* If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

What To Serve With Ramen – 45 Tasty Side Dishes

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

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. 

Featured recipe
Soy sauce eggs
Make it different
Chinese tea eggs
Go Korean
Braised quail eggs 

Fried enoki mushrooms

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/571746115204575711/

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. 

Featured recipe
Fried enoki mushrooms
Add a savory twist
Bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms
Skip the stovetop
Roasted oyster mushrooms 

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. 

Featured recipe
Red pickled ginger
Another classic
Pickled daikon radish (takuan)
Add more veg
Quick fridge pickled veggies 

Quick kimchi

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/945685621728000207/

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.

Featured recipe
Quick kimchi
Back to basics
Traditional kimchi
Skip the napa cabbage
Green onion kimchi

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. 

Featured recipe
Cheesy garlic bread
Skip the cheese
Homemade Texas toast
Make it low-carb
Cauliflower breadsticks

Japanese favorites

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.

Japanese gyoza 

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. 

Featured recipe
Japanese gyoza
Go Chinese
Cantonese shumai
Skip the steaming
Prawn spring rolls 

Agedashi tofu

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. 

Featured recipe
Agedashi tofu
Make it Chinese-inspired
Salt and pepper tofu
Make it unique
Nori-wrapped tofu with teriyaki glaze

Chicken karaage

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. 

Featured recipe
Chicken karaage
Skip the chicken
Squid kara-age
Make it meatless
Eggplant karaage 

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. 

Featured recipe
Egg fried rice
Keep it simple
Seasoned Japanese rice
Ditch the rice
Quinoa fried “rice”

Yakitori

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.

Featured recipe
Yakitori
Make it meatless
King trumpet yakitori
Make it veggie-based
Miso-glazed eggplant skewers 

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.

Seaweed salad

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. 

Featured recipe
Seaweed salad
Ditch the seaweed
Mizuna myoga salad
Make it fusion
Nori Caesar salad 

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. 

Featured recipe
Spicy garlic ginger edamame
Skip the heat
Edamame with soy and sesame sauce
Make it fresh
Edamame salad

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. 

Featured recipe
Chinese smashed cucumber salad
Ditch the chili oil
Sesame cucumber salad
Skip the cucumbers
Asian zucchini salad

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. 

Featured recipe
Stir-fry sugar sesame snap peas
Fire up the oven
Roasted sugar snap peas
Make a salad
Asian snap pea salad

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.

Featured recipe
Roasted baby bok choy
Ditch the oven
Sauteed bok choy
Keep it fresh
Bok choy salad

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
  • Yakitori
  • 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)

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your ramen.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: ramen side dishes, what to serve with ramen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 436kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 436kcal

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating