On Ramen Noodles


Hello!  First and foremost, I am not a ramen chef.  Everything I have learned, I learned from videos on YouTube (a LOT of videos on YouTube).  There are a ton of great references that you can go to, and one of the best English-speaking references is “The Way of Ramen” on YouTube.

Here is a link to his channel:


Almost every recipe that I have ever made is based off of his, or is quite literally his recipe.  Also, most of his recipes are his take on other Ramen makers recipes from YouTube or ramen books. 

All this being said, if you want “easy mode” I would just suggest watching his videos and making the ramen from the recipes in his videos.  If you are a glutton for punishment and want to try and follow my ADHD filled madness, then by all means, carry on. 

I don’t know your ramen level, so I have to assume that you only know ramen as those overly salty instant noodle soup packets you get at the store for a quarter a pack (or however much they cost now, they’ll always cost a quarter in my mind).  Those packets aren’t bad, but they aren't great. Pale, spongy noodles with a semi-mystery flavored broth (Well, they say the flavor on the package, but do they ever really taste like the flavor they say they are?).  They are enough to satisfy any bachelor or bachelorette on a budget.  However, anyone that has had real ramen knows the incredible levels that this simple dish can be elevated to.  Not just a simple stone’s throw from the packets, but a universe away, the only similarity is the principle of the dish.  But I digress, let’s get to the ramen.

Ramen is made from several different components.  The most basic being 4 things: Noodles, broth, Aroma oil, and Tare.  The noodles are made with an alkali, which gives them their wonderfully chewy texture.  The broth does not have ANY salt in it whatsoever, but it provides all the body that the ramen will express.  The Tare is the strength of the ramen.  It provides all the sodium and glutamates, and because of this you will only be adding a small amount per bowl.  The aroma oil provides a lusciousness and level of comfort that those packets are really missing.  In fact, next time you make a packet, if you have some aroma oil, throw a little in and see how much better your packet of ramen is. 

Anyways, before I go off on another tangent, here are the recipes:

Shoyu Tare:

100 ml - Niboshi Dashi (recipe below)

470 ml – Shoyu – (good, natural Japanese soy sauce like Kikkoman)

50 ml – Sake

17 g – MSG (Aji no moto in the Asian stores)

20 ml – Nampla – (Fish sauce, squid brand is a good one, but any good brand will do)

40 ml – Hon Mirin (Aji Mirin is ok too, it is a sweet cooking rice wine)

58 g – Salt

20 g – garlic

20 g – ginger

30 g – green onion


Combine everything and heat to just before boiling.  Remove from heat, cover and let sit (with everything still in it) for at least 3 hours, or overnight.  Strain and store in the fridge.  I store mine in an old vinegar jar, that way I can pour it out when I need it.  It will be incredibly salty, which it should be. 


Niboshi Dashi

20 g – Niboshi (dried anchovies, you can find them online)

10 g – Kombu (seaweed for broth)

200 ml – water


Place everything in a small pot, heat very slowly over about 45 minutes until it ALMOST comes to a boil and is reduced to about 100 ml. (DO NOT LET IT BOIL!  Well you can let it boil, but the Niboshi broth will be a little bitter if you do).


Broth (Tonkotsu broth)

4-6 lbs of pork bones with cartilage (pork trotters and tails work well)

1 leek

1 large yellow onion

5 cloves garlic

1 inch ginger root


Rinse the pork bones and put them in a very large stock pot.  Cover with plenty of water.  Bring to a light boil and skim the scum that forms on the top.  Let slowly boil for about 20 minutes.  Drain off all the water, rinse the bones again and scrub off any blood or scum that is on the bones.  Place back in the pot and bring back to a boil.  What you are trying to do is make sure there is no blood left in the bones, because it will discolor the broth.  If the water can come to a boil without turning a dark pink, then you’re good.  Let the bones boil (adding more water as necessary for about 6 hours).   Remove from the heat and cool on the stove.  Store the broth in the fridge or in a cooler with ice overnight.  The fat will solidify on the top.  Remove it and keep it aside. Bring the broth back up to a boil, and when it is, add the leek , onion, garlic, and ginger (all roughly chopped).  Let it boil for another 4-6 hours.  Then remove from heat, and strain everything out.  You might have to use 2 different sieves, a wide and a fine.  The broth should be a milky white color (maybe a bit yellow depending on your bones).  Done.

Broth 2 (Tori Paitan, use this if you can’t find pork bones)

4 “Stewing hens” or laying hens (the more yellow the fat the better)

1 leek

1 large yellow onion

5 cloves garlic

1 inch ginger root


This is made exactly like the Tonkotsu broth above, except you don’t have to do the pre-boil.  You can just boil it from the beginning.  After you cool it, save the fat like you did with the Tonkotsu broth, then boil with the vegetables. 


So, after 2 days of hard work, you have some broth.  Great job!  But I bet you’re wondering what to do with that pork or chicken fat that you took from the broth after it cooled…..


Aroma oil:

Fat from the broth (pork, chicken, beef, whatever)


Neutral flavored oil (Canola, grapeseed, etc.)

Total oil or fat should be about ½ cup



Green onion


In a frying pan, render the fat and slowly heat.  Add in sliced garlic, ginger, and green onion or any combination of the three.  Slowly bring up to medium heat and let fry until the garlic is golden and the green onions are well incorporated in the oil.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve and cool before storing in the refrigerator.  Bonus tip:  make sure you use something that can handle the heat (like a pyrex bowl), or else you’ll have an exploding glass grease bomb.  It may smell good, but it won’t feel good.  Either that or just cool it enough on the stove before you transfer to a fridge storable container. (Just so you know – yes, I learned the hard way.)


Now that you have all the good stuff, time to make a bowl of ramen.  The key to a good bowl of ramen is timing.  Always have your broth hot and ready to go before your noodles are cooking.  Do steps 1-3 just before your noodles are done.  You should be adding the broth just in time to put down the ladle and strain the noodles.

Step 1.  Add your tare to the bowl (tare is 1 to 10 for broth), I use 40ml tare to 400ml broth

Step 2. Add your aroma oil (1 Tbsp is about right, or 20 ml.  Don’t worry if it isn’t melted, the broth will melt it.

Step 3. Add your broth (like I said before, 10 parts broth to 1 part tare, but adjust to your taste.)

Step 4. Strain the noodles and use some chopsticks to “lay” them in the broth.

Step 5. Marvel in the (hopefully) best bowl of ramen you have ever had.


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