What are some of the best ramen

9 best ramen toppings to order or use when making ramen at home

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Japanese cuisine is known worldwide for its delicious and unique flavors.

When made on-site with fresh ingredients, ramen is a healthy pasta dish. The preparation methods are very different from those of other Japanese dishes. Ramen plays an important role in this.

Ramen is a Japanese name for noodle soup. It contains vegetables, meat and special spices in a broth. It's one of the most popular dishes in Japan, and that's why you can find ramen everywhere.

And you can add lots of delicious toppings to your soup like chashu pork or kamaboko fish cakes, and I have the 9 best toppings for you in this article.

Historically, ramen originated in China but has become one of the most popular dishes in Japan. One of the main reasons for its popularity is its availability at a low price.

It is also available in instant cup form so that people can enjoy it on the go. Hence, both locals and tourists love it.

In this post we cover:

Ramen and its many toppings

Ramen is available in a wide variety of flavors. The Japanese prepare ramen in many ways using different techniques.

Each method differs from the other by region, preferences, choice of taste and season.

Every restaurant and street vendor has their own technique, style, and method of preparing it. It is therefore available with many toppings.

When making ramen at home, you can add all kinds of toppings. So don't be afraid to experiment with flavors.

Basic ramen are often quite bland, so you'll need to add a little more to make them tastier!

Why is ramen noodles different?

These ramen noodles are usually made with wheat flour and are very tasty.

A key ingredient, namely kansui, a mixture of potassium carbonate and sodium carbonate, is also added to make pasta dough.

It has a fresh, delightful, and homely taste. It is made in different ways. Thick and long strands, as well as curvy and small strands, are readily available.

If you decide to eat ramen in a restaurant, you can generally choose from the menu in different variations.

A custom order can be placed which includes various factors such as thickness, moisture content, etc.

Ramen soup types

Ramen is divided into several varieties based on the soup it contains.

Traditionally, the soup was made from miso paste, but over time, new soup bases were derived, creating many new categories.

The most preferred soup bases are outlined below:

Miso paste ramen soup base

Miso paste is made using soybeans and fermentation.

This paste is used in many Japanese dishes and is used in making this Japanese style broth with a very distinct flavor profile.

Shoyu ramen soup base

Shoyu soup is a mixture of soy sauce and chicken or meat broth. It is very clear, light, maybe a bit reddish and tasty and is often enjoyed separately as a main course.

Shio ramen soup base

Shio soup is simply chicken or pork broth. It contains a little salt for seasoning.

Tonkotsu ramen soup base

This soup base is mainly preferred in the westernmost part of Japan.

It is made from a broth that contains loosened pork or chicken bones. It's very creamy and looks like a white broth.

The same toppings in these different soups create different flavors. So you can choose from a wide variety of Tonkotsu ramen.

What to add to ramen to make it better

The first step in making good ramen is to do the soup base well and cook the noodles properly. One of the most common complaints about ramen is that it can taste a bit generic or bland.

Somehow you lose different flavors in all of these pasta. So people are wondering how to make your ramen taste better.

The answer to your question is: add different toppings, e.g. B. Vegetables, meat and spices.

Something like extra ponzu sauce or braised pork belly makes the dish taste so much better.

What is good as a topping in ramen noodles?

Since ramen contains a lot of toppings, it is a fair question to ask yourself what is beneficial and what is harmful to your health.

It all depends on the nutritional information and the amount of ingredients in a serving.

Also, a person should first know the volume of calories they need. With these points in mind, eating ramen is very unlikely to make you unhealthy.

9 best ramen toppings

Traditional Japanese restaurants are famous for serving original and authentic ramen noodles.

However, many add-ons and additives are also created and offered by different chefs. In this article, ramen toppings are broken down into traditional full toppings and other add-ons. The details are given below.


Moyashi is the Japanese word for sprouts. It is the most common ramen topping available in every restaurant and food stall across the country.

The sprout beans can be half cooked or fully cooked. In general, most people tend to only half cook them because of their crispness.

However, both versions are used in Japan. Moyashi is sweetened with an additive and is served with almost every type of ramen.

If you want to learn more about moyashi and its uses, read my post on Japanese-style bean sprout dishes that I wrote for you here.


