Knowing what meat goes with ramen noodles can make all the difference in your dish.
After all, ramen noodles are delicious on their own but they can be even better when paired with the right meat.
So if you are wondering what kind of meat to put in your ramen, whether you are looking for a traditional option or something a little more unique, then you are in the right place.
I’ve rounded up 10 of the best meats to serve with ramen noodles including chicken, beef, pork, and more.
So go ahead and give one (or all!) of these meats a try the next time you make ramen noodles!
Read Also: The Best Cheeses for Ramen
What Meat Goes with Ramen Noodles?
The best meats to pair with ramen noodles are chicken, pork, beef, and shrimp. However, you can really use any type of protein that you like. Just make sure that the meat is cooked well so that it doesn’t end up being tough and chewy.
Here are 3 things I like to consider when picking a protein for my ramen:
- What type of broth are you using?
- What other ingredients are in your dish?
- What is your personal preference?
With that said, here are 10 types of meat that go with ramen noodles:
Ground pork is super easy to find, inexpensive, and takes well to being cooked in the same pot as your ramen noodles.
Plus, it has a nice fat content that helps round out the flavors in your bowl of ramen.
If you want to get a little fancier, you can also use pork belly or pork shoulder, which will give you more options for texture and flavor.
Pro Tip: If using ground pork, be sure to cook it until it’s well-done before adding your ramen noodles.
Pork chashu is tender, juicy and has a lot of umami flavor, making it the perfect type of meat to go with ramen noodles.
It’s also easy to find at most Asian markets.
If you can’t find pork chashu, you can also use chicken thighs or breasts.
Just make sure to cook the chicken until it’s very tender so it doesn’t end up being dry.
Pro Tip: To make this dish even more flavorful, add a few slices of kamaboko (fish cake), a soft-boiled egg, and some nori (seaweed).
Chicken chashu is a spin on the well-known Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping.
It’s a great way to add some extra protein to your ramen, and it’s also a good option if you’re looking for a leaner meat.
There are a few different ways to make chicken chashu, but the most common method is to braise chicken thighs in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar.
The result is a delicious, slightly sweetened chicken that pairs perfectly with ramen noodles.
Pro Tip: If you’re short on time, you can also use rotisserie chicken or even canned chicken.
Just be sure to shred or chop the meat into small pieces so it will fit nicely in your bowl of ramen.
Roast beef needs no introduction – it’s a classic that goes with just about everything, including ramen noodles.
See Also: What Salad Goes With Roast Beef?
The key to making this work is to choose the right type of roast beef.
You’ll want to look for something that’s thinly sliced and not too fatty.
Look for something labeled “sirloin” or “top round.”
If you can’t find pre-sliced roast beef, you can always ask your butcher to slice it for you.
Once you have your roast beef, there are a few different ways you can prepare it.
- One option is to cook it in the broth with the noodles.
- Another is to stir-fry it with the vegetables.
- Or, you could add it in at the end so it’s still nice and rare.
Bacon is an American classic that goes with everything, and ramen is no exception.
The salty, smoky flavor of bacon pairs perfectly with the savory broth and noodles in a bowl of ramen.
And there are endless ways to incorporate bacon into your ramen dish.
You could add crumbled bacon on top as a garnish, or cook the bacon in the broth to infuse it with flavor.
You could also add diced bacon to the vegetables that you sauté to top your ramen.
Pro Tip: For an extra-flavorful dish, try using pancetta or smoked bacon instead of regular bacon.
Spam is salty and a little spicy, and it has a firm texture that can stand up to the heartiness of ramen noodles.
It’s also easy to find and relatively inexpensive, making it a great option for when you’re on a budget.
Plus, there are endless ways to prepare Spam, so you can always change things up if you get bored.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a more traditional option, pork belly is always a good choice.
You can cook it in the same way as Spam, or try braising it with soy sauce and mirin for a richer flavor.
Steamed chicken is easy to find in most supermarkets and makes for a healthy, low-fat option to pair with your ramen noodles.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try grilling or searing some chicken before adding it to your soup.
This will give the dish a more complex flavor. For a vegetarian option, tofu is always a good choice.
You can add it right into your soup or fry it up and add it as a topping.
Pro Tip: One of my favorite things to do is to marinate my chicken in soy sauce and ginger before cooking it.
This adds a ton of flavor and makes the dish more substantial.
I know it sounds odd, but trust me on this one: Fried chicken goes great with ramen noodles.
The savory, salty flavors of the chicken are a perfect complement to the noodles and broth.
Plus, the crispy texture of the chicken adds a nice contrast to the soft noodles.
And if you top it off with a few slices of pickled ginger, you’ve got yourself a delicious and satisfying meal.
No surprise here – shrimp is a classic topping for ramen noodles.
The delicate flavor of shrimp pairs well with the savory broth and soft noodles.
Plus, shrimp cooks quickly, so it’s a perfect last-minute addition to your ramen bowl.
If you’re looking for a little more protein in your meal, shrimp is a great option.
Pro Tip: When adding shrimp to your ramen noodles, be sure to cook them just until they’re pink and opaque.
Overcooked shrimp can be tough and rubbery, so err on the side of undercooked when in doubt.
Tofu isn’t meat, but it’s a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, and it goes really well with ramen noodles.
It has a neutral flavor that lets the other ingredients in the dish shine, and it absorbs flavors really well.
Plus, it’s a good source of iron and calcium.
Pro Tip: If you’re using firm tofu, make sure to press it before cooking to get rid of excess water.
What Meat Goes with Ramen Noodles? (10 Kinds of Meat)
- Ground Pork
- Pork Chashu
- Chicken Chashu
- Roast Beef
- Steamed Chicken
- Fried Chicken
- Pick any of the meats from this list to serve with your ramen noodles.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Enjoy in no time!