Cha-shu Pork? Popular and Not-So-Popular Ramen Toppings in Japan
Do you like simple ramen or ramen with a lot of toppings?
When you go to Ramen restaurants in Japan, some places offer you choice of topping, whereas others have certain toppings and you have no choice.
In this post you will see what kinds of toppings Japanese Ramen restaurants offer.
What’s Popular among Japanese
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Cha-shu Pork: This super tender pork loin or fatty pork belly is usually cooked with soy sauce and mirin sauce (a bit sweet). It’s the most popular item among Ramen toppings.
Boiled Egg: It’s easy yet one of the popular toppings in Japan.
Green Onion: Japanese love to add green onion on Ramen. It gives fresh flavour as well as taste.
Half Cooked Egg (Ajitsuke tamago): I love this one! And so do other Japanese. This kind of egg is usually cooked for a long time with soy sauce and other seasoning. Inside is so soft and melting and outer part is cooked well.
Menma: Some people like Menma, while others don’t like it. It’s bamboo shoot and usually cooked with soy sauce, mirin, sake and salt. In Taiwan and China, people eat spicy bamboo shoot and that’s one of my favorite.
What’s NOT-So Popular among Japanese
Nori Seaweed: Some people think Nori is not necessary on Ramen. It usually becomes soft and only a couple of piece as a topping. Usually comes with Shoyu (soy sauce) Ramen.
Wakame Seaweed: I personally like wakame but people want to eat something else in Ramen restaurant. I guess they don’t mind use wakame as topping at home but not in restaurant. In fact, many Japanese use wakame as topping for instant noodle.
Bean Sprout: Why not bean sprout? I like it! I guess the reason is the same as wakame. Some Japanese prefer to have bean sprout for at-home-ramen. I personally love bean sprout with Miso Ramen. That’s the best combination!!
Below are common toppings Japanese use in Ramen restaurants.
Egg: This could be cooked or half cooked. Ajitsuke tamago (味付けたまご) has great flavour and you want to eat a couple of them.
Menma: Cooked bamboo shoot. It usually has soy sauce taste.
Bean Sprout: Simple yet best vegetable to add on. Try on Miso or Shoyu Ramen.
Green Onion: Some people love and add green onions like crazy. If you add a little bit, it will enhance the flavour of Ramen.
Nori Seaweed (海苔:nori): This seaweed is the same kind of seaweed Japanese use for sushi. Just add a couple of them.
Wakame Seaweed (わかめ:wakame): Dried wakame is healthy and adds a bit of seafood.
Sesame: Some people might add sesame on Tonkotsu Ramen but it’s not a must.
Sliced Pork (チャーシュー:Cha-shu): This tender pork is the king of the Ramen topping. Some people add extra and enjoy fatty meat with rich Ramen soup.
Cabbage: Need vegetable? Add some cabbage! Some places cook cabbage, bean sprout, carrot and shredded pork and add on top.
Sweet Corn: In my opinion, sweet corn and butter makes Miso Ramen rich and fancy. If you have never tried, you can try at home!
Sesame Oil: This aromatic oil enhances flavour of Ramen soup. Some people like to add a bit of sesame oil.
In my Opinion…
Japanese Ramen is the best in the world! I believe that no other country has such variety of flavours and toppings. Just considering Ramen soup, you can try every one of Ramen Restaurants in Japan. They are all different.
I don’t go to Ramen restaurants in Vancouver often, but I absolutely will go in Japan. I want to try different Ramen restaurants!
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