Easy homemade spicy shoyu ramen recipe. Top with soft-boiled egg, fish cake, nori, and fall-apart tender chashu, this delicious bowl of spicy delight will sure satisfy your ramen craving!
Are you ready for some toothsome noodles, melt-in-your-mouth chashu pork, pickled bamboo shoots, fresh chopped scallion, and a spicy broth that you can’t stop slurping? I hope you are hungry because we’re going to make some hot bowl of Spicy Shoyu Ramen together. If noodle soup is your comfort food, you are going to enjoy this one.
What is Shoyu Ramen?
‘Shoyu’ means soy sauce in Japanese. Shoyu Ramen simply refers to ramen served with a soy sauce-based broth that is usually in clear, brown color. If you’re in Tokyo, Shoyu is the most familiar form of ramen you’ll find.
To make a good bowl of ramen is an art form itself. Ramen chefs pull together different elements to define the bowl of noodles. Even the simplest of ramen requires close attention to the ingredients, be it the broth or noodles, making sure each one interacting harmoniously. But, please don’t let this stop you from making ramen at home. So long you have a well-stocked Japanese/Asian pantry, it is possible to whip up ramen bowl that is of chef’s quality. The beauty of homemade ramen is you get to control the saltiness of the soup.
The Key Ingredients for Spicy Shoyu Ramen
Since we’re making Spicy Shoyu Ramen today, the key ingredient for the recipe is spicy chili bean paste (la doubanjiang). You can always make slight modifications to the spiciness level. If you can’t handle spicy food at all, you can use regular chili bean paste (doubanjiang) instead. More about this Broad Bean Paste (Doubanjiang) on this post and where you can find it.
1. The Noodles
The noodles used in Shoyu Ramen is usually the springy curly type. In my local Japanese grocery stores, they sell packages of fresh ramen noodles (with soup packages included, but I don’t use them). Sun Noodles make great noodles if you can find them locally.
2. The Broth
We all know that the broth defines ramen. It is what brings the dish together. But not many of us have the time to simmer the soup stock with bones and all for hours. To avoid compromising the flavor of homemade ramen broth, dashi is elemental to give it extra depth. The rest is all about putting together the other condiments such as soy sauce, chili bean paste, sesame oil, chicken stock, sake, and aromatics such as ginger and garlic in a pot and bring everything to a boil. A little bit of salt and sugar goes a long way. This will yield a flavorful, rich soup in less time.
3. The Toppings
There are various toppings that can go into this Spicy Shoyu Ramen. In this recipe, I top the ramen with chashu pork, menma (bamboo shoots), narutomaki (fish cake), scallion, shiraga negi (Japanese long green onion), nori, and a soft-boiled egg. It may read like a long list of toppings, but you can definitely decide what you’d like to add on to your ramen. Feel free to keep it simple or complex as you like, although I do think that a soft-boiled egg is almost compulsory. You can make soy-marinated ramen egg.
The workflow of assembling the ramen is to gather all your toppings first. Follow by cooking the soup broth and then the noodles. Make sure you cook the noodles just al dente because the hot broth will continue to cook the noodles. Soggy noodles in ramen is a no-no. When the bowl is ready, serve, and slurp! Swirl in a little bit of la-yu (Japanese chili oil) if you like an extra kick of spice. Enjoy!
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Spicy Shoyu Ramen
Soup (each ramen bowl requires about 1 ½ cup (355 ml) of broth + more for evaporation):
- 1 Tbsp roasted sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 knob ginger (1:m 2.5 cm; minced)
- 2 tsp doubanjiang (spicy chili bean sauce/broad bean paste) (you can buy a non-spicy version online.)
- 2 cups chicken stock/broth
- 2 cups dashi (Japanese soup stock; click to learn more) (I use kombu + katsuobushi broth, Awase Dashi)
- 2 ½ Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp sake
- 1 tsp kosher or sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 slices homemade chashu
- 1 soft-boiled egg
- 4 slices narutomaki (fish cakes)
- 2 Tbsp Menma (fermented bamboo shoots)
- 1 green onion/scallion (chopped)
- ½ sheet nori (seaweed) (cut in half)
- shiraga negi
- white pepper powder
- Korean Chili Thread (optional garnish)
- la-yu (Japanese chili oil) (optional for more spice)
To Prepare Toppings
- Prepare ramen toppings ahead of time so you can serve ramen hot immediately. Here are some topping examples; I usually put Chashu, Ramen Egg, blanched bean sprout (or Spicy Bean Sprouts), corn kernels, Shiraga Negi, chopped green onion, and a sheet of nori. Prepare a small dish of red pickled ginger, la-yu (chili oil), and white pepper powder on the table.
Prepare Soup Broth
- In a large pot, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant.
- Add Doubanjiang (spicy chili bean paste) and stir for 15 seconds.
- Add the rest of the soup ingredients (chicken soup, dashi, soy sauce, sake, salt, and sugar) and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.
- Check the flavor. It should be a little salty. This step is an option, but if you prefer clear soup, you can strain the soup through a cheesecloth and put the soup back into the pot.
- Keep the soup simmering (not boiling) until you are ready to serve.
To Cook Noodles
- Bring a large pot of un-salted water to a boil (ramen noodles already include salt in the dough). When water is boiling, take some hot water into serving bowls to warm up the bowls (and drain before adding cooked noodles). Loosen up the fresh noodles.
- Loosen up the noodles before putting them into the boiling water. Cook noodles according to the package instructions. My personal recommendation is to reduce the cooking time by 30-60 seconds than what is on the package label as noodles will continue to cook in the hot soup broth. When noodles are done cooking, drain completely.
- Put the noodles in a serving bowl. Pour the soup into the bowl and place your toppings. Serve immediately.
- You can keep the leftover soup and toppings separately in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cook the noodles right before serving.
Other Delicious Ramen Recipes on Just One Cookbook
Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on Nov 28, 2011. The content and photos have been updated in July 2017.