Ramen Toppings 101: What is Kikurage?

There are many different types of ramen and ramen toppings. One favorite is kikurage, a unique topping many may not be familiar with. If you want some toppings for your favorite noodle dish, such as Mighty Good Ramen, is kikurage a good choice? What is this product?

Whether you have pork ramen, kimchi ramen, or vegetarian ramen, kikurage is a unique topping that will go well with other toppings on your delicious noodle meal. Read on to learn more about what kikurage is in ramen, if it’s good for you, what it tastes like, and other valuable information about this favorite ramen topping.

Ramen Toppings 101: What is Kikurage?

What Is Kikurage In Ramen?

One of the most popular ramen toppings is kikurage, a wood ear mushroom, especially well-known in Japan. It’s shaped like an ear naturally, which has led to several ear nicknames over the years. It’s also known as Wood Ear Mushroom, “common ear fungus,” and “ear fungus” in some locations.

In ramen cups, you will find kikurage has a chewy texture. It’s known for absorbing the liquid in the ramen and adopting the taste in a lovely liquid bite. When combined with other toppings, kikurage adds a unique texture to the soup without subtracting from the flavor profile.

Many people use kikurage for a delicious ramen topping, but there are many options. It’s also eaten cold over a salad or by itself. It’s not as popular in the United States, but it’s becoming more well-known in many states.

Is Kikurage Good For You?

Many ramen toppings are healthy, and kikurage is no different. Whether you want healthy ramen with meat or vegetarian ramen, kikurage is an excellent addition with various quality impacts on your body. It’s easy to slice, dice, or toss this mushroom into soup as a whole unit.

There are many benefits you can anticipate with the addition of kikurage to your soup. 

In ancient Chinese medical practices, black fungi are believed to have various antimicrobial properties and immune-enhancing abilities. Kikurage falls under this category, thus explaining its popularity as a topping on ramen. Although eating food for medicinal properties isn’t as popular in the West, the rise of popularity in ramen brings newfound interest to the food.

Ramen Toppings 101: What is Kikurage?

What Does Kikurage Taste Like?

In any bowl of ramen noodles, it’s ideal to know the flavors you’re putting in your soup before they hit your mouth. The taste of kikurage might work for some, but others may want to avoid putting it in their chicken ramen if the mushroom’s flavor isn’t at the top of their list.

Most people reveal kikurage has no flavor at all, making it an excellent complement to your ramen if you can get past the chewy texture. Like tofu, it absorbs the taste of whatever flavor it’s in. If you pair it with a miso broth, it will taste like miso. If you add it to a pork liquid, it will taste like pork. 

Versatile toppings like kikurage are one of the best things you can add to ramen. 

Is Kikurage Spicy?

If you’re a fan of spicy ramen, it’s critical to take care of the toppings you put inside it. Kikurage is an excellent topping for spicy ramen because it isn’t spicy, offering a nice balance to the dish.

Those who want more spice can always soak the kikurage mushrooms in a spicy liquid overnight, allowing them to soak in the liquid and creating a new level of spice. Once you add them to your ramen, you’ll have a tiny sponge of aggressive spice.

We recommend purchasing your spicy ramen from Mike’s Mighty Good Ramen and playing around with the flavors as you wish. We have affordable, tasty, and organic ramen noodles that offer the ideal backdrop for experimenting with the use of kikurage mushrooms.

What Does Kikurage Add To Ramen?

Whether you have organic ramen noodles, or something purchased from the store, it’s critical to know what a topping will add to your dish before putting it on.

Kikurage will add the following to your ramen soup:

  • Health benefits: Kikurage is renowned in Chinese medicine for its reported health benefits
  • Texture: The chewy texture will help balance out any crunchy topping additions to your soup.
  • Flavor pouches: The mushrooms soak up the broth, leaving fun pockets of flavor you will enjoy biting into while you enjoy your meal.

Kikurage pairs well with a variety of ramen toppings, from sprouts to menma and negi. It’s up to you to experiment with your toppings and noodle base to determine your favorite combination of textures and tastes.

What Ramen Is Kikurage Best With?

Whether you’re using an organic ramen noodle or an instant ramen recipe, it’s helpful to know what your topping will pair best with on the market. Although there are many quality broths available, there are two that stand out as top contenders with the kikurage topping, due to its earthy flavor.

  • Shio ramen
  • Tonkotsu ramen

 The slight earthiness of the kikurage allows it to work best with these broths. 

Of course, some may prefer to place the mushroom with a meaty base, allowing the kikurage to soak up the tasty salty flavor of the broth. If that’s the case, a chicken or pork base is another quality choice.

Kikurage Recipe Ideas

Ramen Toppings 101: What is Kikurage?

If you’re a beginner with ramen, it might feel intimidating to add kikurage to your ramen without any assistance. Luckily, there are many ramen ideas online that will help beginners and experts alike pick the flavors they like best when using this popular mushroom topping on their ramen soup.

Here are a few suggestions for kikurage ramen recipes, simple enough for anyone to make in their kitchen at home:

You can use a recipe for your kikurage, but it’s also a good idea to experiment on your own to determine what flavors you enjoy and which ones you’d prefer to avoid. You can also mix up the topping, experimenting to determine what textures pair well together and which ones are a no-go.

Want Tasty Ramen?


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If you’re looking for tasty ramen, look no further than Mighty Mike’s Ramen. We offer unique craft organic ramen, designed to be cooked like your traditional cup ramen at a much higher level of quality than other brands. We want to bring classic cuisine to your kitchen, allowing you to become a master chef and enjoy ramen bar quality foods at home. 

We offer a variety of ramen at Mike’s Mighty Good Ramen. You will find miso ramen, beef ramen, pork tonkotsu, vegan ramen, and much more. We also provide recipe ideas and various tools on our website to make it easier to create every meal right from home. Our vision is ramen accessibility for all - we are here to help in every way we can on your ramen journey!

"Mike's Mighty Good has permanently changed my lunch game. Never knew an 'instant soup' could be so good."

Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant of the Stuff You Should Know Podcast