The essence of Ramen: The Soup

As a Japanese, let me share some insights about the essence of Ramen: The Soup.

The soup is the lifeblood of ramen, playing a pivotal role in defining its flavor. Japan boasts a myriad of ramen shops, each crafting their unique blend of soup with great dedication.

The Composition of Ramen Soup: Broth, Sauce, and Aromatic Oil

Ramen comes in various types, such as “shoyu ramen” and “miso ramen.” While many believe these names refer to the overall flavor of the soup, they actually derive from the type of sauce used—like “shoyu sauce” or “miso sauce.”

The flavor in these sauces is blended with broth and finished with aromatic oil, forming the completed ramen soup. Thus, the soup consists of three fundamental components:

  1. Broth
  2. Sauce
  3. Aromatic Oil

Let’s briefly explore each component.


The broth can be clear or cloudy, typically made from pork bones, chicken bones, fish flakes like bonito, and aromatic vegetables.


The base of the sauce is generally soy sauce, salt, or miso.

Aromatic Oil

A defining touch to ramen, aromatic oil often comes from pork back fat or extracted chicken oil, enhancing the soup’s allure and stimulating the appetite.

Though this is a brief overview, next time you enjoy a bowl of ramen, try to discern these components. It might just expand your world of ramen enjoyment.