When it comes to Japanese food, nothing is more flavorful and popular than ramen. A combination of noodles, broth and topping, ramen is well known for its umami flavor.
And yet making ramen is not as easy as mixing all these three essential components together in a hot pot. There’s an art to making authentic ramen, which is why ramen cookbooks are so important. The tasty broth alone takes time to make. For example, if one is making a broth out of pork bones, it will take around 18 hours to render the needed fat, protein and calcium from the ingredients.
And then once you’ve made a broth full of umami, you gotta layer it with a baseline seasoning and then a secondary flavoring before selecting the ideal topping that will provide a textural contrast to the dish.
That’s why making an authentic bowl of ramen can be tricky if you don’t have the skills. Fortunately, there are now a lot of cookbooks that show you how to make ramen the Japanese way.
Some of these cookbooks combine memoir and recipes so you can understand ramen in the context of Japanese culture. Others feature authentic ramen recipes collected from Japanese home kitchens.
Still, there are cookbooks that will show you the extent of ramen’s popularity by highlighting different kinds of ramen recipes in other parts of the world.
Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced cook, the best of these ramen cookbooks will show you how to make a ramen bowl easily in your home kitchen. Here are my top 10 ramen cookbooks on Amazon.
And, if you're looking for other ways to expand your repertoire in the kitchen, why not try Thai cookbooks or French cookbooks?
Best Ramen Cookbooks
- Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo's Most Unlikely Noodle Joint Hardcover – Illustrated
- Ramen Fusion Cookbook: 40 Traditional Recipes and Modern Makeovers of the Classic Japanese Broth Soup Paperback – Illustrated
- Ramen: 50 Classic Ramen And Asian Noodle Soups Hardcover
- Simply Ramen: A Complete Course in Preparing Ramen Meals at Home Hardcover
- Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond [A Cookbook] Hardcover – Illustrated
- Ramen at Home: The Easy Japanese Cookbook for Classic Ramen and Bold New Flavors Paperback
- Ramen: Japanese Noodles and Small Dishes Hardcover
- Ramen for Beginners: Traditional and Modern Recipes Made Simple Paperback
- Ramen Obsession: The Ultimate Bible for Mastering Japanese Ramen Paperback
- The Essential Ramen Cookbook: Simple Homemade Ramen Noodles Recipe Book for Beginners Paperback
1. Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo's Most Unlikely Noodle Joint Hardcover – Illustrated
Part memoir, part cookbook, this book features Ivan Orkin’s journey into becoming a chef and owner of Ivan Ramen, one of Japan’s famous ramen restaurants.
There is one main recipe here: the shio ramen which is the signature dish that the restaurant is known for. The book goes into detail in how to make it, what the ingredients are, how to make those at home and how to put it all together.
Then there is a chapter that focuses on its more popular recipe variations. There are 8 of them here, including tsukemen ramen, mazemen ramen, dashi ramen, variations of shoyu ramen, summer special mazemen ramen, and even fat rye noodles for the ramen.
Readers liked how the book also featured recipes that utilize the elements used for making shio ramen. Another found the memoir section a fascinating look into ramen culture and how to set up a ramen business in Japan. If you’re looking for a book that educates you on the elements of making a ramen dish so that you can easily make your own recipes, this is an essential read.
2. Ramen Fusion Cookbook: 40 Traditional Recipes and Modern Makeovers of the Classic Japanese Broth Soup Paperback – Illustrated
This book features ramen recipes that have been influenced by culinary techniques and ingredients from Korea, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Mexico, and the United States.
It presents the different types of ramen and teaches you how to make them from scratch, from starting a broth base, making the noodles to assembling the dish properly. It also includes recommendations for different types of spices, seasonings, and oils, and coverage on additional ingredients for ramen and preparations.
Recipes are clearly written and are easy to follow. They also come with traditional, fusion and artistic guides to help you get creative in making different version of ramen. Readers recommend this as a practical guide for making an easy bowl of modern fusion ramen.
3. Ramen: 50 Classic Ramen And Asian Noodle Soups Hardcover
This book showcases classic and modern ramen recipes, ranging from beef and pork ramens, poultry and fish and vegetable-based ramens. Samples of the ramen dishes include teriyaki tofu, miso steak and tomato, pork and peanut, sapporo-style vegetables and shredded chicken and kimchi.
There is a section on how to make a base stock from chicken, pork, seaweed and vegetables. It also includes a guide to tare and other flavourings as well as a list of topping ingredients to try.
Recipes are very easy to do and, as one reviewer noted, “fairly basic” which should ease any newbie home cook who’s interested in learning how to make delicious and authentic ramen. Each one comes with a beautiful color photo and a nutritional breakdown of the dish.
4. Simply Ramen: A Complete Course in Preparing Ramen Meals at Home Hardcover
This cookbook will show you to make a ramen dish using four soup bases, homemade or store-bought ramen noodles and traditional and non-traditional ingredients. All in all, there are 70 recipes in this book, including those for soup bases, noodles, toppings, and sides.
The book is outlined similarly to the way a bowl of ramen is assembled: soup base recipes that can be prepared beforehand are first presented, followed by easy noodle recipes and finally a section on flavorful toppings. There’s also a bonus section on yummy sides to complete your ramen meal.
