Whether you’ve had the pleasure of reading or watching Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, it’s likely you’ve seen the iconic imagery of Naruto giddily slurping his ramen noodles. It’s not just a character quirk, but a central part of the worldbuilding throughout the series that Naruto and his loved ones frequent the local ramen shop, Ichiraku Ramen.
Naruto, just like all of us, has spent many dinners getting by on cup noodles. But we all can relate to the joy of sitting down to an artfully crafted bowl of ramen— and not the instant kind. Naruto, infamous for its filler episodes, even includes one dedicated to the intricacy and attention to detail that goes into preparing the iconic bowl of Ichiraku Ramen from broth to noodles to toppings. What better way to christen the new Naruto Shippuden Ramen Bundle (available now!) than with the very ramen from the series as we relive iconic moments from the classic anime?
As with everything, a strong base is the first and most important step. In the case of ramen, it’s the broth. And in the case of Naruto, it’s the first scene where we see him have a bowl of Ichiraku Ramen with Iruka Sensei. This key moment in the show sets up Naruto’s goals moving forward when he declares with excited determination, “Check this out! From now on, I’m going to work my butt off to become Hokage!” before taking a huge bite of ramen. “And I’m gonna surpass all the Hokage before me!” he finishes, emphasizing his point with a flourish of his chopsticks.
The broth in the young shinobi’s beloved ramen is likely pork based, according to this Crunchyroll blog post recreating the dish. However, if you prefer chicken broth or simply have that on hand, that can be substituted instead. A good broth is made by using water and the bones from either chicken or pork products to collect the flavors left behind when the meat has been removed. Additionally, a ramen broth is often miso, soy sauce or salt based. In Naruto’s case, his preference is for miso ramen, as he commonly orders miso chashu pork ramen.
For the broth, you will need a roughly two to one ratio of stock to base. The stock can be chicken or pork based, which is up to your preference. If you’re looking for a shortcut, use bullion cubes or store bought stock. This will save you the time and expense of boiling bones. Add vegetables and seasonings to your liking, such as leeks, celery, cabbage, carrots, garlic, and ginger. To get the authentic flavor of Naruto’s favorite ramen, don’t forget to opt for the miso base. This is made by combining water, bonito flakes, a strip of kombu or kelp, and of course the white miso paste. For the miso, measure about a tablespoon per cup of water being used. Boil the ingredients without the miso paste, removing the kelp once the water starts to boil. Then, stir in the miso paste and let it simmer for about five minutes.
Next, it’s only logical to move onto the noodles. Teuchi, the kindly ramen chef and owner of Ichiraku Ramen, has the craft down to a science. In the anime episode dedicated to creating the perfect bowl of ramen, Naruto and friends must compete in a cooking competition where Teuchi’s daughter’s life is at stake. They quickly learn that the noodles are the most challenging and important piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately, we can’t all “rasengan” our way through working the dough into the perfect consistency to make slurp-worthy noodles, so store bought may be the way to go with this step.
Like the plethora of noodles Naruto slurps up, bowl after bowl, episode after episode, there are a plethora of moments from the series set in the ramen shop that follow the characters along their journeys. We see Naruto swindle free ramen from just about every sensei he studies under throughout the series, celebrating successful training sessions and missions with being treated to his favorite meal.
Similar to the way the toppings garnish the ramen, snippets of the shop from Teuchi’s perspective flash in some of the outros, showing Naruto and his loved ones coming to enjoy the ramen through the years. These memories range from bright and light-hearted, like the colorful naruto fishcake swirls and circles of green onion atop the ramen, to scenes full of heart, like the hearty pork slices, to even some that may cause one’s tears to flow like the yolk of a soft-boiled egg resting on the noodles. Beloved characters like Naruto’s parents, mentors and friends have all come together one way or another through Ichiraku Ramen. Bring the rest of the ramen together by following this recipe for the toppings.
The pork is the most important topping of course, and Naruto’s ramen is special in that it calls for rolled pork belly. Roll the slices of pork and secure with either butcher’s twine or skewers. Heat a pan of oil on high, place your pork fat side down and sear for roughly two minutes. Repeat on all sides of the pork before transferring the meat to a separate pan of water, sake and ginger to simmer for about 45 minutes. Use a seven to one ratio of water to sake, or balance to your liking. Finally, you’re going to let the pork braise for an hour and a half. The braising liquid is made by combining three cups of water, 2 cups of soy sauce, ¾ cup brown sugar, ginger and whole peppercorns. Bring everything to a boil before lowering the heat to braise.
To pass the time, you can prep the rest of the toppings by chopping green onions, bamboo shoots, and the all important Naruto fishcakes! For the most authenticity, use the classic pink swirl style— our Shounen protagonist’s namesake. It wouldn’t be Naruto’s ramen without it! Soft boil an egg, ensuring the yolk is liquidy enough to your liking.
To assemble your ramen, start with the noodles, pour your brother over top and garnish accordingly!
Once everything has been brought together, serve it up in the new Naruto Shippuden Ramen Bundle using the included chopsticks set and patterned cloth napkin. It’s okay if you’re still a “genin” when it comes to using chopsticks. That’s why there’s a handy Ichiraku Ramen chopsticks trainer included in the bundle. You’ve done it! Now you can enjoy bowl after bowl, just like everyone’s favorite ninja— believe it!