1. The 4 Basic Types of Ramen Soup
There are four basic types of broth for ramen:
Shoyu (醤油): soy souce
Shio (塩): salty vegetable broth
Miso (味噌): miso paste
Tonkotsu (豚骨): pork broth
On top of these four basic ramen soup styles, you will also find many variations and combination driven by regional preferences or restaurants competing to create unique dishes (like ebi ricchi ramen—rich shrimp ramen!).
Each ramen restaurant will offer different toppings for its ramen. Some toppings are a fixed part of the dish, while others can be ordered as options.
Nori (海苔): seawead
Negi (ネギ): green onions
Moyashi (もやし): soy sprouts
Tamago (卵): boiled egg
Chaashu (チャーシュー): grilled pork slices, a.k.a. char siu
Goma (ごま): sesame
Kohn (コーン): corn
Battaa (バッター): butter
Menma (メンマ): fermented bamboo shoots
3. Side Dishes
Almost every ramen restaurant offers a set of typical side dishes. The most popular side dishes are simply:
Gyoza (餃子): dumplings
Chaahan (チャーハン): fried rice
And, of course, plain old rice, or raisu (ライス)!
4. Key Phrases
Here are a few patterns that will help you to get what you want at any ramen restaurant! And if you want to get the staff's attention, just say sumimasen (excuse me) to get started!