If you’re wondering what to serve with your ramen, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for ramen.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with ramen are soy sauce eggs, gyoza, egg fried rice, agedashi tofu, and seaweed salad. You can also try quick kimchi, pickled ginger, seaweed salad, chicken karaage, smashed cucumber salad, or fried enoki mushrooms. For a unique option, try cheesy garlic bread.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Great flavor pairings for ramen
Ramen is a Japanese dish featuring wheat noodles in a rich, umami-loaded chicken or pork-based broth. Its flavor mainly depends on the broth type and the toppings used.
Ramen pairs well with:
- Acidic flavors – acidic flavors provide a refreshing contrast to offset the richness of the ramen broth. Try topping your ramen with pickled ginger or serving a side salad tossed with a rice wine vinaigrette.
- Umami flavors – naturally umami-rich additions like seaweed, miso, and mushrooms help enhance the savory flavors in ramen, making it extra tasty.
- Spicy flavors – adding heat and spice to ramen adds a layer of complexity and helps balance the richness of the broth and toppings. Try serving side dishes with a spicy flavor profile or using toppings like chili crisp.
Toppings are the easiest way to take a bowl of ramen to the next level.
Jammy soy sauce eggs and nori sheets are classics, but I like adding something fresh and crunchy like soybean sprouts.
Or why not break the rules with a slice of cheesy garlic bread?
Soy sauce eggs
Soy sauce eggs are an iconic topping for your ramen.
They’re soft-boiled eggs with perfectly jammy centers and salty, umami exteriors.
They can be tricky to get right, but Sandra Valvasorri shares many tips and tricks to help you perfect them.
The most important tip? Cooking the eggs for precisely 6 minutes and 30 seconds!
Why we love this recipe: they’re also great as a snack or paired with rice.
Fried enoki mushrooms
Boiled enoki mushrooms are another traditional ramen topping, but why not shake things up and fry them instead?
It’s not a groundbreaking change, but the enoki mushrooms crisp up and add a crunchy bite to contrast your chewy ramen noodles.
Just remember to pat the mushrooms dry before marinating them to ensure they crisp up nicely in the hot oil.
Why we love this recipe: these are highly addictive.
Red pickled ginger
Also known as beni shoga, this pickled condiment is an excellent topper for your tonkotsu ramen.
It has a tangy, sour flavor from the plum vinegar that helps cut through your ramen’s rich, savory broth.
You can buy a bottle of this condiment, but I prefer making it from scratch if I have young ginger on hand.
Why we love this recipe: it can be stored for up to a year.
We all know about traditional kimchi, but you’re in for a treat if you’ve never tried fresh kimchi!
It’s not fermented, so it doesn’t have the usual funky bite you get with regular kimchi.
But it’s still brimming with sweet-fiery notes and it has a fantastic crunch.
Psst… if you can’t find napa cabbage, you can use regular green cabbage instead.
Why we love this recipe: it’s excellent for kimchi beginners.
Cheesy garlic bread
This might be an odd topping option, but since you can get ramen topped with grilled cheese toast in Japan, why not try garlic bread?
You’re getting a mega carb session with this combo, but you deserve a treat occasionally!
Eazy Peazy Mealz even goes the extra mile and uses fresh and powdered garlic for maximum cheesy, garlicky goodness.
Why we love this recipe: everyone will be begging for second servings.
Stick with ramen’s Japanese roots and serve it with these classic dishes for the ultimate Asian feast!
You can never go wrong with a tempura platter, but karaage is an excellent option too.
And gyoza is a must-have.
Gyoza dumplings are smaller than regular potstickers, and their filling has a finer texture.
You can buy them ready-to-cook in your frozen aisle, but I prefer making them from scratch.
Just follow Wok of Life’s lead and blitz the ingredients for the gyoza filling in your food processor – easy peasy!
Pssst… don’t forget to save room for your ramen.
Why we love this recipe: it’s highly detailed and has visuals to guide you in folding these dumplings.
The best things in life are simple – like this agedashi tofu!
The tofu slices are coated in cornstarch and deep-fried to give them a crunchy crust. But what really makes the dish is the savory, umami-loaded sauce made from dashi, soy sauce, and mirin.
Pssst… trying to stay healthy? Skip the deep-frying and air fry the tofu slices instead.
Why we love this recipe: it’s just as good as what you’d get from Japanese restaurants.
Chicken karaage is one of my favorite dishes to serve with ramen.
