Naruto Uzumaki, the main character of the hit Japanese anime TV show Naruto, has a favorite food: ramen. His favorite ramen recipe? He LOVES the stuff made at the Ichi Raku Ramen shop in the Hidden Leaf village. (Of course, if Naruto can’t get Ichi Raku ramen, he never hesitates to eat the instant stuff in a cup.)
Watching Naruto often puts my son and me in the mood for ramen. But because I could never find an actual recipe for the ramen eating by Naruto, I decided to do some research.
I started by looking through our Naruto DVDs to find a scene with a close-up of Naruto’s ramen. When I finally found an appropriate scene, I paused the DVD on the image. Then, I “Googled” a variety of phrases related to Japanese ramen ingredients: “Japanese ramen recipe,” “ramen recipe Japan,” “genuine ramen recipe”–things like that.
Once I had a wide variety of windows open on my computer with different ramen recipes I’d found–all with varying ingredients, of course– I carefully compared them to the ramen image I had frozen on the Naruto DVD. Using this method, and drawing on some of Naruto’s dialog from the TV episodes, I was able to collect the details of the ingredients Naruto most often eats in his ramen, as well as how it looks when it’s served at at Ichi Raku’s shop.
Not many people eat the same kind of sandwich all the time. Likewise, Naruto Uzumaki doesn’t just stick to eating just one kind of ramen. However, the recipe that follows seems to be a fairly accurate compilation of the key ingredients that Naruto most frequently enjoys in his ramen on the show.
Naruto’s Japanese Ramen Recipe
- 5 oz Dried Japanese Curly (Chuka Soba) Noodles — plain, no flavor packet added; not instant
- 4 cups spring water
- 4-8 tsp Honzukuri Red Miso paste (available at AsianFoodGrocer.com)
- 2 cups chicken breast, cooked and sliced thin
- 2 Eggland’s Best eggs — hard boiled and peeled, then sliced thinly
- 1 can bamboo shoots
- 2/3 cup raw baby carrots, sliced into tiny sticks
- 1 small green pepper, de-seeded and sliced into thin strips
- 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into chunks and sliced thinly (this is my addition; never actually saw Naruto eat tomatoes on his ramen)
- 2/3 cup sliced green onion tops
- 6 ounces mushrooms, stir-fried in cold pressed olive oil
- 1 cup raw been sprouts (not shown in image)
- soy sauce to taste
Instructions for preparing Ramen:
- Cook curly noodles (see photo) by boiling gently for about 5 minutes, until just tender. Remove immediate from heat and rinse noodles in just enough cool water so they can be handled but not so much that the noodles are cold. Set aside.
- Simmer spring water. Add 4-8 tsp Honzukuri Red Miso Paste, depending on taste, and stir in.
(I use miso paste rather than instant miso soup because the paste is much less expensive for the volume of soup you’ll get. I like the Honzukuri brand of miso paste the best because of its full flavor and because it contains only all-natural ingredients: soybean, rice, salt, rice koji, and water. And, because it’s made in Japan, its full of authentic Japanese flavor.)
- Add precooked chicken to miso broth for 2-3 minutes to allow chicken to warm.
- In each of two large ramen noodle bowls, place 2 cups of the prepared miso broth. Add 1/2 cooked curly noodles to each bowl.
- Arrange toppings in sections around the bowl, with the chicken in the middle.*
- Serve immediately, along with soy sauce for additional seasoning (if desired) and chopsticks for eating.
Notes and Optional Ingredient Substitutions:
Naruto never mentions eating his ramen this way, but I love to add about 4 tsp hot pepper sauce to the miso broth. De-lic-ious! But this is a matter of taste, and depends on whether you’re in the mood for something spicy. My 10-year-old son enjoys the ramen this way, as well.
Instead of sliced cooked chicken breast, you can easily substitute cooked shrimp or thinly slivered cooked pork.
The best, most authentic red miso paste I’ve found is on AsianFoodGrocer.com. (Their site is currently offering free shipping for orders over $100.)
Instead of Red Miso paste, you can easily substitute Honzuriki White Miso Paste or Better Than Bullion Chicken base. On occasion, I have used half of the Red Miso paste and half of the Better than Bullion, and it’s awesome.
One ingredient I did NOT include in my recipe is fish cake. Naruto would often be seen with a slice of of fish cake looking like a pinwheel — ironically, also known as naruto — on top of his ramen. But because this food is pretty hard to find here in the United States — and because it likely won’t sit well with what most Americans are used to eating — I’m omitting it from this recipe. But if you can find it, you could certainly give it a try!
The tomatoes are my own substitution, and not commonly eaten by Naruto on his TV series, as far as I know. I just couldn’t resist adding the tomatoes to my own ramen, though, because they taste so awesome in the miso broth.
I always use Eggland’s Best brand eggs because of their increased nutrition levels — and because they taste the best of any egg I’ve eaten.