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Sep 7, 2013 01:06 PM

Making a good soup based similiar to instant ramen noodles

How do I make quick instant soup base for ramen noodles that is similar to the ones in the packages but more healthy?

The ingredients I have so far are:
Hakubaku Ramen/Cha Noodles
Hot pepper sesame oil
Fish sauce
Oyster sauce (prefer not using it since it has artificial ingredients)
Ginger powder
Chilli power
Sea salt

For a 3oz serving size, how much of each ingredient do I need to use?

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  1. You would get a soup similar to what is in Ramen noodles by using instant soup base, and possibly some other flavorings. Soup bases, such as Better Than Bouillon, are terribly salty.

    Bouillon is also salty. The key is quick here. For quick you have to use a premade base that dissolves in water.

    I've looked into this before for myself. I could not find any soup base that was not terribly salty. I now use soup base very sparingly, more to add depth to a pot than to give it most of its flavor.

    I regret that Ramen noodles are so unhealthy. I loved them for awhile, until I started reading the labels. Then I regretfully banned them from my house.

    There are 700 mg of sodium in 1 T of Better than Bouillon. I have never encountered the organic variety.

    7 Replies
    1. re: sueatmo

      If you have a Trader Joe's near by, they have a good low sodium broth concentrate option.

      1. re: Modz9636

        Well, I'm glad to know that. WF has a low sodium broth, but I've never found the concentrate. That might be the answer to the OP's question then.

      2. re: sueatmo

        When you salt a broth to taste, how much sodium does it contain? Most of us regard unsalted broth to be bland, flavorless.

        I don't use instant ramen very much, but when I used them in the past, I found that half a flavor packet was sufficient for my taste. I also used a variety of vegetables.

        Question for the OP - what would make your ramen healthier? Lower sodium level? lower fat (the noodles are usually fried)? avoiding a bunch of scary sounding ingredients?

        1. re: paulj

          My jar of Better than Bouillon gives for 1 t, the sodium count as 680 mg. Salt is the second ingredient. One serving (1 t) is to be used for every 8 oz of water. This is a lot of salt!

          I believe the organic version which I referenced above, has a lower sodium count.

          There are so many ways to eat too much salt, I prefer to control our consumption whenever possible.

          1. re: sueatmo

            When used as directed, does BtB taste too salty? A major flavoring ingredient (the major?) of soup is salt. That's true whether you use a bouillon paste or powder, soy sauce, fish sauce, or salt to taste. The only way around that is to adjust your own expectations.

            Now where is mcf to tell us that a low-sodium diet is a crock! :)

            From the salt containers, 1/4tsp, 1.5g, of straight salt provides nearly 600mg of sodium.

            Can you make a good tasting soup broth with less than 1/4 tsp of salt per cup? I normally salt rice at about that level (1/2-3/4tsp per 1c rice, 2c water).

            1. re: sueatmo

              BTB beef, chicken, and vegetable bases also come in reduced sodium versions, which have half the sodium of the regular (still plenty). Costco sells 16 oz containers of the organic RS beef and chicken, and my supermarkets sell the 8oz. non-organic RS in all 3 varieties. In addition, the maker,, sells directly online.

              1. re: greygarious

                Not 'half the sodium'; the reduction is from 680 mg to 500 mg (from the superiortouch site).

        2. I have made this simple dashi broth before, often used for ramen or soba soups:

          The broth is very mild. I add 2-3TB of dark miso paste to mine.

          Most similar to instant ramen packets would be a bouillion base, whole foods sells several versions without weird stuff.

            1. re: hankstramm

              Several episodes of last season's Mind of a Chef dealt with ramen broth. David Chang's version used quality bacon, dried mushrooms, kombu (and more).


            2. With noodles like this (esp. soba), I usually use a Japanese noodle soup base. It's a liquid that is sold either as a concentrate or 'ready-to-use' concentration. I dilute it to taste.

              both shows such a bottle base, and gives a recipe using
              sake, mirin (as sweetener), soy sauce (source of salt), kombu (seaweed), Katsuobushi (dried shaved fish)

                Seriouseats ramen hacks

                The only thing they missed is the ramen burger.