Make delicious Yuzu Ramen from scratch at home. This easy yuzu ramen recipe will take you to a new dimension. Japan’s famous citrus makes this ramen to die for!
Making ramen at home is very popular in Japan. Yuzu ramen is one of the super popular ramen recipes of the country.
Ramen is Japan’s national food. From the Michelin starred ramen restaurant in Tokyo (Afuri) to instant yuzu ramen in a packet, yuzu ramen is well and truly on the menu!
I’ve tried and tested yuzu ramen without bone broth and animal fat. And it’s delicious, and surprisingly easy to make. It’s time to get on board the yuzu ramen train – you’ll love it!
What is yuzu? Yuzu is Japanese citrus fruit. It has a deep and complex fragrance and citrus flavor. This yuzu ramen was made with Japan’s divine citrus fruit and has become one of our favorite yuzu recipes.
Can’t find yuzu at your local shop? No problem. Read on!
What’s in this Yuzu Ramen
I’ve been making homemade ramen since I was kid. I also visited famous ramen restaurants of Japan in the past. It’s really in my DNA. My mission here is to make yuzu ramen as authentic as possible!
I tried and tested lots of different combinations of vegetable broth to make ramen. It took a bit of doing, and a few failures along the way, but I have developed one that my partner and I love. You will too. It uses a plant based Japanese dashi (broth).
This yuzu ramen soup is a light and refined salt (shio) based transparent ramen broth. The citrus flavored yuzu shio soup is so refreshing and subtle, but so tasty! It’s not like the thick and heavy oily bone broth common in Japan.
I made this ramen noodle bowl with yuzu kosho and blended it with Japanese dashi. It has turned into one of our favorite yuzu kosho recipes. This yuzu ramen is a slightly spicy ramen with citrusy flavor and aroma. You won’t be disappointed!
Ingredients for yuzu ramen recipe
Finding the right ingredients for each component is the key to success in this yuzu ramen recipe! But don’t worry, the ingredients are available from Japanese grocery stores or Amazon.
Noodle for yuzu ramen
Find the eggless ramen noodle at the shop. I prefer fresh ramen noodle. If it’s yellowy, that’s good, but check there’s no egg used in it. It’s alkaline ramen which is usually yellow because kansui, alkaline, reacts with the flour and turns ramen noodle into yellow color. Kansui is also the secret to make the ramen noodle a springy texture.
You also need to decide on the thickness of your noodle. Ramen usually has three different thickness levels. This yuzu ramen works well with thin or middle thickness noodles. Just compare a few packets in the shop.
Yuzu ramen broth
Kombu: For ramen both, this is a plant-based eater’s best friend. Kombu is Japanese thick seaweed, and it is indispensable for making dashi. It’s dried and fermented for years. This is why kombu creates rich flavor called umami. We are going to use this umami for ramen broth! My favorite brands are Rishiri and Rausu from Hokkaido, Japan. But really, any brand could work with this ramen recipe.
Dried Shiitake: Use only dried ones. Umami is condensed within them. Dried shiitake is necessary for making Japanese dashi. It’s umami combines brilliantly with kombu.
Sea Salt: It’s important to find a good quality sea salt for making refined yuzu shio (salt) soup. Sea salt contains rich minerals. It’s umami is particularly well blended with kombu and works well with citrus fruit.
YUZU RAMEN SAUCE
Japanese Sake: Sake boosts umami from dashi and makes it refined. You can use it not only for ramen soups but also for teriyaki sauce or other types of vegetable cooking. I use an everyday drinking sake. I usually sneak a little bit for myself while I cook!
Japanese Mirin: Sea salt, sake, soy sauce and mirin make the dashi refined and authentic. All of these are needed for making authentic yuzu ramen. You can use Mirin for teriyaki sauce, salad dressing, soup and more. Mirin is a secret weapon in Japanese cooking. It adds extra umami to dishes.
Someone may recommend sugar to replace to mirin. Sugar is something I don’t use for this ramen recipe. It just doesn’t work as well or authentically, so it’s worth going to the effort of buying some mirin – you’ll make great use of it with other recipes.
Soy Sauce: Although we are making yuzu shio ramen (salt based ramen), we still need a bit of soy sauce. Japanese dashi works well with soy sauce. Make sure you use Japanese shoyu (soy sauce) not tamari. For ramen, Japanese soy sauce is best.
Yuzu is the star of this recipe. This citrus fruit is available at Japanese or Asian grocery shops in winter, usually from December to February.
Oil: Use corn, canola or avocado, or any types of vegetable oil. Add sesame oil. Sesame oil brings more depth, but it should not disturb the yuzu flavor, so use sparingly I use toasted sesame oil as it has the best, smoky flavor with more intensity – perfect for ramen. The yellow colored sesame oil is not toasted and has less flavor.
Onion Powder: To add a sweet and savory flavor to ramen broth, I use onion powder.
What happens if you cannot find yuzu?
You may not be able to find yuzu at your local shops. No worries! As I promised earlier, there is a solution.
Yuzu kosho also works perfectly well with many savory dishes. My partner, Andy, uses it almost every day on pretty much anything! That’s why I make yuzu kosho recipe. It can be saved in the fridge for six months. If you come across yellow and golden yuzu, try this recipe for red yuzu kosho.
How to make Yuzu Ramen
There are three main components in Ramen:
- Ramen broth
Each component needs to be prepared and cooked in order. Then they are combined into delicious ramen. I will explain it step by step.
- Two middle sized pans
- One big pan for cooking noodle
- A strainer to drain the water out of the noodle
1. Preparing ramen topping
Topping is basically the vegetables or condiments you add to the soup. You can really choose your own favorite vegetables – but I find simple vegetables such as bok choy, spinach, spring onions, and sprouts work well in most ramen.
