What is Shio Ramen?
Shio Ramen is one of the classic types of ramen that can be found at ramen restaurants everywhere. The soup broth is mixed with a salt-based 'tare' (sauce) that gives it a salty flavor. Shio Ramen generally has a fairly light broth that is clear to golden yellow in color.
塩 (Shio) is the Japanese word for 'salt.' Thus, 塩ラーメン (shio ramen) means 'salt ramen.'
Ramen soup is almost always flavored with some sort of 'tare' which adds saltiness and flavor to the broth (the broth provides the umami and richness). Shoyu, shio, and miso ramens all get their names from the type of tare used (soy sauce, salt, or miso). For more info on ramen types, check out our more extensive article:
What does Shio Ramen Taste Like?
Obviously, every shio ramen will taste different, and there can be a huge variety in flavor, thickness, fattiness, umami, etc. However, in general, shio ramen is lighter than other types of ramen and is thought to have a more mild, gentler taste. The broth in shio ramen can be made from a variety of ingredients ranging from seaweed to chicken to fish, to pork, and the flavors in the broth are usually highlighted by the salt tare, not overpowered by it.
History of Shio Ramen
Although there is a lack of any hard evidence, it's commonly thought that the first ramen sold in Japan was shio ramen, offered at a restaurant in Hakodate, Hokkaido in 1884. The soup broth was supposedly made with konbu, seafood, pork bones, chicken bones, and flavored with a salt-based tare. To this day, Hakodate is famous for its shio ramen, and there are many ramen shops across the country selling 'Hakodate Ramen,' which means shio ramen.
How to Make Shio Ramen at Home
Making ramen at home is quite involved, but can be very rewarding, especially if you live somewhere outside of Japan and lack access to a good ramen restaurant. The video below shows you how to make a very simple shio ramen tare that doesn't even require making a soup stock (although you could if you wanted to make an even more delicious ramen).
This has been a basic overview of Shio Ramen. For more information about ramen, check out our more in-depth article: