Have you tried miso ramen before? This past summer, we went to Hokkaido in Japan which is the birth place of Sapporo Miso Ramen. The bowl of miso ramen from Tenhou in the fame Ramen Alley was heavenly. The tasty miso broth and chewy and wavy ramen noodles inspired me to create the video for my miso ramen recipe which I shared in 2011.
In my previous post, I mentioned about the recent ramen craze in the U.S. and a lot of JOC readers around the world commented that this craze is happening not just within the U.S.
When I first came to the Bay Area close to 20 years ago, I remember there was one decent ramen shop that we used to go. They served a bowl of ramen that’s pretty good – close to the quality of ramen in Japan. And when I talked to people about ramen back then, most people thought I was talking about Top Ramen – the packaged instant noodles.
Fast forward 20 years, there are gourmet ramen shops all over the Bay Area. Most of them are pretty good, and luckily some of the best ramen shops are really close to where we live. Often times we see lines outside of the ramen shops around lunch and dinner times, and on the weekends the lines form even before the restaurants open.
In Japan, ramen can be roughly categorized into three types: ramen at a ramen shop, instant ramen noodles, and homemade ramen that you can make at home.
Among the ramen shops in Japan, there are a few varieties as well from tiny mom and pop ramen shops in neighborhood, to ramen stands like inside train/subway stations, and to big ramen chains with stores all over Japan and other countries.
Regardless of what type of shop it is, one thing is certain: if the ramen is good there will be a line going out the door.
Instant ramen noodles have been around for a long time in Japan. When you go to a supermarket or convenient store, there are many choices from traditional packaging to ones with advanced technology, new flavors, and really cool packaging.
Some instant packages now even contain fresh noodles that are vacuumed packed to improve the taste. The soup stocks are usually pretty good too, but I won’t say this is the healthiest option since they contain quite a bit of processed ingredients.
Finally, the homemade ramen. It’s actually pretty common for Japanese moms to make ramen at home. Most people however don’t make ramen noodles and soup from scratch and instead use prepackaged fresh noodles and concentrated soup base that comes with the package.
You can find several brands of fresh ramen packages imported from Japan in the refrigerated section of Japanese supermarkets here in the U.S. as well.
This store organizes the packages by the type of soup (How interesting! Different companies use same color packaging for same type of soup base!). Here, you see Shoyu (soy sauce) on the left, Miso in the middle, and Tonkotsu (pork) flavor on the right.
In the US, Sun Noodles in New Jersey makes fresh ramen noodles and distribute throughout the states. For my ramen recipe, I used JUST the noodles from Sun Noodles package and disposed of the soup package.
Making good ramen soup with bone stock from scratch requires time and a lot of work. For the home use, instead of spending many hours making the soup base, I’ll show you how to make a delicious ramen soup that takes just 15 minutes. This miso soup base tastes much better than the soup base that comes with the fresh ramen noodle package.
As for this recipe, I do NOT recommend to omit any ingredient other than sake. You can add more Spicy Chili Bean Paste (La Doubanjiang) if you like spicy flavor, but 1 tsp. is necessary to add the depth to enhance the flavor. White pepper adds nice kick without spiciness and it can be found in Asian markets.
If you’re interested in Shoyu (soy sauce) Ramen, please click here for the recipe.
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- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 shallot
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- ¼ lb (113 g) ground pork
- 1 tsp. Chili Bean Sauce/Paste (La Doubanjiang)
- 3 Tbsp. miso (I use awase miso)
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. sake
- 4 cups (1 L) chicken stock/broth
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. white pepper
- 2 serving ramen noodles
- Ramen Topping Suggestion:
- Chashu (Recipe)
- Spicy Bean Sprout Salad (Recipe)
- Ramen Eggs (Recipe)
- Corn kernels
- Nori (seaweed)
- Chopped scallion/green onion
- Pickled red ginger (Kizami Beni Shoga)
- Shiraga Negi (optional)
- La-yu (Japanese chili oil) (optional)
- Mince the garlic, ginger, and shallot.
- Grind sesame seeds.
- In a medium pot, heat sesame oil over medium heat and cook the minced garlic, ginger, and shallot until fragrant.
- Add the meat and increase heat to medium high. Cook the meat until no longer pink.
- Add spicy bean paste (La Doubanjiang) and miso.
- And add sesame seeds and sugar and mix well.
- Add sake, chicken stock, salt and pepper.
- Keep the ramen soup simmered.
- Noodles will be done cooking in less than 2 minutes. Therefore, prepare ramen toppings first so you can serve the hot ramen immediately.
- Bring a large pot of un-salted water to a boil (ramen noodles already have salt in the dough) While boiling, take some hot water into serving bowls to warm up the bowls. Loosen up the noodles and cook according to the package instructions. I usually cook the noodles al dente (about 15 seconds earlier than suggested time).
- When noodles are done, quickly pick them up with a mesh sieve. You don’t want to dilute your soup, so make sure you drain the water well. Serve the noodles into bowls.
- Add the soup and top with various toppings you’ve prepared. I put chashu, ramen egg, spicy bean sprout salad, corn, scallion, shiraga negi, pickled red ginger, and a sheet of nori.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally shared in May 2011. New video and photos are added in September 2014. Recipe is slightly adjusted.