring to simmer. Serve immediately (see post for assembling a shoyu ramen bowl) or cool and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.