How To Make Homemade Shoyu-Style Ramen

updated Feb 15, 2024
Shoyu Ramen Recipe

With tender pork, jammy eggs, chewy noodles, and extra-flavorful broth, everyone will ask when you’re making this again.


Prep35 minutes to 40 minutes

Cook2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours 15 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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chopsticks and soup spoon tightly placed near pink bowl of shoyu ramen
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

As I watch the gentle flakes of snow drifting then disappearing into the white mountain landscape of Japan, I want something warm, comforting, and slurpable. On days like this, shoyu ramen hits the spot. While not as luxurious as tonkotsu ramen with its long-simmered broth, this popular type of ramen highlights the quintessential Japanese pantry staple, shoyu, which means soy sauce in Japanese. (Here’s a quick guide to different types of soy sauce and how to use them). 

Ramen came to Japan from China and you can see this historial connection in the naming — it is sometimes called chūka soba, which translates to “Chinese soba.” With an over 100-year history in Japan, ramen has been woven into the fabric of the cuisine with regional variations like shio (salt), miso, tonkotsu, and, of course, shoyu. 

These days it’s easy to source ingredients online, but if you have a Japanese or Asian grocery store nearby, I’d encourage you to drop in. Focus on getting a good-quality shoyu, mirin (Japanese rice wine), and cooking sake to start, as these are pantry items used over and over in Japanese recipes. Making ramen at home is a labor of love, but the result is more than worth it.

Key Components in Shoyu Ramen

  • Tare: This is the main seasoning, which gives the ramen its flavor.
  • Chicken stock: This recipe calls for making a light chicken stock with chicken bones, aromatics, kombu (dried kelp), and dried shiitake mushrooms, which allows the shoyu flavor to really shine. The chicken stock is added to the tare just before serving. 
  • Noodles: You’ll want to go for fresh noodles like Sun Noodle if you can find them. Dried ramen noodles will work too. 
  • Toppings: The toppings for this shoyu ramen recipe are chashu (sliced braised pork), ajitsuke tamago (marinated egg), scallions, corn, grated garlic, and nori.

How to Make Shoyu Ramen

  1. Make the chashu and tare. Combine pork shoulder, aromatics, soy sauce, mirin, water, and sake in a pot. When simmering, a sheet of foil fitted onto your pot acts as an otoshibuta (drop lid) and helps keep the top of the meat moist, while preventing too much liquid from evaporating. Once tender, remove the pork and strain the cooking liquid, which is the tare. 
  2. Make the chicken stock. To cut down on the overall cooking time, you can simmer this alongside the chashu and tare. 
  3. Marinate the eggs. For this, soft-boil eggs then marinate them in equal parts water and tare for 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Assemble the ramen. The tare and stock ratio for each individual bowl is about 1:6. Use this as a basic guide because the strength of the tare is dependent on the brand of shoyu and how concentrated it gets while simmering. I encourage you to do a test bowl first. My bowl could hold about 1 1/4 cups stock (accounting for room for the noodles) so I used a scant 3 1/4 tablespoons tare to start. After tasting, I added one more teaspoon of tare. It’s best to under-season and adjust, rather than over-season. Once you’ve determined the right proportion, add the boiled ramen noodles, arrange the toppings, and serve.
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Using Dried vs. Fresh Noodles

I recommend fresh noodles for shoyu, but dried noodles can work in a pinch. They’re also convenient because they can be stored longer. If you have a choice, go for wavy noodles with a medium thickness. This style of noodle is standard for shoyu ramen.

Suggested Toppings

  • Chashu is tender and flavorful braised pork.  
  • Ajitsuke tamago is a marinated, soft-boiled egg that adds richness.
  • Scallions impart a fresh kick to each bite.
  • Corn lends sweetness to an otherwise savory bowl.
  • Nori adds a mild umami note.
  • Just a hint of grated garlic can add another layer of flavor.
  • Other common toppings include boiled spinach, bean sprouts, menma (seasoned bamboo shoots), wakame (dried seaweed), thinly sliced Japanese leeks, naruto fish cake, and a dash of ground white pepper.

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips

Because making shoyu ramen can be time-consuming, here are some helpful tips for getting ahead on prep. 

  • The chashu, tare, ajitsuke tamago, and chicken stock can be made a day in advance. 
  • If storing the chashu for longer, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in a zip-top bag, then store in the freezer for up to one month. 
  • The tare and chicken stock can also be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or in the freezer for up to three months. 

If You’re Making Shoyu Ramen, a Few Tips 

  • Wait to slice the chashu until after it’s chilled.The chashu will be much easier to slice after it cools in the refrigerator. Once placed in serving bowls, the hot soup will gently warm the chashu.
  • Enjoy the chashu and tare in other ways. You can use the leftover chashu in fried rice or an Asian-inspired breakfast hash. The leftover tare can be used as a soup base for udon or soba noodles by adding dashi (Japanese soup stock) or as a seasoning in a stir-fry.
  • Timing is key to avoiding soggy noodles. Plan to have the tare and stock ladled into bowls and the toppings ready before the noodles are done cooking. The noodles will continue to cook in the hot soup, so eat immediately after serving.

Shoyu Ramen Recipe

With tender pork, jammy eggs, chewy noodles, and extra-flavorful broth, everyone will ask when you’re making this again.

