Shoyu Ramen for the Newly Cynical Soul

We’ve all been feeling like, well… what does it really even matter anymore? It’s bad. It’s just always bad. Shades of bad, but bad all the same. It’s like it’s a grey skies, pre-rain situation inside my brain most of the time. Typically, I’d look at things and see this just as part of that justice-inclined arc of the moral universe, but shit these days is dark, y’all.

As is the natural impulse dictates, when it’s dark and dreary you want soup. Which begs the question:

When It Comes To Filling That Empty Pit Inside, Which Ramen Is Right For You?

  • Shio (She-O)
    Shio ramen refers to a broth style seasoned with normal ‘ol salt. Often, shio is similar in taste and texture to Western-style broths and is typically light colored or clear. Shio is a good base for gateway ramens for those just waking up to what’s been said loudly by black and brown communities for years. The “Becky” of broths.
  • Shoyu (Sho-You)
    Shoyu is seasoned with the sauce from fermented soy beans, but let me stop you before you think this is just seasoned with “soy sauce.” The exact composition of the soy compounds in these broths are often complex and closely guarded secrets, much like the plan Congressional Republicans are “working on” to replace the Affordable Care Act. Best consumed when healthy and feeling salty. Can be vegetarian (but always check). 
  • Miso (Me-So)
    Miso is a true weapon in the ramen arsenal. It changes the color of the broth (making it more opaque) and has a distinct flavor that can be layered with other seasonings. This is a great ramen option for anyone stuck on the murky nature of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia or – as I hope it comes to be known – Stupid Watergate.
  • Tonkotsu (Tong-Coats-Zoo)
    Finally, there’s tonkotsu, the ramen style beloved by everyone’s most obnoxious foodie friend. It’s derived by boiling pig bones for an extended period of time, so the stock itself typically glistens with fat before the seasoning is even added. It’s rich flavor often overpowers any competing interests and before you know it, the bowl is gone. No metaphor there. None at all.

Hey, feel better, okay?

Lexi Notabartolo