This delicious shoyu ramen is umami rich, and surprisingly easy to make. A shoyu (soy sauce) soup made with Japanese dashi (soup stock) - this ramen is one of our favourites. A few easy steps, and you’ll feel like you’re in Japan!
Shoyu ramen is Japan's traditional soul food. It’s one of the most popular ramen noodles in the country. You can make shoyu ramen anytime at home! This tried and tested shoyu (sou sauce) ramen recipe will bring you and your family joy and delight.
It’s easy, super tasty and is a perfect weeknight meal for the family. Your only real job is to get the right ingredients! The rest is easy!
What is shoyu ramen
Shoyu ramen is a ramen noodle with shoyu based ramen broth. Shoyu is Japanese soy sauce made by soy beans. The color of soy sauce ramen broth is clear and is brownish. The shoyu ramen toppings are usually sprouts, spinach, wakame (sea weed), corn, and spring onion. And don't forget about the homemade ramen eggs! The combination of ramen soup, ramen noodle and shoyu ramen toppings varies, and that characterizes each ramen restaurants.
The typical shoyu ramen uses vegetable, tonkotsu pork or chicken broth. Finding vegetarian ramen is not easy at restaurants. But making vegetarian ramen at home is!
Bring joy in your life and share it with loved ones! My mission here is to create an authentic Japanese shoyu ramen recipe. So I have tried and tested many times to get the umami just right. This shoyu ramen recipe is now the one that Andy and I keep coming back to! You’ll love it!
What's in this Soy Sauce Ramen?
Traditionally, ramen is made with bone both and takes a few hours to make. While this soy sauce ramen can be made with any ramen broth you prefer, I use my homemade ramen broth.
What I like about my ramen broth is that it's vegetarian, delicious and easy to make. It's made with Japanese kombu and shiitake based dashi. And for me, there's something very satisfying about making your own broth. So enjoy!
Best ingredients for shoyu ramen recipe
Finding the right ingredients is the key to success in this shoyu ramen recipe! Some of these ingredients might be unfamiliar for you, but don’t worry, I’ll explain them step by step.
They are all available from local Japanese grocery stores or Amazon. So a tiny bit of planning, and you can impress friends and family, and not feel left out of the world wide ramen obsession!
Noodle and Vegetable Ramen Topping
Ramen noodle: I used eggless noodles from the shop. The yellowy colour is because of kansui, alkaline salt. Either fresh or dried noodles work. I prefer fresh ramen noodle. If it's yellowy, that's good, but that's not because of the egg. Ramen noodle can be different thicknesses. This shoyu ramen works with any type.
Menma is pickled bamboo shoots. This amazing hidden ingredient adds a strong flavour to this shoyu ramen. You can find it at Japanese or Asian grocery store. This menma is optional in case if you cannot get it at your local store.
Cherry tomato: I've found soy sauce and tomato works quite well. I enjoy the mixture of soy sauce's savoriness and cherry tomato's sweet sourness.
Nori is black and thin seaweed which contains rich Vitamin B12. I love it and eat it almost everyday.
Shoyu Ramen Sauce
Japanese Sake: Sake induces umami from dashi and creates a harmony with soy sauce, mirin and dashi. It's magical! You can use it for many other dishes such as teriyaki sauce or other types of vegetable cooking. I use an everyday drinking sake.
Mirin: Mirin is a type of rice wine and a common ingredient. Mirin is a secret weapon in Japanese cooking. It create strong umami. No sugar is added but it's sweet.
Don’t be tempted to try and replace mirin with sugar – it’s just not the same and you will lose that umami taste. You can use mirin for teriyaki sauce, salad dressing, soup and many more, so it is super handy to have in your fridge.
Japanese Soy Sauce (Shoyu): This ramen sauce is based on shoyu flavor. Using the right shoyu is important! My favorite is "Kikkoman Yuki Organic Soy Sauce". Either koikuchi (dark coloured) or usukuchi (light coloured) shoyu works, but koikuchi is better. You can use it for many other dishes.
Japanese dashi works well with soy sauce. For ramen, Japanese soy sauce is best. Tamari is not suitable for this recipe. Lots of grocery stores have gluten free soy sauce (shoyu) now, so just substitute if you need gluten free. Kikkoman also makes gluten free soy sauce.
Sesame Oil: Add sesame oil to any plant oil. I like to use corn, canola or avocado. Any types of vegetable oil works. Sesame oil brings more depth, but it should not disturb shoyu flavor, so use sparingly. Use only toasted sesame oil as it has the best, smoky flavor with more intensity – perfect for ramen. The yellow colored sesame oil is not toasted and has less flavor
Is soy sauce gluten-free and plant based?
Since this ramen recipe is shoyu (soy sauce) based, let me explain about it little here. Japanese soy sauce (shoyu) is made by three major components - soybeans, salt and water. It's fermented with kojikin (koji bacteria). This is the secret why soy sauce brings up the umami of the ingredients. It takes up to six months for the fermentation to be completed. I use Kikkoman, Japan's major soy sauce producer. It's all plant based. (source)
Soy sauce is made with zero wheat but needs to use it in the making process at the factory. Gluten-free soy sauce can be found easily at Japanese local grocery stores or online.
How to Make Shoyu Ramen
This shoyu bowl ramen has three components:
- Shoyu ramen topping
- Shoyu ramen soup
- Ramen noodle
Each component needs to be prepared and cooked in order. Then they are combined into delicious ramen. I will explain it for you step by step.
1. Shoyu ramen topping
Any vegetables, condiments or ajitama (ramen eggs) are suitable for shoyu ramen topping. My go to vegetables for ramen recipes are bok choy, spinach, spring onions, and sprouts. They work well for ramen – light, fresh and tasty additions to the dashi and noodles. This is optional but for me it's the must - cooked bamboo shoots (menma) and nori (thin black swaweed)!
Deep fried thin sweet potatoes or sliced lotus roots, which we love, work well too! You can top it off with the shiitake mushroom you used for dashi.
For this shoyu ramen recipe, I've discovered ripe cherry tomatoes really works! Tomato's sour flavour beautifully harmonizes with soy sauce soup. Try it out!
You can also use any left over vegetables in the fridge. So, experiment a bit. Choose your favorite vegetables and let me know how it goes in the comment section below!
2. Shoyu ramen soup
First you make shoyu ramen sauce. Then add ramen broth. That's so simple.
You can use any types of ramen broth you prefer for this recipe. Ramen broth is very important. And I use homemade. You can try my ramen broth recipe. It's plant based and yet it's surprisingly umami rich delicious because of Japanese dashi! You can save a lot of time too.
The shoyu sauce is a combination of ginger, spring onion, sesame and vegetable oil, and soy sauce. After it’s made it is blended with the ramen broth to complete the shoyu ramen soup and create the umami flavor.
3. Cook ramen noodle
You need a large pan to give the ramen noodles room while boiling to avoid it clumping together. Do not touch the noodle often in the boiled water.
Don’t be tempted to cook the noodle in the ramen soup. Just boil in the water. Drain the water completely. I tend to cook the noodle a tiny bit less than the instruction indicates to keep a firm-ish texture.
4. Blending and layering ramen
Blending shoyu ramen soup with ramen noodle and adding the shoyu ramen topping needs to be handled quickly but surely.
- Warm the ramen bowl (I just add boiling water, empty when you’re ready to add the noodles and dashi).
- Add the boiled dashi to the shoyu (soy) ramen sauce. Stair the soup a bit and make it boiled.
- Then pour into a bowl. Add the cooked noodle and topping ingredients.
That's it! Ready. Serve and enjoy! Sprinkle grained black paper.
The best condiment for shoyu ramen
My favorite is to just keep it simple and really adding black pepper! But you can add sesame seeds, seaweed (nori) or chilli oil (rayu), just to name a few.
There are no rules with seasoning or condiments though. It’s really up to you. If you’re wanting a bit of inspiration to get you in the mood for ramen (not that we need any help!), check out our favorite Japanese comedy film "Tampopo" directed by ITAMI Juzo. It’s about making ramen noodles, and how to enjoy them.
In "Tampopo", a good ramen tells when people finish up all the ramen soup in the bowl. That's my goal! And this is the very reason why the taste and flavor of the ramen soup is very important. It's heart warming film. Let me know if you watched it in the comment below!
Gluten-free shoyu ramen
Our shoyu ramen can be easily adopted to a gluten-free version, and I make it for my family. Simply replace the flour noodle to gluten-free noodle like rice noodle.
Also make sure that you use gluten-free soy sauce. I prefer not tamari but gluten-free koikuchi shoyu for this recipe and I use soy sauce from Kikkoman, Japanese's leading soy sauce brand. Other ingredients I use on this recipe are all gluten-free.
How do I change the ingredient amounts to make this for more people?
To alter the serving size click on the serving number and then click + or - to adjust to your desired serving number. As you adjust the serving number the quantities of the ingredients will adjust accordingly in both imperial and metric measurements.
MIKLIA collection for ramen recipes:
Homemade Shoyu Ramen
Topping & Ramen Noodle
- 1 ramen noodle
- 1 ramen egg
- 1 tablespoon menma (preserved bamboo shoot)
- 2 cherry tomatoes
- 2 slices nori (thin seaweed)
- ⅛ teaspoon grained black pepper
Shoyu Ramen Sauce
- 1 tablespoon corn oil (or any vegetable oil)
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil (toasted sesame oil)
- 2 tablespoon spring onion
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1¾ cup ramen broth* (400 cc)
- ½ tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce (Japanese koikuchi shoyu)
- 2 tablespoons sake
- 1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese sweet cooking rice wine)
- Cut vegetables for topping. Or if you need to cook vegetable topping, be ready. You can make shoyu ramen topping while you cook dashi.
Shoyu Ramen Soup
- Sauté ginger, spring onions and salt with oil on a pan at the lowest heat for about 3 minutes. Once cooked, turn off the heat. Set aside.
Cooking Ramen Noodle
- Boil the water in the large pan. Transfer some boiled water into the ramen bowl to keep it warm while the noodles cook in the pan. Gently separate the noodles in your hands. Add the noodles into the boiling water in the pan and cook as per instructions. Drain the noodles with a strainer.
Blending and Layering
- Transfer 1¾ cup (400cc) ramen broth into the cooked ginger and spring onion pot. Turn on the heat, add onion powder, sake, mirin and soy sauce. Gently stir the ramen soup. Cook until the soup becomes boiled.
- Remove hot water from the ramen bowl and put the cooked noodles in it. Then pour boiled ramen soup into the bowl. Add vegetables, toppings or condiments. Serve immediately! Enjoy! Sprinkle grained black pepper while you enjoy ramen!