One of the ultimate comfort foods, Ramen is a cultural icon in Japan. The noodle soup was first introduced to Japan by Chinese immigrants in the mid-16th century. However, since then it has transformed into a distinctly Japanese dish.
Now, over 10,000 ramen restaurants, or ‘ramen shops’, exist in Japan. Many have limited seating, and some only have a bar with stools for customer to eat at. Street corners are lined with these ramen stalls, each crowded with people steadfastly slurping up every last noodle from these unctuous bowls of goodness.
The ramen obsession spans much further than Japan, however. Globally, there are countless blogs, YouTube channels, TV shows and Instagram accounts dedicated to seeking out and making the perfect ramen.
Traditionally, making ramen is notoriously time consuming. Recipes vary from 20 to 200 hours of collective simmering time, with the process of developing an umami-rich broth demanding the bulk of those hours.
If you’d rather not invest that much time making ramen from scratch, good news: our Fused Ramen Meal Kit has everything you need to cheat your way to making an authentic tasting miso ramen at home.
Read on for all you need to know about ramen and how to master making ramen (quickly!) at home.
What Is Ramen?
Put simply, ramen is a Japanese noodle soup. Broken down to the bare basics, the important components of ramen are: broth, seasoning, noodles, and toppings.
What Are The Key Ingredients In Ramen?
Traditionally, the stock is based on chicken or pork, combined with a variety of ingredients such as kombu (kelp), katsuobushi (skipjack tuna flakes), and niboshi (dried baby sardines). Modern versions of ramen are also made with a vegetable based stock, such as miso.
When it come to the ramen noodles, there’s room for flexibility here too: thick or thin, chewy or soft, whatever you’re preference.
Among the most popular seasonings are cinnamon, star anise, white pepper, red chilli flakes, and even curry powder. You can add sriracha, spicy sesame oil, or soy sauce to taste too.
Common toppings include: braised pork, chicken, seafood, marinated boiled eggs, fermented bamboo shoots, spring onion, sweetcorn, bean sprouts, pickled ginger, fried veg, raw garlic, and a variety of mushrooms, seaweeds and leafy greens.
These are just some of the most popular ingredients. However, the Japanese often play fast and loose with what they use to make ramen. Anything goes. The only rule is that the end result tastes delicious and is packed with umami flavour.
What About Instant Ramen?
Instant ramen noodle packets or cups are also ubiquitous in Japanese and asian stores across the world. These have a cult following of their own and many have fond memories of them from their childhood or college days.
Japanese manufacturers introduce around 600 different instant ramen flavours every year. From Tomato Yogurt and Curry Yogurt to Chocolate and Cheese Hamburger – basically, if you can think of a weird and wacky flavour combination it’s probably an instant ramen noodle flavour.
What’s Included In Fused’s Ramen Meal Kit?
Our Fused Ramen Meal Kit is the perfect bundle of products to make a delicious miso ramen at home. This meal kit box includes: Fused White Miso Paste, Fused Cheeky Chilli Soy Sauce, Organic Ramen Noodles, Tofu, and Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi). You can buy the kit in our online shop here.
What Other Ingredients Will I Need?
The Fused Ramen Meal Kit contains the essential ingredients to make a flavour-packed miso ramen broth with ramen noodles, topped with tofu, Cheeky Chilli Soy Sauce and Japanese 7 Spice seasoning.
After that you’re free to add any additional toppings of your choice. Check what you already have in your pantry or fridge, or try garnishing with boiled eggs, spring onion, sesame seeds and dried nori sheets.
How Do I Make Ramen?
Once you have your Fused Ramen Meal Kit along with any other optional ingredients of your choice, as above, you’re ready to start making ramen. Simply follow my easy Chicken Miso Ramen recipe and you’ll have ramen on the table in 30 minutes. It’s a delicious, wholesome meal, in a bowl.
You can of course swap out chicken for another protein, and replace the suggested toppings to suit your preferences. The more the merrier!
What Other Dishes Can I Make With Fused Ramen Meal Kit?
Using the same ingredients found in a Fused Ramen Meal Kit you can also create a light and refreshing Miso Soup dish. Check out my simple Miso Soup with Tofu & Spring Onion here.
Where’s The Best Place to Eat Ramen Out In Ireland?
I often get asked to recommend Japanese restaurants in Ireland and where the best ramen is served. While there’s an increasing number of restaurants across the country serving delicious ramen, from those I’ve tried so far my favourites are SOUP, in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, and Bia Rebel, in Belfast.
I first came across Bia Rebel Ramen and Noodle Shop in Belfast when they ordered Fused Flavoured soy sauce for their restaurant and takeaway. Their business has gone from strength to strength thanks to their authentic methods, hand-made noodles and high quality local ingredients. Read my full review of Bia Rebel here.
A little further afield, I had another unforgettable ramen experience in London at Kanada-Ya. The ramen bar was recommended by a Japanese friend living there, and she certainly knows great ramen!
Whether you try ramen at home or in a restaurant, know that it’s totally okay to slurp your noodles and drink the leftover broth directly from the bowl. In fact, it’s considered a compliment to the chef. So, slurp and sip to your heart’s content.