Is ramen broth keto-friendly? Here’s how to make it

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 26, 2021

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Ramen broth is a delicious staple in Japanese cooking. It is aromatic, and it can be made from a variety of ingredients. It is the perfect addition to any diet.

Is ramen broth keto-friendly? If you make it like this

Ramen broth is water-based, and the ingredients are all low carb or don’t have any carbs at all. So, if you follow the keto diet, we have good news for you! Ramen broth is keto-friendly.

Why is ramen broth keto-friendly?

Ramen broth is high in protein and can help strengthen your bones. Some dieticians also say it can help with blood circulation.

The broth for ramen is usually made from the below simple ingredients:

Homemade ramen broth usually contains about 2g of net carbs per serving, so feel free to drink the whole thing.

Bones

Bones and meat have no carbohydrates. Use pork bones or chicken bones for a light-colored broth, with a mellow taste. If you want a stronger broth, I recommend the beef bones.

The marrow in the bones will give the broth a strong beef flavor and a darker color.

If you have time, simmer the bones for over 12 hours if possible. This will allow for the bone marrow to slowly release.

Vegetables

Shiitake mushrooms have a good fiber content, which means 100g of mushrooms only has 4.5g of net carbs and 3g of fiber.

Scallions can be used as a whole, just for the flavor it releases, or you can chop them up and serve it as part of the broth. 100g of scallions have 4.4g of net carbs.

Bonito flakes

Bonito flakes are dried tuna flakes. A little goes a long way. You only need to use about 10g of flakes in 4 liters of water.

The carb content of these flakes is less than 0.1g in 100g of product. So, you don’t really need to factor it into your calculations.

Also check out This Amazing and Easy Keto Stir Fry Hot Sauce

Flavorings: sake, mirin, miso paste, soy sauce

There are many different flavors you can add to your ramen broth. The most common ones are sake, mirin, miso paste, and soy sauce.

All of these have some carbs but don’t be afraid of them. You will only use a few tablespoons worth, so it won’t put a dent in your diet.

Sake

In about 4 liters of water, you would only need around ½ cup of cooking sake (4 Fl oz). This sounds like a lot, but this only has 6g of net carbs.

One serving of broth is 250ml. Even if the water cooks down to about half of its volume, the serving will only have 0.76g of net carbs worth of sake.

Mirin

Mirin has a strong taste, so a little goes a long way. One tablespoon of mirin is enough for 4 liters of water, and it has 10g of carbs. So, only 1.26g net carbs per serving.

Miso paste

Miso paste is perhaps one of the most versatile Japanese cooking ingredients. It is made from fermented soybeans and gives an instant umami flavor to anything you add it to.

It is often used in the base soup for ramen broths, but a bit higher on the carbohydrate scale. One tablespoon of about 17.44 grams contains about 3g net carbs, and you would add 4-6 tablespoons.

Soy sauce

Soy sauce is very low in calories and carbs. One tablespoon is only 9 calories and has 0.7g of net carbs.

In about 4 liters of water, you would use 3-4tbsps of soy sauce. This means, in one serving of broth you would only have about 0.36g worth of soy sauce.

If you are avoiding gluten, make sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce substitute.

How to make keto-friendly ramen broth

You will need a large pot filled with 4 liters of water.

Because you will simmer the broth for a long time, it will probably reduce to half of its volume. But, you will still end up with around 8 servings of broth.

To make it, put in about 125g of shiitake mushrooms, a bunch of scallions (about 100g), 10g of bonito flakes, 2 whole chicken carcasses plus some wings, and about ½ cup of sake.

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This will give you a broth with the below net carbs per ingredient:

The chicken, bonito flakes, and water have close to 0g of net carbs. This means the whole recipe is 16.03g net carbs. That’s only 2g per serving.

The average amount of net carbs consumed on a keto diet is 50g per day, so one serving of broth will only count for 4% of your daily carb intake! Incredible!

Also find out if miso soup is keto and/ or gluten-free

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.