How Many Calories Are In Ramen? (Shio, Tonkotsu, Miso, and Shoyu)

Calories in Ramen - Tonkotsu

If you’ve ever wondered how many calories are in ramen, you’re not alone. This tasty, convenient food is a staple in many homes and a first choice at many restaurant outings. But the calorie count largely depends on what kind of ramen you’re enjoying, and the final number can range from 188 calories per serving to double that (or more). 

It might be pretty simple to figure out the calories in ramen you buy at the grocery store (just look at the nutrition facts label), but identifying that number for restaurant ramen requires just a bit more math judo. Below, we’ve created a guide to calories in the four most popular types of restaurant ramen, including shoyu, miso, tonkotsu, and shio ramen. And let’s never forget that for ramen that tastes just as savory as the take-out stuff, Immi ramen clocks in at just 310 calories for a full packet.

Note: All of these numbers are approximated based on the calorie counts of their main ingredients, but they’re a good jumping off place for thinking about calories in ramen. 

Calories in Shoyu Ramen

A bowl of shoyu ramen starts out at 700 calories, based on approx. 100 grams of noodles and 2 ounces of fatty meat.

Shoyu ramen is one of the most popular types of ramen, and on the lower end of the calorie spectrum. You can recognize it by its light, clear, and brown color, which it gets from the shoyu (soy sauce) that’s added to its chicken broth. Shoyu ramen is a pretty “neutral” ramen because it’s not overly thick or creamy. In fact, its primary flavors are a simple combination salty, dark, and mildly tangy (which, again, comes from the soy sauce).

That’s thanks to the other additions the broth is cooked with, including dashi, dried sardines, ginger, and garlic. To give it a little more oomph, you’ll often see shoyu ramen served with curly wheat noodles, pork, sliced eggs, kombu, scallions, and even fish cakes. It’s the noodles, along with these toppings, that add caloric heft and richness to the whole meal. 

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Why does shoyu ramen have less calories

Shoyu ramen benefits from a clear broth that has less fat in the broth. That means it’s thinner, lighter, and lower in calories. The seasoning sauce that goes in shoyu ramen is also low calorie because most of its flavor comes from soy sauce. Of course, it’s not always guaranteed that shoyu ramen will have less calories. The final count will always depend on how much noodles you enjoy, and how many toppings are added to your bowl.

Calories in Miso Ramen

A bowl of miso ramen starts out at 800 calories, including approx. 100 grams of noodles and 2 ounces of fatty meat. 
Miso ramen is a bit more hearty, complex, and richer than shoyu or shio ramen, which have a clear broth. It’s recognizable by its opaque brown liquid, which is made by introducing a fermented soybean paste.

Its history is pretty relevant to its nutritional content: The ramen originated during Japan’s long and rough years of rebuilding following World War II, and a hearty, nutrition-packed bowl of miso ramen was believed to contain the richness that people needed to get through Hokkaido’s bitter winters. All to say, richness and heartiness is built into this ramen’s DNA. Miso ramen is often served with menma, green onion, ground pork, corn, egg, and mushrooms. Like other ramens, most of its calories come from its noodles and toppings; though here, its rich broth plays a bigger role in the final calorie count.

Spicy miso ramen calories

A spicy version of miso ramen will likely pack around the same amount of calories as ordinary miso ramen, with the addition of anywhere between 50 to 200 calories, depending on how much chili oil or chili paste is added to the meal. As a rule of thumb, a tablespoon of chili oil is around 100 calories. 

Why does miso ramen have more calories

Compared to shoyu ramen, miso ramen has a richer, more caloric broth. That’s thanks to the dense miso seasoning paste that’s added to the broth at the beginning of the cooking process. 

Calories in Tonkotsu Ramen 

A bowl of tonkotsu ramen starts out at 900 calories, including approx. 100 grams of noodles and 2 ounces of fatty meat. For reference, one reputable recipe for tonkotsu broth measures 357 calories per serving. And that’s just for a single serving of just the broth.

Tonkotsu ramen is recognizable by its creamy beige color, which it gets from boiling pork bones for hours until all its fat, gelatin, and everything in-between has melted into a richly flavored broth. This cooking process renders tonkotsu ramen one of the fattiest and calorific ramens out there. Toronto’s Star once analyzed Momofuku Toronto’s signature ramen bowl (presumably its pork ramen) to find it contained 1,241 calories, 69 grams of fat and 2,858 mg of sodium.

That’s more than half of an average human’s daily caloric intake, and I can bet that the high sodium levels make that meal feel even larger (hello, water retention!). It’s an indulgent meal, and made even more so by all the hearty add-ins that seem to go so well with this creamy broth. That includes toppings like fish cakes, pork belly, and pork shoulder. For a sampling of just how many irresistibly fatty and protein-ful ingredients go into making a restaurant-quality bowl of tonkotsu, check out this recipe

Why does tonkotsu ramen have more calories

A lot of tonkotsu ramen’s elevated calorie count has to do with its broth, which is brimming with animal fat. 

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Calories in Shio Ramen 

A serving of shio ramen starts out at 700 calories, including approx. 100 grams of noodles and 2 ounces of fatty meat. 

Shio ramen, much like shoyu ramen, is defined by its clear, lighter chicken or pork broth. It’s seasoned with salt (shio), so it may lean a little saltier than the other ramens. That said, it doesn’t have the animal fat that so overwhelmingly and deliciously flavors tonkotsu, or the thick miso paste that makes miso ramen so savory. Instead, it relies on umami-bombs like wakame (a slippery seaweed), kombu, shiitake, and dashi to lend it its layered flavor that goes beyond just “salty.” Shio ramen is often served with menma, sliced scallions, sliced egg, and chicken or pork. 

Why do Shio and Shoyu have similar calorie counts

Because shio and shoyu ramen have clear broths, they both have a similar, lighter flavor profile. They both start out with a light chicken or pork broth, and are then seasoned with either soy (for shoyu ramen) or salt (for shio ramen). Soy sauce has a pretty low calorie count, so we can safely assume that if the rest of the seasoning ingredients and toppings are similar, shio and shoyu clock in similar calorie counts. 

Want to eat less calories? Skip the broth and the fatty toppings

To consume less calories, simply don’t finish the broth and maybe choose a bowl with less toppings. Fatty cuts of meat like pork belly or pork shoulder, marinated eggs, and chili oil are also especially likely to increase your bowl’s calorie count. 

Enjoy Immi Ramen for a max of 310 calories per bowl

Immi ramen was created by two founders who looked at the exact calorie counts you read above and realized there was a need for a similarly rich, yet lighter alternative. Immi ramen has a maximum of 24 grams of carbs and 310 calories for the whole bowl of ramen, soup and all. Try it out and you’ll want to make it a permanent part of your ramen rotation.