Let’s start with the broth.
This is where the categorization beings — there is shio, shoyu, tonkotsu, and miso. The only one out of these that is truly “broth” from an animal is tonkotsu. So if you love meat and you are also looking for a flavor packed bowl, tonkotsu is your go-to. Here’s what all of the flavors mean:
– Shio — this a simple sea salt seasoned broth
– Shoyu — this is soy sauce seasoning that makes a flavorful broth
– Tonkotsu — this is a full-blown bone broth
– Miso — this is the newest ramen on the block, with a salty but light base
Ok, so what about noodles?
Have no fear — you are not wrong is assuming that there are a million different types of noodles out there. Because there are TONS. Most ramen noodles are made from wheat flour, salt, water, and kansui (which is a alkaline water that makes the noodles wavy, bouncy and yellow). Some involve egg for an extra boost in flavor. But these are generally the two different types you will have to choose from:
– Thin, straight noodles — these are usually paired with tonkotsu-style broths
– Wavy, yellow noodles — these are usually paired with miso broths
Do you have to get pork?
Nope! If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll want to get shio, shoyu or miso broth and ask for a veggie option. But if you want to get the full experience, you’ll be seeing a lot of pork on the menu, whether it is a full cut, pork belly or shredded. Other proteins include seafood, kamaboko (a white and red fishcake) or ground meat.
Don’t forget the egg!
Soft boiled, soaked in the salty broth — it is essentially eggs at their finest. So don’t miss out and make sure you’re order is coming with one.