In Japan, leek is called negi and tastes more like spring onions. Sliced ​​or shredded leeks and onions are used as toppings. Karanegi is spring onion or leek mixed with chili oil.

This extra chilli sauce is added to increase the spiciness.

However, people prefer chili oil in ramen soup rather than adding chili sauce with their negi.

Negi is actually used in many Japanese dishes, which I only write about Japanese Negi in this post.

Chashu pork

Chashu is a popular ramen topping made from pork fat and other spices. This topping is essentially a slice of fat made from roasted or braised pork.

Locals also refer to it as "Nibuta", which means boiled pork.

The juicy braised pork is cut into slices and served on top of noodles. Most restaurants serve two large slices as one serving. However, additional chashu can also be requested.

A ramen dish with extra pork is called chashumen.

Some restaurants serve kakuni, a braised pork belly as an alternative to chashu, but the taste is very similar.


Tamago is a Japanese name for a rectangular omelette. The tamago topping mixes eggs with the soup base and these eggs can be enjoyed in a variety of shapes ranging from hard-boiled, soft-boiled, fried, marinated, omelette and raw, etc.

When you see the term "tamago" on a menu, it refers to any type of egg on your ramen.


Menma contains bamboo shoots with a mixture of mustard and salt. The way to preserve these bamboo shoots is to either let them dry in the sun or to process and ferment them.

In other words, just pop in bamboo shoots and add to ramen for a sour taste.

This topping, when mixed with any type of broth, results in a yellowish colored noodle soup that is rich and very tasty.


Kamaboko, also known as Red Kamaboko, is a Japanese name for fish cake. In addition to being made from fish, these fish cakes also contain other seafood and vegetables.

Almost every restaurant serves it because of its popularity. Small pieces of steamed fish cake cover the pasta.

There are plenty of fish cakes, but the most common ones are white fish cakes, also known locally as narutomaki, with a pink spiral pattern in the center.

Narutomaki is the most popular type of fish cakes served alongside ramen. It has a sawtooth edge and is a white fish cake.

Flank steak

Flank is a beef cut from a lower breast area. It is fortified with protein and fat. Since most of the Japanese like meat, flank is considered a good choice for ramen.


Corn is used along with butter with miso soup to create a delicious, rich flavor. Buttered corn is usually served with ship's ramen or miso.


Seaweed is the edible seaweed that can be used to prepare food. It has been considered a dish of choice by the Japanese for thousands of years. They also used it as a topping for ramen.

Many types of seaweed such as nori and wakame are enjoyed not only by locals but also by outsiders. Seaweed is full of fiber and protein, which gives ramen an appetizing taste.

Additional ramen toppings


Furikake is a Japanese spice that contains a mixture of several ingredients. The dried mixture contains fish, seaweed, monosodium glutamate, sesame seeds, salt and sugar.

In Japan, this spice powder is sprinkled over cooked rice, fish and vegetables for a delicious taste.


Kimchi is a world famous Korean dish, but the Japanese love it. Kimchi is often served as a side dish to ramen and has become an important food in Japan.

It contains a variety of vegetables such as napa cabbage, spring onions, garlic, peppers, and radishes. These vegetables are fermented first and then enjoyed with other spices.

Kimchi gives a spicy taste to ramen soup, so people who want a spicy taste choose kimchi ramen mainly.

It's not exactly traditional Japanese of course, but I like the way the two cultures mix together at times, and I wrote this in-depth post on the differences in their cuisine if you want to check that out too.

Miso paste

Although miso soup base can be chosen instead of separate miso paste, the way in which they want to enjoy depends on the person to person.

For example, white miso gives your food a light, slightly sweet taste. For example, red miso has a strong, ripe taste.

Add miso paste over the ramen and achieve that authentic Japanese taste.


Usually the Miso Paste or Shio Soup Base is very thin and runny. Therefore, people who like thick sauce prefer butter as a topping.

It enriches the ramen with a creamy touch. For example, if you want to make ramen taste creamier, butter gives it an intense flavor.


Yuzu is a common citrus fruit that grows in Asian countries and islands. Yuzokosho is a spice powder made by drying yuzu pods.

Enhance the flavor of this spice by adding a pinch of salt and chili peppers.

