Ramen lovers, have you ever had a craving for those aromatic, savory broths from your favorite ramen shop, but didn’t have the time or ingredients to whip up a batch from scratch? We’ve all been there. But I’ve got good news – you can easily recreate that umami taste at home with an unlikely shortcut: hot pot soup base!
In this post, I’ll explain how using a hot pot soup base can give your ramen a major flavor upgrade with only a little extra effort. Hot pot broth packs are readily available at many Asian grocery stores and contain dried vegetables, spices, and seasonings that make a rich, complex broth. While hot pot and ramen broths aren’t identical, they share some key characteristics. The ingredients in hot pot base provide deep savory flavors that make a delicious ramen broth.
I’ll share my recipe for turning hot pot soup base into a mouthwatering ramen broth. You’ll learn the right ratio of soup base to other liquids to get the optimal intensity. I’ll also give tips on adding aromatics and toppings to take your ramen to the next level. With just a few extra steps, you can have a ramen broth that tastes like it came straight from a restaurant kitchen.
Let’s get cooking! This clever ramen hack will have you slurping up luxurious bowls of broth in no time. Read on to transform an easy shortcut into your new favorite ramen.
Why Hot Pot Soup Base Works for Ramen
Hot pot broth packs are readily available at many Asian grocery stores. They contain dried vegetables, spices, and seasonings specifically formulated to make a rich, aromatic broth when simmered in water.
While hot pot and ramen broths aren’t identical, they share some key characteristics:
- Both are usually pork, chicken, or seafood based broths.
- They rely on umami flavors from ingredients like dried fish, mushrooms, and seaweed.
- Spices like garlic, ginger, and green onion are commonly used.
- Light soy sauce adds color and savoriness.
The ingredients in hot pot base provide complex savory flavors perfect for ramen. The broth packs do a lot of the seasoning work for you.
How to Make Ramen Broth from Hot Pot Base
Making ramen broth from hot pot soup base is simple. Here’s my recipe:
- 1 package hot pot soup base mix
- 8 cups water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1-inch knob ginger, sliced
- 3 green onions, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- In a large pot, combine the hot pot base mix with 8 cups water. Whisk well to dissolve the soup base.
- Add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger and green onions. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add light soy sauce and adjust any seasonings to taste.
- Strain out the aromatics. Your broth is ready!
The ratio of 1 package hot pot base to 8 cups water makes a properly concentrated broth. Feel free to adjust liquid amounts to suit your tastes.
Simmering the aromatics infuses more flavors. Garlic, ginger, and green onions enhance the broth’s complexity.
A touch of light soy sauce adds color and savoriness. Add more or less depending on if you want a lighter or darker broth.
Ramen Topping Ideas
A tasty broth is just the start for ramen. You also need delicious toppings and garnishes! Here are some of my favorites:
- Proteins: thinly sliced pork, chicken, or beef; soft boiled or marinated eggs; stir-fried tofu.
- Vegetables: sliced mushrooms, baby bok choy, spinach, bean sprouts, blanched broccoli.
- Noodles: fresh or dried ramen noodles, udon noodles, rice noodles.
- Sauces and Seasonings: chili oil, sesame paste, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce.
- Garnishes: cooked corn kernels, shredded nori seaweed, chopped green onions, sesame seeds.
Feel free to get creative and use whatever ingredients you have on hand! The beauty of ramen is how customizable it is.
Ramen Soup Base Q&A
Here are answers to some common questions about using hot pot soup base for ramen:
Can I use spicy hot pot base?
Yes, spicy hot pot bases will make a nice spicy ramen broth. Start with half a package and add more to taste.
What about vegetarian bases?
Vegetarian and mushroom based hot pot mixes also work well. Simmer with dried shiitake mushrooms for even deeper flavor.
Do I need additional soup bones/meats?
It’s not necessary, but you can add them for even richer flavor. Pork bones or chicken thighs would be tasty.
How long does the broth keep?
The broth will keep 5-7 days refrigerated and can be frozen for several months.
Can I use instant ramen seasoning packets?
Definitely – they provide extra seasoning and MSG. Use sparingly or to taste.
More Ramen Hacks and Tips
Taking your ramen game further? Here are some bonus tips:
- Save scraps like chicken carcasses, vegetable peels and onion ends to make your own homemade soup base. Simmer for 6+ hours.
- Boost flavor by adding kombu and bonito flakes when simmering. They provide natural umami.
- Make it creamy by stirring in miso paste, tahini, or peanut butter.
- Garnish with flair – quail eggs, nori furikake, chashu pork, kimchi, etc.
- Switch up noodles – soba, somen, udon, and vermicelli all work.
- Go low-carb by using spiralized vegetables or shirataki noodles instead.
With the right techniques and ingredients, you can make restaurant-worthy ramen at home anytime.
FAQs about Using Hot Pot Soup Base for Ramen
Got more questions about making ramen with hot pot soup base? Here are answers to 5 frequently asked questions:
Q: What’s the best hot pot base to use?
A: Look for one with lots of dried fish, mushrooms, and seaweed listed. Avoid bases with many artificial ingredients.
Q: Can I use hot pot base for other noodle soups?
A: Absolutely! The umami broth would work great for udon, soba, pho, or Chinese egg noodle soup.
Q: Is hot pot base gluten-free?
A: Check the label, as some may contain wheat. But many are gluten-free, using ingredients like dried mushrooms.
Q: Do I have to use the entire package of hot pot base?
A: Nope! Leftover packets can be resealed and stored to make more broth later.
Q: Can I freeze the finished hot pot ramen broth?
A: Yes, freezing is a great way to save your broth for quick future meals. Portion it out first so it’s easy to thaw.
Satisfy Your Ramen Cravings Tonight
Ramen lovers, I hope this post has inspired you to level up your homemade ramen with the clever use of hot pot soup base. Keep this secret ramen hack in your back pocket for when those noodle soup cravings hit.
Make sure to experiment with different add-in ingredients until you create your ultimate customized bowl. Ramen is infinitely adaptable, so have fun with it!
Let me know in the comments if you give this hot pot ramen method a try. I’d love to hear your broth variations and favorite topping combinations. Now get slurping!