What are the Most Common Japanese Ramen Toppings? Well, Here They Are

Featured image is by Jazzypodder

Ramen broths are paired with complimentary toppings versus being a total topping bukkakefest

This is a generalized breakdown that’ll give you a basic idea of the regional styles and the toppings that go with the varying broths (the star of the show): shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), miso (fermented soy beans), and tonkotsu (pork bone).

Toppings compliment the broth like fluffers to the main star (the broth). Image once again by the City Foodsters

As a general rule of thumb for Japanese ramen toppings, less is more (as in number of ingredients because Jiro style is a shit ton of one or two toppings).

Ichiran, Hakata/Fukuoka style tonkotsu ramen. My goto people for imagery City Foodsters

This is not the end all, be all toppings list, but it is a list of what you will traditionally find in Japan or around the world at any legit ramen-ya. Afterall, you can throw corn, bok choy, and squid on a thick crust, deep-dish pizza and call it a New York style pizza if everybody you’re serving it to is none the wiser.

16825415456_b50259efd6_o (1)
Yuzu shio ramen at Afuri, Japan. Image by the City Foodsters

As ramen continues to develop, a number of non-traditional toppings are starting to show up although this list is a good base for producing a ramen that reflects the flavors and culture of Japan.

Menma, (Shio/Shoyu Bamboo Shoots)

Used in: all types of ramen broths

Image by DryPot via CC

Negi (Green Onions)

Used in: all types of ramen broths

Image by Bert Kimura

Ajitama/Nitamago/Hanjuku Tamago (Flavored Egg/Boiled-Egg)

Used in: all types of ramen broths

Image by Guilhem Vellut

Chashu (Pork Shoulder to Cheek) to Kakuni (Pork belly)

Used in: all types of ramen


Various Types of Chashu: Chicken, Beef, Duck, etc.

Used in: all types of broths


Kikurage (Wood ear Mushrooms)

Used in: all types of broths

Image used under CC.

Iwa Nori (Seaweed)

Used in: shoyu, tonkotsu/iekei, paitan

Image by Alice Wiegand, (Lyzzy)

Naruto or Kamaboko (Fish Cake)

Used in: shoyu, paitan, miso, shio

Image by Mitsuwa Marketplace.

Tamanegi (Diced Onions)

Used in: all types of ramen broths

Image by Steven Depolo

Ninniku (Freshly Grated to Mayu/Garlic Oil)

Used in: tonkotsu, Jiro style

Image by Kjokkenutstyr Net

Moyashi (Bean Sprouts)

Used in: tonkotsu, Jiro style, miso

Plate of mung bean sprouts
Image by Frank C. Muller, CC

Kyabetsu (Cabbage)

Used in: tonkotsu, Jiro style

Image by F Delventhal

Kaiware (Radish Sprouts)

Used in: shio

Image by Kuromeri

Kizami/Beni Shōga (Pickled Ginger)

Used in: tonkotsu


Karashi Takana (Spicy Pickled Mustard Greens)

Used in: tonkotsu (Hakata style), tsukemen

Image by the City of Fukuoka, Japan

Horenso (Boiled Spinach)

Used in: shoyu, tonkotsu/iekei

Image by Edsel Little, CC

Kōn (Corn)

Used in: miso (the Hokkaido region is a sweet corn producer)

Image by Simon Lei

Batā (Butter)

Used in miso (the Hokkaido region is a milk producer)

Image by Sarah Laval, CC

Wontons (Dumplings)

Used in: shio

Image by the Intercontinental Hong Kong, CC

There’s a number of other ingredients like umeboshi (pickled plum) on top of Santouka’s shio ramen that I love to chili threads that are used on tantan men to miso ramen. This list goes on and on from pork back fat in Jiro style ramen to a number of other ingredients that a number of you can cite that I probably overlooked (feel free to comment), but like I said, this is only a basic list.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.