Everyone loves a delicious bowl of ramen, probably for the same reasons everyone likes pizza. It’s hot, it’s filling, and it’s the perfect comfort food. You can also dress it up any way you like. Depending on your preferences, your ramen can be spicy, savory, sour, or rich in umami flavor.
And if you want to get really adventurous, you can prepare a creamy ramen. This can pair well with meat and create an incredibly rich dish. Or you can mix a creamy ingredient into your spicy ramen to help take the edge off of the heat. But how do you actually make a creamy ramen, and what ingredients should you use?
In this guide, we’ll talk about the five best ramen toppings for preparing a creamy noodle bowl. We’ll also give some suggestions on how to use them, so you’ll have a starting point to work from. Let’s get started!
Top 5 Creamy Ramen Toppings
So, what are the best toppings for creamy ramen? We like the following choices:
- Soy milk
- Cream cheese or yogurt
- Soft serve ice cream
- American cheese
Of course, you probably want to know more about how to use them. Here, we’ll count down to our favorite options.
5. Soy Milk
We prefer using soy milk over regular milk for a couple of reasons. For one thing, milk can curdle in the presence of certain ingredients, which just creates a gross mess. For another thing, soy milk doesn’t just add creaminess. It also provides a naturally sweet flavor that can make an overly spicy ramen more mild.
Using soy milk in your ramen recipe is a breeze. Instead of cooking your noodles in water, you substitute an equivalent quantity of soy milk. This works best with a pillow pack, but you can also do it in a noodle cup if you’re in a pinch.
Even with no other toppings, you’ll be impressed by the results. It’s a delicious blend of creamy and sweet, with distinct toasty and nutty flavors. Keep in mind that this will require a lot of soy milk, so you’ll want to buy more than you usually do.
Of course, the noodles and milk are just the beginning. If you want a more complete meal, mix in some vegetables and protein. You’ll get more vitamins and nutrients, along with some fiber to go along with your carbs.
4. Cream Cheese or Yogurt
Cream cheese or yogurt also make excellent ramen toppings. We lumped these two together because they basically work the same way. They’re particularly good for spicy recipes, because they’re a little bit tangy. This reduces the heat while simultaneously creating a richer, more complex flavor.
One of our favorite recipes is to use two ounces of cream cheese or yogurt with a packet of ramen noodles. Add some red pepper flakes, and stir everything together until it’s melty and creamy. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s simple, and you can prepare it in only a few minutes.
A word of caution: use regular cream cheese, not whipped. The emulsifiers in the whipped cream cheese won’t melt correctly, and you’ll end up with lumps.
3. Soft Serve Ice Cream
We know, we know – this sounds weird. But bear with us, because it’s also an incredible idea. Last January, the Franken restaurant in Osaka Japan started selling a special dish: sweet-and-sour red miso ramen, with a cone of soft serve ice cream melting over the top.
The dish uses a miso and gochujang base for the sauce, with a blend of pork, chicken, and beef broth. The ice cream itself is sprinkled with seaweed flakes, and Franken uses a vanilla and chocolate swirl. The vanilla is super creamy, while the chocolate adds a delicious savory flavor.
Franken’s soft serve ramen was a huge hit. Originally intended as a novelty dish for the first three months of 2022, it became incredibly popular. You can still order it to this day.
The only downside of soft serve ice cream is that you need to run out and buy it, then keep it cold while you prepare your ramen. This can make timing a bit tricky.
Cheese needs no introduction. It’s on most people’s list of favorite foods, and it’s even delicious all by itself. Melt some into your ramen, and you’ll instantly have a creamier, richer dish with a more complex flavor.
The beautiful thing about cheese is that there are so many varieties. Use provolone if you want a creamy, mild flavor that doesn’t intrude much. A couple slices of Swiss cheese can add a bold, slightly bitter taste. Or if you want something a little sharper, go with a nice sharp cheddar. Pretty much any type of cheese will go great in a bowl of ramen!
1. American Cheese
American cheese might be a controversial choice for our top spot. For one thing, it’s yet another type of cheese. For another thing, as many people will remind you, it’s not “real cheese. The second point is actually a misconception, but we’ll get back to that.
The thing that separates American cheese is how salty and creamy it is. When you bite into it, it just hits differently! It also comes pre-sliced, and is incredibly easy to melt over your ramen. Just lay a couple of slices over the top of your bowl, and it will melt right in.
Another good way to use American cheese is to mix it into the broth. The whole dish will get gooey and creamy, almost like a thin mac and cheese sauce. Or you can skip the broth altogether and just mix your noodles into the cheese.
The reason American cheese is different is because of the way it’s processed. Most American cheeses begin their lives as blocks of cheddar, although some are made from Colby or goat cheese. The base cheese is then melted down and blended with other ingredients.
The other ingredients vary from recipe to recipe. The simplest recipes use blends of different cheeses. Other more complex recipes add salt, milk protein, or whey. This is why different American cheeses have different colors and flavors.
One of our favorite American cheese recipes is the Spicy Cheesy Ramen, which is pretty simple to prepare. You start by boiling any noodle cup or packet and prepare them as usual. However, strain out the noodles and set the broth to the side.
Next, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium high heat, and drop in a clove of minced garlic. Fry it until the garlic is golden-brown, which should only take a minute or two. Once the garlic is ready, pour in a quarter cup of milk and add two slices of American cheese. Turn the heat all the way down and add sriracha and hot sauce to taste. We also like to add a touch of cayenne pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes.
When the cheese has melted, stir in a tablespoon of broth and add your noodles. Mix everything together, and your ready to serve it. If you want a little more heat, just shake some red pepper over the bowl.
Remember to Use the Best Noodles
No matter what cheese you’re using, your ramen noodles are the real star of the show. If you’re not using good noodles, you’re not going to get the experience you deserve.
That’s why you should always use Mike’s Mighty Good ramen. Our ramen has less salt than the leading brands. Instead, we use a blend of spices that creates a far more nuanced flavor. Look at the ingredients, and you’ll be able to pronounce everything. Best of all, the noodles are steamed, not fried. When you bite into them, you’ll feel a springy texture that’s just like the noodles at a real ramen bar.
Check out our blog for more information, follow us on Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest in the fabulous world of ramen noodles, and watch our TikTok videos for recipe inspiration and visual walkthroughs.
Plus, take a look at all our instant ramen recipes on our blog.