Prep time 35 minutes to 40 minutes

Cook time 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours 15 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


For the chashu and tare: (makes about 2 1/2 cups tare)

  • 1

    (1-pound) piece boneless pork shoulder

  • 1

    medium Japanese or 1 small regular leek

  • 1

    (1-inch) piece ginger

  • 1 cup

    soy sauce

  • 1 cup


  • 1 (2-inch) piece

    ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 3/4 cup


  • 1/2 cup


For the chicken stock:

  • 1

    small yellow onion

  • 6

    cloves garlic

  • 1

    (1-inch) piece ginger

  • 1

    (about 6-inch) piece dried kombu

  • 1 1/4 pounds

    chicken bones, such as chicken backbones or chicken wings

  • 11 1/2 cups


  • 3

    dried shiitake mushrooms

For the ajitsuke tamago (marinated egg), noodles, and other toppings:

  • 4

    cold large eggs

  • 1

    medium scallions

  • 1

    (7 to 8.5-ounce) can whole kernel corn

  • 1

    clove garlic

  • 1

    sheet nori

  • 4

    (about 4-ounce) portions fresh ramen noodles, or 4 (about 3-ounce) portions dried ramen noodles

  • Ground white or black pepper (optional)


Make the chashu and tare:

  1. Place 1 (1-pound) piece boneless pork shoulder in a medium saucepan. Prepare the following, adding each to the saucepan as you complete it: Trim and cut 1 medium Japanese or 1 small leek (all parts) crosswise into 3-inch pieces. Cut 1 (1-inch) piece ginger crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds (no need to peel). Crush 4 garlic cloves with the flat part of a knife and peel if needed.

  2. Add 1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup mirin, 3/4 cup water, and 1/2 cup sake. Bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, cut a sheet of aluminum foil that will fit inside the saucepan, then tear a little slit in the center.

  3. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Place the foil in the saucepan, pressing it directly onto the surface of the ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes. (This is a good time to make the chicken stock.)

  4. Remove the foil and set aside. Fip the pork, cover again with the foil, and simmer until knife tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more.

  5. Turn off the heat. Remove the foil and flip the pork. Cover again with the foil and let cool in the liquid for 2 to 3 hours. Transfer the pork to a sheet of plastic wrap, tightly wrap it up, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  6. Pour the cooking liquid (this is the tare) through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl; discard the contents of the strainer. Skim off the layer of fat at the top if desired (optional). Reserve the tare for the ajitsuke tamago and ramen broth.

Make the chicken stock:

  1. While the chashu is cooking, make the chicken stock. Prepare the following, adding each to the same large pot as you complete it: Halve 1 small yellow onion. Slice 1 (1-inch) piece ginger crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds (no need to peel). Crush 6 garlic cloves with the flat part of a knife and peel if needed. Cut 1 (6-inch) piece dried kombu.

  2. Add 1 1/4 pounds chicken bones, 11 1/2 cups water, and 3 dried shiitake mushrooms. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foamy impurities that rise to the surface with a mesh ladle or spoon (but be careful not to spoon out too much of the liquid). A lot of foam will appear in the first half hour to hour, but will slowly decrease. Simmer until the stock is clear and flavorful, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  3. Fit a fine-mesh strainer over a medium saucepan or large heatproof bowl. Pour the chicken stock through the strainer and discard the contents of the strainer.

Make the ajitsuke tamago (marinated egg):

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Slowly lower 4 cold large eggs into the water one at a time. Return to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath by filling a medium bowl halfway with ice and water.

  2. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and place in the ice water bath. Let sit until the eggs are cool to the touch. Peel the eggs and place in a container that will fit the eggs somewhat snuggly or a sandwich-sized plastic zip top bag.

  3. Add enough reserved tare to halfway to cover the eggs (about 1/3 cup, but make sure there is at least 1 cup tare left for the broth). Add enough room temperature water so the liquid completely cover the eggs, then give it a gentle stir. If there is not enough tare to completely cover the eggs (i.e. if the container is large or you don’t want to use up a lot of the tare), lay a piece of paper towel over the top. The paper towel will soak up the tare and help marinate the part of the egg peeking out. Cover or press the air out of the bag and then seal.

  4. Let the eggs marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 but no more than 24 hours. (Remove the eggs from the marinade after 24 hours and refrigerate in a separate container.)

Assemble the ramen:

  1. When ready to serve, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, place the chicken stock in a saucepan and return to a simmer over medium heat. For each serving (up to 4), place 3 1/2 tablespoons of the tare in a deep serving bowl (at least 4 cups). Unwrap and thinly slice the chashu. Halve the eggs lengthwise. Thinly slice 1 medium scallion. Drain 1 (7 to 8.5-ounce) can whole kernel corn. Finely grate 1 garlic clove. Cut 1 nori sheet into 4 squares.

  2. Add 1 (3 to 4-ounce) portion ramen noodles for each serving desired to the hot water and cook according to package directions. Just before the noodles are done, ladle 1 1/4 cups of the hot chicken stock into each bowl and gently stir to combine; taste and season with more tare 1 teaspoon at a time as needed.

  3. Drain the noodles very well, then add to the bowls. Arrange the chashu (you will have extra), egg, corn, scallion, nori, and garlic on top. Sprinkle with ground pepper if desired and serve.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The chashu, ajitsuke tamago, and chicken stock can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated in separate airtight containers. If making the eggs more than a day ahead, remove the eggs from the tare after 1 day and refrigerate in a separate airtight container.

For longer-term storage, place the plastic-wrapped chashu in a zip top bag and freeze for up to 1 month. The tare and chicken stock can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Storage: Store leftover components in separate airtight containers for up to 2 days.

A version of this recipe was first published in January 2018 by Meghan Splawn.