What are the Best Sides for Japanese Ramen?
Japanese men continue to be at the top of every list of comfort foods since it is everyone's go-to snack. In fact, each region of Japan has its own unique variety of ramen. Since ramen became popular, other variants have appeared, much like the famous quick noodles. The vibrant ramen toppings that come with this noodle soup are also well-known.
No matter what variety you like, adding fresh ingredients as toppings will instantly liven up your ramen. Don't worry if you don't know what toppings to include in your ramen noodles. Here is a comprehensive list of the top ramen toppings and condiments if you're wondering what to put in your ramen!
Best Sides for Japanese Ramen
Ramen toppings are a great place to express your creativity. Many ramen-ya(ramen shops) enjoy experimenting with different ways to adorn these amazing noodle dishes with color, texture, and delectable style. The toppings can transform your bland old ramen into a wholly new and vibrant dish, adding everything from a variety of tender proteins to lush greens, drizzles of various oils, and a whole host of pickled goodies.
1. Soft-boiled Eggs
Ramen eggs are soft-boiled eggs marinated in soy sauce, giving the yolks a runny texture. They are also known as soy-marinated eggs, shoyu eggs, or seasoned eggs with soy sauce. In Japan, they are known by the names ajitama or ajitsuke tamago.
Ajitama has umami, soy sauce flavor. It becomes stronger depending on how long you marinate it. It tastes more flavorful than typical cook soft-boiled eggs and has a brownish surface. Without these ramen eggs, no bowl of ramen is complete. Use this portable onsen egg maker for a satisfying experience of boiling eggs.
2. Chashu Pork belly
One of the most common tonkotsu ramen toppings worldwide is chashu. Essentially, it's a thinly chopped, slowly cooked, or braised pork belly. Chasu can be marinated using miso, soy, or salt for an extra umami taste.
Moreover, these pork belly toppings are great for individuals who prefer a fatty, rich flavor, while pork loin is a leaner option. This ramen meat can also come in different forms, such as chashu beef, chicken, or duck. You only need two bits of this delicate side dish to bind your soup together, though you can include even more.
3. Bean sprouts
You cannot go wrong with a glut of bean sprouts if you want your ramen to have a satisfying crunch. The Japanese word for bean sprouts, moiyashi, can be either raw or cooked. This typical Asian ingredient is mung beans that have been sprouted and picked before they are fully developed. It gives food a sweet and nutty flavor and tastes well in all varieties of traditional ramen. Bean sprouts are fresh because they contain a lot of water. However, due to their high moisture content, adding additional bean sprouts to your bowl increases the likelihood that the broth may thin out.
Any ramen recipe will be tastier with aonegi or chopped green onions. This leafy greens vegetable gives Japanese ramen meals a fragrant flavor and a required touch of heat that isn't overpowering. Moreover, green onion is used as a garnish to the noodles to add color and a mild grassy flavor. It can add onion, apple, and garlic notes but is undoubtedly less potent than bulb onions.
5. Shiitake Mushrooms
These shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms to include in your ramen. Even while this ramen topping isn't one of the more common ones to add to ramen, it would undoubtedly create a unique dining experience. This South Asian-style fungus has several appealing aspects, including its rich, buttery, and meaty texture.
In addition, shiitake mushrooms are an excellent addition to any vegetarian form of ramen because their high protein content and meat-like flavor are made possible by the amino acid glutamate. They surely make your ramen dish taste better with the robust, earthy flavor that they bring to the table.
6. Steamed Fish Cake
Steamed fish cake, also known as Kamaboko, is a soft and chewy fish cake prepared with surimi or Kane (white fish paste). It's frequently made with white and pink pieces, and it may have a whimsical form and print that provides a kawaii or cute ramen look.
Moreover, fish cakes provide so much flavor to ramen meals that they are an absolute must. There are several Asian grocery stores where you may buy fish cakes, and you can either add them to the broth or serve them on the side. Not only will the fish cake provide ocean flavors to the ramen soup, but it might also add a tiny bit of sweetness.
Japanese pickled plums are called umeboshi. These pickled plums have been kept for a year to develop their mouth-watering, intensely sour, salty flavor. They can enhance the ramen's brightness, depth, and sourness. Even instant ramen noodles taste fantastic with this salty pickled plum fruit.
8. Miso Paste
Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste with a powerful punch of salty, umami flavors that genuinely enhance the essence of many dishes. Cultured soybeans, a mold called Koji, grain, and salt are used to make miso paste. There are light miso, also known as white miso, and dark miso, also known as red miso. Furthermore, adding any of these miso pastes may increase your instant ramen's sweet, tangy, and savory components.
Nothing will ever beat the refreshing feeling of slurping up the fresh noodles, savoring the lovely broth, and licking your lips at all the delicious toppings. The toppings mentioned above are just a few of the best side dishes you should add to your ramen. You can also include pickled ginger, chili oil, hard-boiled eggs, steamed rice, wood ear mushrooms, pork bones, dried sardines, ground meat, bonito flakes, sesame seeds, and many more! These toppings will never be wrong with shoyu ramen, miso ramen, shio ramen, or any steaming bowl of ramen it is.
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