These chicken bites are soaked in a soy sauce and sake marinade before getting coated with potato starch, making them extra crisp and oh-so-juicy.
Rasa Malaysia recommends marinating the chicken for at least two hours, but I always go with an overnight soak to ensure they’re tender and flavorful.
Why we love this recipe: it’s ideal even for busy weeknights.
Egg fried rice
Serving rice with ramen is a carb overload, but it’s a typical side dish you’ll see at ramen shops in Japan.
You can stick with plain steamed rice, but I always prefer egg fried rice. Its stir-fry sauce adds lots of umami goodness that goes well with ramen’s savory broth.
Just a heads up, though – you may need a nap after this meal!
Why we love this recipe: it’s better than what you’d get from takeout.
Not a fan of crispy karaage? Try chicken yakitori instead!
This classic Japanese appetizer involves grilling chicken skewers with a sweet-savory glaze, making them perfectly sticky and caramelized.
These skewers can be made with any cut of chicken (even gizzards or hearts), but I prefer chicken thighs because they’re more flavorful.
Why we love this recipe: these are kid-friendly.
Vegetables and salads
Ramen is a meal on its own, but it can never hurt to give it an extra nourishing boost with the help of a veggie side or a bowl of salad!
A simple cucumber salad will do the trick, but you can also fire up the oven to roast some bok choy leaves.
This seaweed salad is an excellent accompaniment to a piping hot bowl of ramen.
The seaweed mix is tossed in a simple Japanese-inspired dressing made with rice vinegar, soy sauce, and mirin.
It brings a prominent tart flavor that helps offset your ramen’s savory flavors.
Pro-tip: serve this immediately because seaweed tends to get slimy when left out for too long.
Why we love this recipe: it’s an easy and tasty way to highlight an underrated ingredient.
Spicy garlic ginger edamame
This edamame side dish is often paired with sushi, but it’s great with ramen too.
The ginger-garlic sauce, made from sambal oelek, adds a fiery kick to help contrast your ramen’s rich broth.
And the best part? You only need 10 minutes (prep time included) to make a serving good for four.
Why we love this recipe: it’s impossible to mess up.
Smashed cucumber salad
Everyone has their version of a quick cucumber salad, but this is my favorite.
The combination of cucumbers and chili oil makes for a flavor combo that’ll set your taste buds on fire while cooling it down.
Healthy Nibbles and Bits uses Japanese cucumbers for their sweet flavor, but I’ve made this with English cucumbers and it still tasted amazing.
Why we love this recipe: a serving only has 120 calories.
Stir-fry sugar sesame snap peas
I love eating raw sugar snap peas, but they’re even better stir-fried with sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.
It’s a no-frills cooking method, but the sesame brings a delightful nutty flavor that makes these crisp-tender veg addictive.
Pro-tip: you can make this side dish with frozen sugar snap peas, but they won’t have the same snap as fresh ones.
Why we love this recipe: it’s great for meal preps.
Roasted baby bok choy
Want some leafy greens with your ramen? Go for this roasted bok choy side dish!
The high heat crisps up the leafy bits while the fleshy stems get tender.
But what makes these leafy veggies extra delicious is the bright, zesty sauce you drizzle over them before serving.
And have I mentioned how healthy bok choy is? It’s packed with good-for-you vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to complete the meal.
Why we love this recipe: it requires zero hands-on cooking.
The best side dishes for ramen
- Soy sauce eggs
- Fried enoki mushrooms
- Red pickled ginger
- Quick kimchi
- Cheesy garlic bread
- Japanese gyoza
- Agedashi tofu
- Chicken karaage
- Egg fried rice
- Seaweed salad
- Spicy garlic ginger edamame
- Smashed cucumber salad
- Stir-fry sugar sesame snap peas
- Roasted baby bok choy
What To Serve With Ramen (45 Ideas)
- 1 portion soy sauce eggs
- 1 portion egg fried rice
- 1 portion chicken karaage
- 1 portion smashed cucumber salad
- 1 portion gyoza
- 1 portion spicy garlic ginger edamame … and more
- Prepare your ramen according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: soy sauce eggs, fried enoki mushrooms, red pickled ginger, quick kimchi, cheesy garlic bread, japanese gyoza, agedashi tofu, chicken karaage, egg fried rice, yakitori, seaweed salad, spicy garlic ginger edamame, smashed cucumber salad, stir-fry sugar sesame snap peas, and roasted baby bok choy.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!