Everything You Need To Know About Ramen Bowls

There's more to ramen bowls than you might assume. Ramen bowls, or ramen bachi, are designed to hold a specific combination of broth noodles and toppings. And as such, their shape has evolved to be the perfect shape. So what should you look for in a good ramen bowl?

In this expert guide, we'll talk about the basics of ramen bowls, and look at the most authentic Japanese ramen bowl designs.

Or if you want to discover Japanese food & ingredients, check out our Japanese Supermarket, or learn more about Japanese recipes!


Anatomy Of Ramen - And Why It Matters!

There are 5 essential components to a classic ramen. And these have shaped the bowls that this classic Japanese recipe is served in.

  • Broth: The heart and soul of any ramen, bringing rich flavour to the bowl.
  • Noodles: The foundation, providing the satisfying texture that makes ramen memorable.
  • Toppings: A play of textures and flavours, from veggies to ramen eggs, adding depth to each slurp.
  • Seasonings: Simple yet impactful, these enhance the overall taste of your ramen. Try miso!
  • Garnish: A finishing touch for visual appeal, turning your bowl into a work of art. You can try adding spring onions!

It’s the combination of these elements that really matters. Your ramen bowl must be deep enough to hold enough broth to keep your noodles soft and coated.

Plus wide enough to contain toppings such as sliced meat or a halved nitamago ramen egg. And the bowl should allow you to combine a perfect mouthful of all the elements in one swoop of your chopsticks.

Authentic Japanese Ramen Bowls

So what makes ramen bowls different from other bowls?

Ramen bowls are deep and broad. Cradling your noodles and toppings perfectly. They're not too big, not too small – just the right size for a satisfying slurp. No frills, just function.

You may not fill them to the brim with ingredients. But the size allows you to combine different elements in each mouthful. And to move your noodles about freely, to coat in seasoned broth - without risk of spilling!

Now, let's tackle the comparisons. A ramen bowl stands out with its depth, while a pho bowl is more shallow, and an udon bowl tends to be wider. Simple distinctions that make a big difference in your noodle experience.

How To Choose The Right Ramen Bowl (Tips from the Sous Chef Team)

So once you know what the distinctive broad, deep shape matters - which ramen bowl should you choose? 

As for material, go for something sturdy, with a stable foot.

And if you’d like an authentic design, take a look at our Japanese Blue Wave ramen bowls, or Sakura Blossom ramen bowls.

Below are the selection of ramen bowls chosen by the Sous Chef team!


Chouseki Ramen Bowl

Attractive duck-egg blue edged stoneware bowl decorated with a traditional glaze.

The speckled bowl is decorated with a deep blue glaze on the outside, which fades to a sandy-coloured glaze on the inside. Japanese tableware is designed to be mixed and matched at the table with other designs, colours and textures.


Komorebi Ramen Bowl

'Komorebi' is a Japanese word meaning ‘sunlight filtering through trees’, a vision conjured up by the delicate interplay between the different shades of green and golden sandy colours on this glazed stoneware ramen bowl.


Mizumi Ramen Bowl

Use the mizumi ramen bowl for hearty servings of authentic Japanese ramen. The large bowl is also just right for a warming portion of Japanese curry with rice.

The ramen bowl is finished with a multi-tonal deep blue glaze, making it look like a serene lake.


If you’re looking for ramen bowl sets, we have it too! These classic ramen bowls come with a booklet of tried and tested ramen recipes. Along with two bamboo ramen ladles. They are packed in beautiful Sous Chef canvas bags - the ideal gift for any food lover.

Japanese Ramen Bowl Set

The Japanese ramen bowl set is your shortcut to ramen mastery! The start to perfect ramen is a gorgeous ramen bowl to serve it in, and this set will certainly give you that. Each ramen bowl is imported from Japan, and carefully chosen with the perfect size and shape for ramen. They are dishwasher safe.

The gorgeous set contains two ramen bowls, two ramen ladles, and a full colour ramen recipe booklet. All packed together in a reusable drawstring cotton gift bag.

The full-colour ramen recipe booklet gives you a brief introduction to Japanese ramen. You'll have all the recipes at your fingertips to become a ramen expert at home!

Sakura Ramen Bowl Set

The sakura blossom ramen bowl set is a gorgeous gift for anyone who loves Japanese food. 

