Survival Japanese – at the Ramen restaurant


Ramen (ラーメン) is a Japanese noodle soup dish which is very popular amongst Japanese as well as foreigners. It consists of Chinese style noodles in a broth with toppings such as sliced pork, green onions and many more. This article explains the different types of Ramen as well as vocabulary and phrases that will be useful to eat at almost any Ramen restaurant.




1) The 4 basic types of ramen soup

There are four basic types of broth for Ramen:

  • Shouyu Ramen (醤油ラーメン)with soy souce
  • Shio Ramen (塩ラーメン) – vegetable broth
  • Miso Ramen (味噌ラーメン) with miso paste
  • Tonkotsu Ramen (豚骨ラーメン) – a pork broth

On top of these four basic ramen soup you will also find many variations and combination driven by regional preferences or the restaurants trying to create unique dishes.


Shoyu Ramen

Shio Ramen

Miso Ramen

Tonkotsu Ramen






2. The toppings

Each ramen restaurant offers different toppings for ramen. Some toppings are fixed part of the dish whereas other toppings can be ordered as options. This is a list of the most common toppings:

  • Nori (海苔) – seawead
  • Negi (ネギ) – green onions
  • Moyashi (もやし) – soy sprouts
  • Tamago (卵) – boiled egg
  • Chaashuu (チャーシュー) grilled pork slices
  • Goma (ごま) – sesame
  • Koon (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:

  • gyouza (餃子) – dumplings
  • chaahan (チャーハン) – fried rice








4. Vocabulary & sentences

Here are a few words and patterns that will help you to get what you want at any Ramen restaurant.

English Romaji Furigana
big portion oumori おうもり おうもり
more please okawari kudasai おかわりください おかわり下さい
please help tasukete kudasai たすけてください 助けて下さい
the bill please okaikei おかいけい お会計
water please omizu kudasai おみずください お水下さい

What is YOUR favorite Ramen. Please share your best Ramen experiences in the comment section.


  1. Great Info!

    Quick proofreading note…(see the “>>>” marked line below.)
    1) The 4 basic types of ramen soup
    There are four basic types of broth for Ramen:
    Shouyu Ramen (醤油ラーメン)with soy souce
    Shio Ramen (塩ラーメン) – vegetable broth
    Miso Ramen (味噌ラーメン) with miso paste
    >>>Tonkotsu Ramen (豚骨ラーメン) – a *porc* broth

    *porc >>> pork

  2. In the body of the article (first paragraph), pork is also misspelled. Sesame is misspelled as well.

    • Thanks for pointing out the spelling mistakes. I must have been really tired (or hungry) when I wrote this post. Thanks again for helping me on this one.

  3. and… where is the naruto? ):

  4. Marina says:

    In our Ramen Kitchen (Takuya, Düsseldorf) you dont need to order the bill. You receive the bill automatically and take it with you to the entrance, so you can pay it at the cash box! Never give Nickelbackor tip someone, its rude. If you eat with chopstick and take a break or finished your dinner, arrange them right at the top of the bowl instead of put them on the table. To put chopsticks on the table without chopstick rest is unpolite, too.
    Thats all i know… Oh, and taste greentea-icecream and kirin beer 🙂 its awesome!!

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