Recipes are categorized into ingredient types (Beef, Pork, Vegetable, Seafood) for easy reference. They’re written clearly and are accompanied by color photos. Readers liked the cookbook's step-by-step processes because this allows them to make their own customizations. Another said she liked the cookbook's suggestions for creative additions.
5. Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond [A Cookbook] Hardcover – Illustrated
This cookbook is a collection of more than 100 recipes that are not only about ramen but also about other traditional Japanese comfort foods. This is a comprehensive and well laid out catalog of Japanese food ranging from Curry to Okonomiyaki and the little-known but essential aspects of ‘Yoshoku' dishes.
Its selection on ramen dishes opens the book. Recipes are clearly written and include a label on its difficulty level (ranging from 1-5). The techniques are well presented so that the home cook will find it easy to follow. There are enough color photos for easy reference. There are also some anecdotes and background info about the dishes.
Readers like this book because it gave them a clear understanding into everyday Japanese home cooking. One liked that it also featured the less popular Japanese comfort foods and showed an easy way how to make them.
6. Ramen at Home: The Easy Japanese Cookbook for Classic Ramen and Bold New Flavors Paperback
This cookbook will show you how to make a restaurant-quality ramen in a home kitchen with over 100 recipes for broths, noodles, topping, bowls and sides.
It provides info on the different types of ramen and the side items that go with each particular dish. The book is divided into sections on broth, tare (seasoning mixed separately and added to the soup), noodles, toppings, and side dishes. There is also a section on Japanese culture and how you should eat your noodles.
Recipes are easy to follow and some use ingredients that may be hard to find, but the book also explains how to make these ingredients yourself.
Readers liked the book’s mix and match approach, where mixing and matching is done to create a whole new ramen meal. Another liked that it offered lots of good vegetarian options.
7. Ramen: Japanese Noodles and Small Dishes Hardcover
This cookbook presents 50 recipes ranging from homemade broth and noodles to complementary dishes and sides such as udon, gyoza, pickles, okonomiyaki, and tempura.
It provides a great overview of the cooking and prep methods in making ramen. It teaches you how to make noodles from scratch, how to flavor the broth and what toppings to make and choose for a particular ramen dish.
Recipes contain step-by-step instructions and are accompanied with beautiful color photos. Not all of them are quick to do; some will require prep work days in advance. The measurements are in metric and imperial units.
One reader liked the book’s structure that made it easy for him to evaluate and compare different recipes and parts of the dish. Another liked the accuracy of the dishes.
8. Ramen for Beginners: Traditional and Modern Recipes Made Simple Paperback
This is an entry-level ramen cookbook for newbies. It features 75 recipes that are a mix of classic and modern interpretations of traditional ramen dishes.
Its introductory chapters cover the basics, from a list of essential items and ingredients to learning about the building blocks of ramen, like the type of broth and how it gives a ramen dish its distinct flavor.
The recipes range from meat-based broths to vegan ones. They’re straightforward and written with both homemade and store-brought ingredients so you can easily choose one according to your comfort level. There are also troubleshooting tips which will help you deal with issues like overcooked noodles or very salty broth.
Readers liked the inclusion of premade ingredients because it can save time and energy. Another liked the wide variety of flavor profiles that are included in the recipe selection.
9. Ramen Obsession: The Ultimate Bible for Mastering Japanese Ramen Paperback
This book offers a comprehensive look into the history of ramen and how it differs from region to region in Japan and in the rest of the world. There are 130 recipes in here, ranging from Shio Tonkotsu Ramen with Black Garlic Oil to Hakodate Shio Ramen with Spicy Ground Chicken, and also includes recipes for the side dishes.
The recipes are user-friendly and do a good job of breaking down the different parts of the dish and how to assemble them to create flavorful ramen dish. They’re written to allow you to build your ramen from scratch easily. Info on prep and cook times, dietary labels (gluten-free, nut-free) and an ingredient substitution list is also included in each recipe.
Readers liked how the book emphasizes the importance of each component in making the best authentic ramen in a home kitchen. One found the book useful for generating new ingredients and techniques.
10. The Essential Ramen Cookbook: Simple Homemade Ramen Noodles Recipe Book for Beginners Paperback
This is another beginner cookbook for making quick and easy homemade ramen dishes. There are 70 ramen dishes here ranging from vegetarian and vegan recipes to classic and curry ramen dishes.
Recipes are easy to follow and are accompanied by nutritional info. There’s also a selection of recipes that are gluten-free which will benefit those with dietary requirements.
If you’re looking for no-frills ramen cookbook that features a good selection of delicious recipes, this book is ideal for you.
RAMEN: 50 CLASSIC RAMEN AND ASIAN NOODLE SOUPS by Heather Whinney
This book has the right mix of classic and modern ramen recipes which should satisfy anyone looking for authenticity in flavor or creativity in ingredients.
Recipes are easy to do and don’t require a lot of ingredients that need to be sourced from Japanese stores. There’s also room for the home cook to adjust the recipes depending on their dietary needs.
Consider this as an essential beginner's guide to ramen before moving on to more intermediate books on the art of making Japanese ramen.
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