Shio ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish that originated from the city of Hiroshima.
The name literally means “salt water ramen” because the broth is usually flavored with salt water. This dish is considered a classic food in Japan, and there are several variations of shio ramen.
For example, you can order tonkotsu (pork bone), kikurage (chicken gizzard) or even the classic miso ramen.
There are also many toppings for this dish such as vegetables, meat, seafood, etc. It may sound like a simple dish, but it takes a lot of skill to make a good bowl of shio ramen!
Moreover, there are two main types of shio ramen: clear and white.
The main difference between them is that clear shio ramen has a light color and contains less sodium than its white counterpart.
Keep on reading if you want to find out more about this traditional dish!
What Is Shio Ramen?
Shio ramen is a very popular Japanese noodle soup dish. It was invented by the people living in Hiroshima, which is located in western Japan.
The word ‘shio’ refers to the fact that the broth used for preparing this dish is made using salted water. In addition, it also means ‘salt’.
The noodles used for making shio ramen are called ‘soba’. These noodles are long and thin. They have a smooth texture and they are often served cold.
It should be noted that shio ramen is not only a typical Japanese dish; it is actually an international one as well. In fact, some restaurants serve shio ramen dishes outside of Japan.
Shio ramen is also a great choice for those who are trying to lose weight. It is a high-protein (if there is added meat) dish that is low in calories and rich in iron and calcium.
It can also be made with gluten-free pasta and can be made suitable for vegetarians and vegans. This is because all the ingredients used for preparing Shio ramen can be plant based.
But as a matter of fact, it is best to check the ingredients if you are intolerant in any way.
How Does Shio Ramen Taste?
Like we said, shio ramen contains quite a lot of salt, so that is something that you will immediately notice once you taste it.
However, you should know that it is quite spicy too. This is due to the fact that the ingredients used for seasoning the broth include soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar and chili pepper.
It is important to note that the amount of salt contained in shio ramen varies from restaurant to restaurant.
Some places use less salt, while others use more. You need to check the menu before ordering your meal to ensure that you get the right one.
Therefore, since shio ramen does not originally contain any meat, its flavor comes predominantly from the spices and vegetables it contains.
As for the noodles (which are a main ingredient to this dish) it is important to note that they are not cooked before being added to the broth. Therefore, their texture remains soft and chewy.
What Does Shio Ramen Look Like?
When it comes to the appearance of a shio ramen soup, it comes in a large bowl and is served warm.
If you’ve seen or eaten ramen before, then you know that it looks really appetizing, and, thanks to its wholesome taste, you will definitely enjoy your first bite.
Furthermore, it is recommended to eat shio ramen without adding extra toppings.
Just enjoy the original flavors.
However, if you want to add some colors and extra flavors to your dish, you can add different kinds of vegetables such as cucumber, spinach, carrot, etc.
You can also use fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, cilantro, or you can also try adding some sesame seeds, seaweed flakes or nori sheets.
If you decide to go for a clear (as is) version, then you might prefer to just add some bonito flakes (see also ‘What Are Bonito Flakes?‘).
What To Serve With Shio Ramen
Shio ramen can be eaten alone, or it can be paired with other dishes. For example, you can pair it with some steamed rice.
In addition, you can also combine it with some salad. Moreover, you can also choose to cook some eggs with it.
Of course, if you want to prepare a complete meal, then you could always opt to cook some chicken or beef with it.
If you’re looking for more information about what to serve with shio ramen, then read our recipe below on how to make ramen at home. We’ll teach you everything you need to know!
Shio Ramen Recipe
Making shio ramen at home is very easy, so all you need to do is follow the following steps to satisfy your taste buds and surprise your guests, family, or partner.
The following instructions are for 2 servings, so you can adjust that according to the number of people you want to serve.
To begin with, you need to prepare the stock. To do so, you will first need to bring 250ml/8.5oz of water to a boil and add 40 grams of salt.
If you are willing to go the extra mile and cook the most authentic shio ramen, then you can soak 10g/0.4oz konbu (dried kelp) and 20g/0.7oz of dried scallops in the water overnight and remove the kombu once it starts boiling.
Once you take the konbu out, lower the heat and let the water simmer with the scallops and salt until it reaches half its amount.
When that is done, add two teaspoons of bonito flakes (around 10 grams or less if you don’t want it to be very spicy) and simmer for another couple of minutes.
When two minutes have passed, turn off the heat, remove the saucepan and pour the liquid through a strainer to get rid of the extra water and keep the stock as thick as possible.
Bring the stock back to the saucepan over low heat and add 100ml/3.4oz of sake, 50ml/1.6oz mirin and 10ml/0.4oz light soy sauce. Leave all the ingredients to combine for 1-2 minutes and turn the heat off.
The stock is ready now, so you can transfer it to a bowl and move on to the next steps!
Using the same saucepan, boil some water and add 200g/7oz fresh egg noodles. The amount of time it takes to cook the noodles depends on the type of noodles and your preference for firmness.
As a guideline, follow the directions on the package. Once the noodles are cooked, drain them well.
In the meantime, you can start preparing your vegetarian toppings. Boil 2 eggs, get 5-6 tablespoons of canned sweet corn kernels and finely chop a couple of scallions. You can also add some blanched bean sprouts or peppers.
Finally, you will need to bring the soup to a boil again. This time, you will need to reduce the heat and let the soup simmer until it thickens.
When the broth is ready, it’s time to taste it! If it’s too salty for you, then add some more water to dilute it. If you feel that it is too bland, then simply do the opposite and add some more salt!
It is now time to serve. Divide the ramen broth in two serving bowls keeping about 100ml/3.4oz aside to make sure the noodles/broth ratio will be perfect.
If needed, you can add some more broth as you go, and same goes for the salt. Now, like we said, shio ramen is a very salty dish, but if you want to keep the salt low, by all means, go ahead!
Once you’ve added the broth, add the noodles to the bowls, cut the eggs in halves and add them alongside the rest of the toppings, and you are ready to eat. Enjoy!
Shio ramen is a delicious and nutritious meal that is perfect for lunch or dinner. You can either eat it alone, or you can pair it up with other dishes.
Another great way to enjoy this delicious noodle soup is by eating it on a hot summer day.
You can either sit under a shady tree or at a park bench and enjoy a nice cup of shio ramen while watching the world pass by.
And if you feel like making shio ramen from scratch and testing your Japanese cuisine cooking skills, you can cook your own shio ramen at home by following this easy recipe we’ve just shared with you.
Follow it step by step, and you will thank yourselves and us later. Enjoy!