The gorgeous set contains two sakura ramen bowls, two ramen ladles, and a full colour ramen recipe booklet. All packed together in a reusable drawstring cotton gift bag.

The sakura design represents 'cherry blossom' - sakura - which is revered for its beauty and how it heralds the start of the new season across Japan. Each ramen bowl is imported from Japan, and carefully chosen with the perfect size and shape for ramen. 

The full-colour ramen recipe booklet gives you a brief introduction to Japanese ramen. You'll have all the recipes at your fingertips to become a ramen expert at home! 


Chouseki Ramen Bowl Set

The chouseki ramen bowl set will have you making the best ramen in no time at all! 

The gorgeous set contains two chouseki ramen bowls, two ramen ladles, and a full colour ramen recipe booklet. All packed together in a reusable drawstring cotton gift bag.

The chouseki noodle bowl is decorated with a deep blue glaze on the outside, which fades to a sandy-coloured glaze on the inside. Each ramen bowl is imported from Japan, and carefully chosen with the perfect size and shape for ramen. 

The full-colour ramen recipe booklet gives you a brief introduction to Japanese ramen. You'll have all the recipes at your fingertips to become a ramen expert at home! 

Ramen Bowl Recipes

Feeling inspired? Check out a few of the ramen recipes we love here at Sous Chef. And browse all the Japanese ramen ingredients you need to start cooking!

Miso Ramen

Miso ramen is perhaps a misnomer. Yes, the Japanese soup contains miso - around 1 tbsp per portion - but the layers of flavour bring so much more. The recipe starts with a basic chicken stock, yet the real thrill of the dish lies in the additional toppings.

To make life easier it may be worth preparing some - or all - of the components the day before. Even the soft boiled eggs will keep well overnight. You may well be tempted to leave out something here and there, but don't. It's a recipe worth making in the whole.

Tonkotsu Ramen

‘Tonkotsu’ literally translates as pork bones. Which is an accurate description of this Japanese food, which transforms an apparently useless pile of bones into heart-warming, lip-smackingly delicious ramen broth.

A seemingly simple bowl of tonkotsu ramen made by a ramen expert might include six to eight sub-recipes. Ramen masters can spend significant time calculating exact salinity of the tonkotsu broth before adding more clever salt solutions, perhaps made from dried fish, and even sweetening the broth.

However we've simplified all that to create a quick and easy tonkotsu ramen recipe that's a fantastic alternative to eating in one of Tokyo's best ramen joints. The very long cooking time and the rolling boil result in a beautifully creamy tonkotsu broth. 

Tahini Tantanmen Ramen

This recipe is inspired by tantanmen ramen – a Japanese take on Sichuan dan dan noodles, with a broth made from soya milk and sesame – but it is by no means authentic.

Typically, this would have a proper stock as the base and be topped with minced (ground) pork, but I got attached to the idea of a ramen that could be knocked up quickly and that remained vegetarian/vegan.

Udon noodles is used in this recipe because of how much Alexina Anatole love their texture: big, fat, slippery, chewy!

This is a perfect lunch or dinner for two, in part because the mushrooms and leeks benefit from not being overcrowded when you cook them.

How To Take Care Of Your Ramen Bowl

To make sure that these ramen bowls we love will last long, here are some no-nonsense tips on how to take care of them:

  • Handle with Care: Avoid sudden temperature changes – no hot to cold or vice versa.
  • Gentle Clean-Up: Hand wash your ramen bowl with mild soap to preserve its integrity.
  • Mind the Hole: That little hole in some bowls? It helps maintain temperature, so don't block it.
  • Lids: Some ramen bowls come with lids – they're there to keep your noodles warm.

With these straightforward steps, you'll keep your ramen bowls in tip-top shape and ready for many more noodle dishes!

Ramen Bowl Etiquette

Ramen bowls come with their own set of table manners. It’s not simply a case of serving and eating. Before you dish up in your new favourite ramen bowls, take a look at these etiquette ‘rules’...

  • Slurping: Don't be shy – slurping your noodles is a sign you're enjoying your meal!
  • Bowl manners: Keep the bowl on the table; lifting it to your mouth is a no-no.
  • Silent enjoyment: Ramen time is quiet time; avoid overly loud conversations and simply enjoy the dish.

If you’re curious about more ramen history and expertise, check out our guide on How To Eat Ramen The Right Way!

 



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