Easy Homemade Ramen Bowls
Making Ramen Bowls is a newish thing at our house, and what I’ve learned is how incredibly quick and easy they are to make! Especially with whole-grain ramen noodles readily available, this is becoming one of our go-to one-dish dinners for busy weeknights.
And today, I’m excited to share our easy (probably slightly Americanized) version of Ramen Bowls that you could easily whip together for dinner tonight. So full of flavor and such a great way to switch things up from a normally predictable dinner routine!
The whole family loved this! (Two adults, a 5 yr old and 1 yr old). So quick and easy to make and leftovers were delicious the next day as well!
Our Trip to Japan (where we ate ramen!)
We first got excited about Ramen Bowls when we visited Japan almost four years ago (how glad am I we went on that trip when we could!). I thought we’d be eating sushi, sushi, and more sushi while in Japan, but their cuisine is actually so diverse … with ramen playing a big part.
Here are my girls eating at what definitely felt like a “fast food” type ramen restaurant in Tokyo. I’m not sure if we knew exactly what was in those bowls, but luckily they ate and enjoyed them very much.
What Is Ramen?
Much more than the cheap-o packs of highly processed (flavored) Ramen from the grocery store, it’s actually based on a real food tradition. Ramen is typically a flavored broth-based Japanese soup made with long, thin noodles and topped with meat and vegetables. But there are many, many different variations.
Types of Ramen
When you order Ramen from a restaurant, you’ll notice there are different styles you can order. Mostly the difference comes from broth types and flavorings, but all can be super yummy! Here are some of the varieties you might find:
- Shoyu – This is the most common ramen broth. It’s light-bodied, brown, and clear, and made with soy sauce, like the recipe below.
- Miso – You might be familiar with miso soup served before the main course at a sit-down Japanese restaurant. It’s a cloudy and thicker broth than the others since it’s made with fermented soy-bean paste.
- Shio – Another light broth that is made from chicken or fish bones.
- Tonkotsu – This is a full-body broth that is made by simmering pork bones and is fortified with pork or chicken fat.
How to Make Ramen at Home
Reminiscent of the restaurants in Japan, this dish comes together very quickly at home.
- Heat the sesame oil in a large pot and cook the veggies for 3- 5 minutes or until soft.
- Pour in the chicken stock, soy sauce, and fish sauce, and bring to a boil.
- Add the noodles to the boiling water and cok for another 3 minutes until the noodles soften.
- Divide soup into bowls and top with desired garnishes.
Ramen Topping Ideas
Ramen is one of those dishes that can be customized to your liking, especially when it comes to toppings. Here are some other options to add to your own ramen:
- Red bell pepper
- Bok choy
- Chopped green onions
- Bean sprouts
- Pork belly
- Nori (dried seaweed)
- Soft boiled eggs
Ingredients to Make Homemade Ramen
- Toasted sesame oil – For an uthentic flavor I recommend cooking with this.
- Cloves garlic – Peeled and minced.
- Fresh ginger – Freshly grated.
- Crushed red peppers – Add a little extra if you like a kick.
- Carrots – I like to shred them, but you could finely dice them, too.
- Shiitake mushroom caps – Thinly sliced.
- Chicken broth – Use low sodium broth (or homemade) so the result is not too salty. You could also use vegetable broth to make this noodle bowl vegetarian.
- Soy sauce – I recommend using low sodium.
- Fish sauce – For a more authentic flavor, don’t skip this ingredient!
- Dried whole-grain ramen noodles – You can find these in the International aisle at your grocery store or order on Amazon.
- Green onions – Use the white and green parts for garnish.
- Kale – Thinly sliced for garnish.
- Soft-boiled eggs – Instructions for soft-boiling are in the recipe.