Skip to Content

35 Things You Can Add To Ramen

Sharing is caring!

Wondering what you should put in your ramen to make it even better? I've got a list of 35 things you can put in ramen to elevate even a simple package of instant ramen.

Most of these are pantry staples and shelf-stable, so even if you have to buy a larger jar or bottle of an ingredient, you can store it and keep using it in your ramen!

Here's how to take your ramen to the next level.

Jump to:
A variety of sauces, seeds, and vegetables that can be added to ramen.

What to Add to Ramen

Here are some of my favorite things to add to ramen - many are pantry staples. Try combining two or three of these for an elevated bowl of ramen!

  1. Green Onions - Adding sliced green onions to ramen is one of the easiest and most satisfying additions you can make! They're fresh, packed with flavor, and super easy to use. They also make your bowl of ramen look ten times better.
  2. Soy Sauce - Adding a splash of soy sauce to ramen adds salt plus umami flavor and it couldn't be simpler. If you have an already salty seasoning packet this might not be the best option, but if you're using dried noodles or fresh ramen noodles this can add the salty hit you want in a bowl of ramen.
  3. Homemade Ramen Seasoning - My absolute favorite addition to ramen is this ramen seasoning blend I always keep in my spice cabinet. A great alternative to standard seasoning packets.
  4. Sesame Seeds - Try roasted sesame seeds or black sesame seeds for some lovely texture and color.
  5. Peanut Butter - A tablespoon or two of peanut butter makes the creamiest ramen!
  6. Fish Sauce - Want some instant umami? Fish sauce packs a punch of flavor. Add in a teaspoon to start.
  7. Sesame Oil - Use toasted sesame oil as a finishing oil for your ramen. Its rich and nutty flavor will elevate your noodles.
  8. Chili Oil - If you love a little heat, add in a few spoons of chili oil or chili crunch.
  9. Oyster Sauce - This thick, rich sauce will add some super savory flavors. Use it sparingly as it is potent.
  10. Rice Vinegar - Add a teaspoon or so of rice wine vinegar to add some acidity to your bowl (especially if you are using some fatty meat or oil).
  11. Lime Juice - Similar to vinegar, lime adds in some much-needed acidity with some fantastic citrusy flavors.
  12. Hoisin Sauce - A small dollop of hoisin will add a super savory, slightly sweet flavor to your ramen. It's a little like barbecue sauce but richer and saltier.
  13. Brown Sugar - If you want to add some caramel-like sweetness, add one or two teaspoons of brown sugar to your noodles.
  14. Miso Paste - One of the classic ramen add-ins is miso paste. It's richly flavorful, savory, and salty-sweet.
  15. Dashi - Use some instant dashi to add some fish stock flavor to your ramen. It's nice and salty.
  16. Raw Egg - Stir a raw egg into your hot noodles, and it will become creamy and lightly cooked.
  17. Soft-Boiled Egg - Soft-boiled eggs and ramen are a 10/10 combo. Soft boil an egg for 6 minutes, halve it, and add it to your bowl.
  18. Fried Egg - a classic fried egg is a great addition to some hot broth and noodles!
  19. Hot Sauce - Try adding a few teaspoons of a vinegary hot sauce like Frank's or a classic like Sriracha.
  20. Curry Powder - Curry powder is the ultimate spice blend. Add some for a little heat and richly, deep flavors.
  21. Chili Pepper - Slice a red or green chili pepper for some bright, hot flavors.
  22. Cheese - One of the most popular ramen "hacks" is adding slices of American cheese to your ramen. If you like mac and cheese, you've got to try this.
  23. Leafy Greens - Any leafy green, from arugula to spinach to microgreens, can be a delicious, healthy addition to ramen. It adds some freshness and balance to your bowl of noodles.
  24. Red Pepper Paste - Add a dollop of red pepper paste or red chili paste (like Gochujang) for a little heat.
  25. Raw Ginger - Add in a few slivers of peeled, raw ginger to season the water or broth in your ramen. I'd recommend removing it before serving.
  26. Butter - If you've tried Kylie Jenner's viral ramen recipe, you'll know just how delicious and creamy adding butter to ramen can be!
  27. Fresh Vegetables - broccoli florets, sliced bell pepper, and mushrooms are all fantastic additions to ramen. Use whatever you have available in your refrigerator!
  28. Bamboo Shoots - seasoned bamboo (Menma in Japanese) is a lovely, slightly sweet topping for ramen.
  29. Chicken Broth - Sub your water for some chicken broth or stock for richer flavors.
  30. Milk - Want a creamier ramen? Sub half your water for milk.
  31. Bok Choy - Slice a few pieces of baby boy choy and add them into your ramen for the last minute or two of cook time.
  32. Red Pepper Flakes - Add half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to your broth to add a little bit of heat!
  33. Pork Belly - Pork belly (chashu) is a classic ramen pairing. It's fatty and rich - it flavors the broth and pairs beautifully with the noodles.
  34. Coconut Milk - add a little non-dairy creaminess and flavor to your ramen with a few tablespoons to ¼ cup of coconut milk or coconut cream.
  35. Corn - slice fresh sweet corn into your ramen for a sweet bite. You can use canned corn as well!

Many of these items can be found at your local grocery store, but you may have to visit an Asian grocery store to find some of the sauces.

An overhead shot of a bowl of ramen with milk.

Types of Tare for Ramen

There are four main types of ramen broth or bases (called tare). Here's what they're made from and what to add to them.

  • Shio Ramen - made with a lightly salty chicken broth and often seasoned with some seafood like bonita flakes. It's usually topped with a soft-boiled egg, slices of chicken, radish, and corn.
  • Shoyu Ramen - a salty and tangy ramen made with soy sauce. This one is easy to make at home! You can top it with an egg, pickled mushrooms, sliced scallions, radishes, and more.
  • Miso Ramen - this popular ramen has a familiar sauce made from miso (soybean paste) and soy sauce. It has a slightly sweet flavor and usually is topped with bamboo shoots, pork, and scallions.
  • Tonkatsu - has a rich broth made from boiled pork bones and is often served with a soft-boiled egg and pork.

How to Make Ramen Healthier

Making your own ramen from dried or fresh noodles (and not using an instant ramen package) can immediately make your ramen healthier.

Instant ramen noodles are fried, but dried ramen noodles aren't - see the difference in the photo below.

If you are using an instant ramen package, you can make your own seasoning blend, with less sodium.

You can also add all sorts of nutrient-dense ingredients to your ramen like eggs, spinach, mushrooms, green onions, bell pepper, sesame seeds, and more.

Two types of ramen noodles on a marble background.
Fried ramen noodles (the type from an instant ramen package) or dried ramen noodles (that aren't fried).

Easy Ramen Recipes

Ramen noodles in a bowl with broth, chopped scallions, and chili oil.

I hope you enjoy this list! What will you be adding to your ramen?