Essentials of a Good Ramen | Recipes | Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

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Essentials of a Good Ramen

There is something very comfortable about a good, warm bowl of ramen. It is one dish that transcends simplicity through its dynamism. The strong flavours and the contrasting textures make for an interesting meal that touches the soul. Making ramen requires time, patience and finesse. From the flavour of the broth to the intensity of sauces to the way you cook your noodles and plating in the end; cooking ramen is a holy amalgamation of science and art. While it might sound a bit difficult, if you nail the essentials right, you’re pretty much good to go. If you want to try making this classic Japanese recipe in your own kitchen, here’s what you need to do to get it right.

Ramen: The Components

The Broth

A flavourful broth is the soul of a good Ramen. It not only gives it taste, but also a certain warmth to the dish that makes it perfect for cold winter evenings. The broth is cooked with bones and meat of pork, chicken, fish along with ginger, garlic and other aromatics. This broth in some cases is cooked for 10-14 hours to the enhance flavours of the ingredients. The longer the duration, the richer the flavour. Numerous recipes state that atleast 3 hours of cooking can result in a rich and flavourful broth, so start early!


Tare is the sauce or seasoning of the Ramen. While the broth works in the background to create the essence, it is Tare that helps Ramen give it its signature flavour. Tare for a Ramen restaurateur is his top secret. There are different kinds of Tare, each creating a different identity for the Ramen. Some use Soy sauce, some simply keep it clean with a clear chicken stock, whereas some others add sake to the mix. There are three popular Ramen variants which are defined by the choice of Tare – Shio Ramen (salt tare), Shoyu Ramen (Soy Sauce Tare), Miso Ramen (Miso Tare).


No ramen is complete without noodles. The texture and the thickness of ramen noodles add to the overall outcome of the dish. Usually made with wheat flour, the noodles also make the overall dish more filling. The key is to not over cook the noodles or they will end up like a sticky and clumpy. Similarly the proportion of noodles should balance the vegetables, meat and the broth.


Presentation is crucial in Japanese cuisine. Toppings define the overall aesthetics of the ramen, while adding to its nutrition value. Commonly used toppings include shreds or batons of carrots, spring onions, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and a half-boiled egg. Some also prefer adding Ajitsuke tamago or marinated egg, which is basically boiled egg soaked in soya sauce and spices for hours. Some prefer making their ramen bowl look colourful and exquisite, while some love keeping it minimal, so pick your style.

Ramen is versatile, and there can be endless variations in making a bowl of this soulful delight. Just keep the essentials in check to nail the trick to a perfect Ramen.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.