This yuzu ramen is made with a refined and delicate soup. So it’s best to use vegetables that do not disturb yuzu’s aromatic flavor and citrus taste.
I used finely cut spring onions with sliced yuzu skin, Japanese nori (seaweed), rocket and sprouts. I also added a dried shiitake as I used it for dashi making. So tasty!
2. Making ramen soup
Soak kombu and dried shiitake in water, and keep it over night in the fridge. This saves your time in making dashi.
- Transfer soaked kombu, dried shiitake and water into a pan and simmer on a low heat for around 10-15 minutes.
- Gradually bring to the boil and remove kombu ‘just before’ the water starts boiling.
- Once it starts boiling, remove shiitake mushrooms, remove the stems and discard.
- Keep the tops for later for the topping. Add sake, salt, soy sauce and mirin.
- Add vegetable oil and sesame oil, finely chopped spring onion and ginger into another pan and cook on low heat for around 3 minutes. Do not burn the ingredients.
- Then add onion powder. Set the pan aside.
3. Boiling ramen noodle
- Boil water in a large pan. You need enough water to let noodles ‘swim’ and not clump together. This is important!
- Add noodles and cook (as per instructions on the packet).
- Drain the water ‘completely’.
4. Blending and layering ramen
Blending yuzu ramen soup with ramen noodle and adding the topping needs to be handled quickly but surely.
- Warm the ramen bowl (I just add boiling water, empty when you’re ready to add the noodles and dashi).
- Add yuzu juice and the skin (or yuzu kosho) to the spring onion and ginger. Then add the boiled dashi.
- Then pour into a bowl. Add the cooked noodle and topping ingredients.
That’s it! Ready. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for the best Yuzu Ramen
How to cook ramen noodle
Leave ramen noodle and allow it to ‘swim’ in water. It’s not recommended to touch noodle often while you cook it. This way, you can keep the fine texture of the noodle.
A few tips:
- Cook ramen with boiled water in another pan, then add the dashi later Don’t be tempted to cook ramen noodle in the ramen soup.
- Put the ramen in a bowl once it is cooked and drain water ‘completely’. Then you add the soup on top of the noodles. Don’t add cooked or drained ramen noodle into ramen soup
Making gluten free yuzu ramen
Replace eggless ramen with gluten free ramen. Thai or Vietnamese rice noodles work. Or you can use gluten free pasta with baking soda in water. The taste becomes similar to eggless ramen noodle.
Japanese soy sauce uses a tiny bit of flour when produced. So use gluten free soy sauce, which is pretty widely available these days. Tamari is not suitable for this recipe as it disturbs yuzu’s citrus flavor. You can add little more salt instead of soy sauce if you cannot find the gluten free Japanese soy sauce.
How to keep the texture of the ramen noodle
I wash the cooked ramen noodle with cold water to get rid of excess flour. This is optional, but it tastes different and is better although it takes extra. Cold water adds a firmer texture into ramen noodle.
Yuzu Ramen Recipe
Topping & Ramen Noodle
- 4 inches spring onion
- 1 cup sprout
- 1 cup rocket
- 2 cup ramen (300g for 2 people)
- ¼ cup yuzu skin (optional)
Yuzu Ramen Noodle Soup
- 1 piece kombu (Japanese fermented kelp) (2 x 5 inches)
- 2 dried shiitake
- 800 ml water
- 2 tbsp Japanese sake
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp Japanese soy sauce
- 1 tsp Japanese vinegar (or any white vinegar)
- 2 tsp mirin
Yuzu Ramen Sauce
- 2 tsp vegetable (corn or canola oil)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp spring onion
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp ginger
- 2 tsp yuzu kosho (add or reduce for your preference)
- 1 tbsp yuzu juice (optional)
- Soak kombu and dried shiitake into water and keep them into the fridge over night. This saves your time for making Japanese dashi.
- Cut vegetables for topping. Japanese nori needs to be kept in the airtight container and added just before the yuzu ramen is served.
Ramen Sauce & Soup
- Make Ramen Sauce – Add vegetable oil and sesame oil into a pan and cook ginger and spring onion on a low heat. Turn off the heat after around 3 minutes. Then add onion powder and mix through. Set aside.
- Make Ramen Soup – Transfer soaked kombu, dried shiitake and water into a pan and simmer on low heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat until it’s slowly brought to the boil. Remove kombu 'just before' the water boils.Remove cooked shiitake once the water boils. Add sake, salt, vinegar, soy sauce and mirin in order.
- Cooking ramen noodle – Boil the water in the large pan. Transfer some boiled water into the ramen bowl to keep it warm while the noodles cook in the pan. Gently separate the noodles in your hands. Add the noodles into the boiling water in the pan and cook as per instructions. Drain the noodles with a strainer.
Blending and topping
- Add yuzu skin and yuzu juice into the ramen sauce (optional). Add yuzu kosho into the spring onion and ginger and combine. Turn on the heat and add soup and mix together.
- Remove hot water from the ramen bowl and put the cooked noodles in it. Then pour boiled ramen soup into the bowl. Add vegetables/toppings.Serve immediately! Enjoy!
- Sesame oil brings depth and rich flavor but should not disturb yuzu. So, I only use a little. Use toasted sesame oil. It has more intense flavor and is brown colored. The yellow colored is un-toasted and has less flavor.
- Do not cook ramen noodle in the ramen soup. Cook it with boiled water in another pan. Also do not add cooked or drained ramen noodle into ramen soup. Instead, situate it in the bowl once it is cooked and drained water ‘completely’. This way the noodle does not absorb the soup, and its texture is kept firm.