Are you a lover of ramen?
Many of us have grown up eating it, and there’s no denying the comfort that comes from slurping down warm noodles with flavorful broth.
But did you know that when it’s served as part of an actual meal in Japan, ramen is typically accompanied by several side dishes – or okazu?
If not, then don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide to what to serve with ramen.
From traditional Japanese favorites like pickled vegetables and sesame tofu to delicious homemade creations like garlic shrimp tempura and gyoza potstickers, we will be exploring 10 creative side dish recipes that pair perfectly with your favorite bowl of ramen.
Get ready for some serious comfort food satisfaction!
What to Serve with Ramen? 10 Side Dishes
1 – Roasted Brussels Sprouts
These little green veggies are not only packed with nutrients, but they’re also absolutely delicious.
When roasted, they take on a lovely caramelized flavor that is simply irresistible.
And their texture is perfectly crispy on the outside while being nice and tender on the inside.
To elevate this dish, I like to add a bit of garlic and Parmesan cheese.
This gives the Brussels sprouts an extra boost of flavor that takes them from good to great.
Trust me, your guests will be begging for more.
If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious side dish that is sure to please, look no further than roasted Brussels sprouts.
Give them a try tonight and see for yourself how delicious they can be.
2 – Miso Glazed Eggplant
Miso glazed eggplant is a delicious and easy side dish that pairs well with ramen.
The eggplant is roasted until it is tender and then glazed with a sweet miso sauce.
The result is a dish that is slightly sweet, savory, and umami-packed.
The taste and texture of miso glazed eggplant is both unique and addictive.
The eggplant itself is soft and velvety, while the miso glaze adds a layer of sweetness and umami flavor.
Tips on elevating this dish include:
- Using high quality miso paste for the glaze. This will make a big difference in terms of flavor.
- Adding a touch of heat by including chili flakes in the glaze. This will give the dish an extra kick.
- Garnishing with sesame seeds or green onions. This will add some contrast in color and texture.
3 – Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad
This Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad is the perfect side dish to your next bowl of ramen.
The crisp cucumbers are a refreshing contrast to the rich, hearty soup, and the spicy kick will leave you wanting more.
The best part about this salad is that it’s so easy to make.
Simply slice up some cucumbers, add in some gochujang (Korean chili paste), rice vinegar, sesame oil, and a touch of sugar.
The result is a crunchy, slightly sweet, and incredibly addicting salad.
If you want to take this dish to the next level, try adding in some shredded carrots or radishes for extra color and crunch.
A sprinkle of sesame seeds on top also adds a nice touch.
Serve alongside your favorite bowl of ramen and enjoy.
4 – Garlic Noodles
Garlic noodles are a delicious and easy side dish that can be served with just about anything.
They have a great garlic flavor and a nice, slightly chewy texture.
One of the best things about garlic noodles is that they’re so versatile.
You can easily elevate them by adding in some fresh vegetables or even some protein.
If you want to keep it simple, just add a little bit of olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
Or, for something heartier, you could add in some chicken or shrimp.
5 – Cucumber and Chilli Salad
This dish is perfect if you’re looking for something light and refreshing to accompany your ramen.
The cucumber and chilli salad is a great way to add some extra crunch and spice to your meal.
The cucumber and chilli salad is a simple dish that packs a punch.
The crispness of the cucumber is a perfect contrast to the heat of the chilli.
This dish is also incredibly easy to make.
Simply combine chopped cucumber, diced chilli, and rice vinegar in a bowl and you’re good to go.
If you want to elevate this dish, try adding some shredded carrot or radish for an extra bit of crunch.
You could also toss in some chopped fresh herbs like cilantro or mint.
For an even spicier kick, add an extra diced chilli or two.
6 – Gyoza Dumplings
Gyoza dumplings are a delicious and easy way to add some variety to your ramen dish.
They are typically made with pork, but can also be made with chicken or beef.
Gyoza are usually served steamed, boiled, or fried.
One of the best things about gyoza is that they have a great texture.
The outside is nice and crispy, while the inside is juicy and flavorful.
When you bite into a gyoza dumpling, you get a little bit of everything in each bite.
There are a few things you can do to Elevate your gyoza dish.
One is to use a higher quality meat.
If you’re using pork, try to find a ground pork that has a higher fat content.
This will make your gyoza more juicy and flavorful.
Another tip is to add some vegetables to your filling.
This will add some extra nutrients and flavor to your dish.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with the dipping sauces.
A simple soy sauce and vinegar mixture is always good, but there are endless possibilities when it comes to dipping sauces.
So go ahead and experiment until you find one that you like.
7 – Grilled Salmon
Grilled salmon is a delicious, healthy option for a summertime meal.
The fish is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a nutritious choice.
When grilled correctly, salmon should be slightly pink in the center and flakes easily with a fork.
The key to grilling salmon is to not overcook it.
Salmon should be cooked on medium-high heat for about 8 minutes per inch of thickness.
If you are unsure of the fish’s doneness, use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
To elevate your grilled salmon dish, try serving it with a bright citrus salad or grilled vegetables.
For an extra bit of flavor, top your salmon with a homemade salsa or sauce.
8 – Vegetable Tempura
Vegetable tempura is a delicious and easy way to elevate your everyday vegetables.
The key to great tempura is all in the batter.
A light and airy batter will result in crisp and crunchy vegetables that are still packed with flavor.
Here are some tips on how to make the perfect vegetable tempura:
- Use a variety of vegetables for a variety of flavors and textures. Some of our favorites include zucchini, sweet potato, eggplant, and mushrooms.
- Make sure your batter is light and airy. You can achieve this by using sparkling water or seltzer in place of regular water.
- Be careful not to overcrowd your pan when frying the tempura. This will result in soggy vegetables.
- Serve immediately after frying for the best texture and flavor.
9 – Green Tea Ice Cream
Green tea ice cream is a delicious and refreshing treat that can be enjoyed all year round.
This flavor of ice cream is light and delicate, with a slightly floral taste that is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the cream.
The texture of green tea ice cream is smooth and creamy, with a slightly dense mouthfeel.
This dish can be elevated by pairing it with other light and refreshing flavors, such as fruits or mint.
It can also be served with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of matcha powder for an extra touch of sweetness and flavor.
For a more decadent treat, green tea ice cream can be served with a warm chocolate sauce or topped with whipped cream and chopped nuts.
10 – Strawberry Daifuku (mochi)
Strawberry daifuku is a popular Japanese dessert that is made with mochi, or rice cake, and filled with sweet strawberry jam.
The mochi itself is chewy and slightly sticky, while the strawberry filling is both sweet and tart.
One way to elevate this dish is to use high-quality ingredients.
For the mochi, look for a brand that uses short-grain glutinous rice.
The rice should be cooked until it’s very sticky and then pounded into a paste.
For the strawberry filling, use ripe strawberries that are in season.
If you can’t find fresh strawberries, you can also use frozen ones.
Another way to make this dish even more special is to serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The combination of cold ice cream and warm mochi is simply divine.
There you have it, 10 delicious side dishes to serve with your ramen.
I hope this blog post has been helpful in providing some ideas on what to serve with your ramen.
From traditional sides such as gyoza and cucumber salad, to more unique dishes such as garlic noodles and grilled salmon, there is sure to be a side dish that everyone will enjoy.
So next time you’re looking for something to serve with your ramen, be sure to give these dishes a try.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!