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How to eat Japanese Ramen. Do and Don'ts etiquette in Japan

How to eat Japanese Ramen. Do and Don'ts etiquette in Japan

Even though ramen is one of the most well-known Japanese dishes, not everyone eats it the same manner. Ramen can be actually eaten in a variety of ways, before digging into your first or next bowl of noodles, you can read this guide to learn everything you need to know.

In Japan, ramen shops may be found in every district. Although it is fast and informal eating, some of the busiest establishments may have queues out the door. It is not appropriate to linger over your bowl because most establishments are small. It is preferable to leave as soon as you are finished eating so that the person behind you in line can get a seat.


What types of ramen can I order in Japan?

There are four most popular types of ramen. Miso ramen, shio ramen (salt), and shoyu ramen (soy sauce) are three of the sorts, while tonkotsu, or pork bone stock, is the fourth. Seasonings and stock ingredients, like chicken, fish, and seafood, are combined from place to place and store to store. yet there here are countless regional variations within these four basic flavors. Tonkotsu bases and miso are both common ingredients in Sapporo ramen. Local favorites, maize, and fish are among the toppings. Hakata-style ramen, which is popular in Fukuoka, is distinguished by its hazy pig bone broth, straightforward toppings, and the practice of kaedama, or refilling your noodles while your soup is still hot.

 Japanese ramen bowl

What is required?

You will need chopsticks and a ramen spoon. Most restaurants provide either disposable chopsticks, plastic or metal. If you don’t have ramen spoon at home you can use a regular spoon too!

 eating ramen with a fork

Eating with a fork?

If you are eating ramen in a Japanese setting or restaurant, it could be considered impolite to use a fork. This is due to the fact that eating ramen with chopsticks and a ramen ladle is customary. However, if you are at home and feel better using a fork, there is nothing wrong about it!

 Let’s start eating ramen!

Ramen can be eaten in a variety of ways, but the key is to consume the noodles and soup simultaneously. Here is a quick tutorial showing you how to slurp your ramen;


  1. Put the ramen ladle in your other hand and hold the chopsticks in your dominant hand.
  2. Appreciate the ramen's scent.
  3. Combine the noodles and toppings.
  4. Chopsticks are used to pick up the noodles, while a spoon is used to add some liquid.
  5. After finishing the noodles, use your spoon to suck up the soup. By doing this, you may enjoy the full flavor of the broth and noodles in a single bite.
  6. With your chopsticks, take a few of the toppings and start eating them. As you eat, switch between the noodles and toppings.
  7. Slurp the soup with your spoon once everything in the bowl has been consumed. Alternatively if the place has the option you could order kaedama and have seconds!
  8. Finally, never put your chopsticks into the bowl; instead put them next to it or on the rim. Putting the chopsticks in the bowl is a funeral custom that is believed to bring ill luck.


chewing ramen

Do you chew the noodles in your ramen?

Ramen noodles can be bit into while being slurped up as long as you don't drop them back into the soup. They will splash you and cause a mess, therefore this is why. You also don't chew your noodles too thoroughly because ramen is designed to be consumed hot, which allows you to eat more quickly. The noodles will cook more in the broth and take up too much liquid if you eat them too slowly.


To slurp or not to slurp

Slurping is encouraged when eating ramen even though it is frowned upon in many Western nations. In addition to prepare you to fully appreciate the flavor of the meal while eating it quickly, it helps to cool the hot noodles and broth. Additionally, it is regarded as a sign of appreciation for the cook and demonstrates that you are enjoying the meal.

 man eating japanese ramen

How fast should I eat?

The longer the noodles rest in the soup, the mushier they will get. Additionally, starch released by mushy noodles alters the flavor of the broth. Ramen must therefore be consumed quickly to maintain the ideal, most delicious noodle texture (al dente!). Ramen is made to be consumed rapidly, which explains why you'll frequently hear frantic slurping. Put your face as close to the bowl as possible so you can swiftly and cleanly insert the spoon. The best ramen experience is on the line here, so traditional ramen eating might not be the best option for a romantic date because there isn't much time for conversation and you'll be preoccupied with the meal.


drinking ramen broth

Can you drink the ramen broth?

As the noodles and toppings are meant to be consumed simultaneously, you should sip the broth while consuming them.


Can I have seconds?

Most places allow to order ramen noodles only (kaedama) and add them to the remaining broth. This option is cheaper than ordering a second bowl, and many people do it!


Can I add toppings?

Most restaurants have the option to add free pickled ginger, spicy oil, sesame oil and grinded sesame seeds. Most of the time you can order an extra egg, pork meat or chicken too.

 instant ramen japanese

What about instant ramen?

While instant ramen doesn’t have the number of toppings that a restaurant bowl has, the way of eating the noodles in conjunction with the broth is the same.


Now that you're an expert at eating ramen, do you want to learn how to make it as well?

The allure of ramen is that it is a delectable Japanese specialty, making eating it out quite a special treat. Ramen can be readily made at home as well, though! Visit our ramen, udon and soba page to see to see a wide range or ready to cook sets!

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