Yuzokosho is not common in Japanese restaurants.

Instead, street vendors use these spices to give ramen a unique flavor. As you can see, there is a difference between a restaurant and street style ramen.


Fish, like flank meat, is a popular protein. The Japanese consume all kinds of fish and seafood in all kinds of dishes.


Cheese is a popular topping for instant ramen noodles. Why? Because cheese is a popular topping that many people love and that is affordable.

The Japanese add cheese when they want to make super-fast ramen that tastes like home-cooked food. Cheese gives your ramen the flavor of macaroni and cheese.

Hibachi sauce

Hibachi sauce is the name for a common sauce, also called Japanese teriyaki.

Basically, it's a mix of soy sauce, sugar, sake, mirin, and a few other spices that are the ingredients of hibachi and give ramen a traditional and orthodox touch.

Harissa paste

Harissa paste is made from a combination of hot chili peppers. It is common in Tunisia and the Middle East. This paste is very hot and excellent if you want your ramen to have a tangy taste.

Curry powder

Japanese curry powder has a milder taste than its Thai or Indian counterpart. Add this to your ramen for a bit of umami. Most importantly, you add curry to fully enhance the flavors.


Ponzu is a popular Japanese sauce that they use as a condiment. It's a type of soy sauce with a strong citrus flavor. It adds flavor to your ramen.


Add some vinegar to your ramen to make it taste sour. All you need is a little splash and the soup tastes more refreshing.


This is a fermented red pepper paste from Korea. It gives your ramen bowl sharpness and flavor. Mix it with some vinegar to remove any lumps.

Pickled ginger

Do not use raw ginger as it is too aromatic for this type of soup. Instead, use red pickled ginger to add flavor and flavor to ramen.

What vegetables do you add to ramen?

There are several reasons you might want to add vegetables to your ramen. Maybe you want to make the dish healthier.

Or you are a vegan or vegetarian and are looking for more flavor in your noodle soup. Whatever the reason, add vegetables to add nutritional value to traditional ramen and improve the taste.

Here are some vegetable ideas to add to ramen.

Choose some vegetables that cook quickly, such as:

  • Baby spinach
  • Salad (preferably Romaine)
  • thin slices of cabbage
  • Bean sprouts
  • Shallots
  • Watercress

All of these vegetables soften quickly.

You can also add frozen vegetables like peas, corn, and carrots, but mostly use the vegetables that cook quickly in the pan.

If you want to cook the vegetables with the soup, you can add cauliflower, broccoli, beef, peas, and shredded carrots.

Make sure these cook longer until they soften or they'll taste too undercooked.

Is it okay to use ramen instant seasonings?

Instant ramen spices contain high levels of monosodium glutamate (MSG), tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), and high levels of sodium which are very harmful to health.

It increases the risk of heart attacks, metabolic problems, and stomach cancer.

Therefore, we recommend using fresh toppings and ingredients instead of instant packets to make a traditional ramen bowl.

If you're using instant ramen seasonings, consider adding some of our topping ideas to improve the flavor. As a rule, instant packets do not have a specific taste and can all taste similar.

Where can I find the best ramen with different toppings in Japan?

Most Japanese restaurants serve ramen, but not all offer a true Japanese experience, so choose popular restaurants.

To get the most delicious ramen, locals recommend enjoying ramen in a special ramen restaurant. There they serve ramen with all the toppings you want and a selection of different ramen soups.

These are some of the best ramen restaurants in Japan.

  1. Ichiran - This is a popular multi-location Tokyo ramen restaurant chain. This restaurant is famous for tonkotsu, or pork-based ramen broth.
  2. Nagi - here you will find over 2o types of ramen with dried sardines. If you want unique flavors, be sure to visit the 24/7 Shinjuku (Tokyo) location.
  3. Kamukura Dotonbori - This is Osaka's # 1 ramen shop as it serves a secret broth recipe and combines traditional Japanese flavors with French cuisine. In addition, the sardines are a very unique ingredient that is used in ramen.

Read Everything there is to know about ramen in my previous article.

I've spent hours researching the different variations so they really contain everything you need to know. So be sure to read our articles on specialties.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun, is a content marketing designer, father and loves to try new food - with Japanese food as a passion. Together with his team, he has been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.