Japanese Beef Curry Ramen

Ramen noodles are a classic comfort food. You can curl up with a bowl of it on a cold winter night, and everything feels warm and cozy. But noodles alone are more of a snack than a meal. If you want something that will really stick to your ribs, you’ll want to stir in some other ingredients.

Japanese beef curry ramen is packed with protein and vegetables, and it has plenty of kick. Let’s dig into the history of this delicious dish, and talk about how to prepare it.

Japanese Beef Curry Ramen

A Brief History of Japanese Beef Curry

Like many classic dishes, Japanese beef curry is a more recent invention than most people think. It’s also very different from other types of curry like Indian and Thai curry.

From 1603 to 1867, Japan lived through the Edo Period. During this time, contact with the outside world was extremely limited, and there was virtually no cultural interchange. But in 1867, the Emperor Meiji would open Japan to the world. Trade flowed in from around the globe, and Japanese people eagerly sampled foreign foods and spices that they’d never had access to. One of these spices was curry.

Traditional Japanese curry is made with chuck roast, along with an assortment of vegetables. You’ll typically find potatoes, onions, carrots, and a rich brown sauce that’s ever-so-slightly sweet as well as spicy. That said, there are also a number of local variants found throughout the country.

Homemade beef curry ramen can be as spicy or as mild as you like. Japanese curry is typically sold as a roux, or block of compressed spices, and is not as spicy as Indian curry. However, you can also use curry paste. If you’re using a roux, there are typically different levels of spiciness.

At the low end, a mild curry is best for kids. At the high end, you might even decide to kick up the heat with chili powder or cayenne pepper. It pays to experiment and see what works best for you.

Japanese Beef Curry Ramen

Japanese Beef Curry Ramen Recipe

To make our Japanese beef curry, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • One cup of Mike’s Mighty Good spicy beef ramen
  • ½ pound of chuck roast, cubed
  • ½ small carrot, chopped
  • ½ small white potato, chopped
  • ½ small white onion, chopped
  • Japanese curry roux or paste
  • 2 cups of water

In a quart pot, sear the chuck roast until it’s browned on all sides, then remove it from the pot. In the same pot, add the onions, carrots, and potatoes. Cook them for 3 minutes while stirring them to keep them from sticking to the pot.

Add the water and Japanese curry, along with half of the Ramen soup base, and stir it all together. Bring the water to a simmer and put the beef back into the pot. Continue cooking it until the sauce thickens, and prepare your noodles just prior to serving.

How to Make Perfect Ramen Noodles Every Time

No matter what your recipe is, it starts with a good noodle. But how do you reliably cook a delicious bowl of noodles? Here’s a quick guide to preparing Mike’s Mighty Good noodles to perfection.

Boil the Water All the Way

People often add noodles to their water as soon as they start to see a few bubbles. This makes intuitive sense. The water is obviously hot, so why not start cooking your noodles right away?

The problem is that ramen noodles are meant to cook at a full boil, or 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Around sea level, water will start bubbling at only 176 degrees. That’s a difference of 36 degrees!

When you add noodles to water that’s hot but not boiling, they won’t cook evenly. The outer layers will quickly soften and get warm, but the insides won’t cook as quickly as they’re meant to. They’ll still be stiff and chewy. But if you leave the noodles in long enough for the insides to fully cook, the outsides will be overcooked. It’s a lose-lose proposition.

Instead, wait until your water is at a full rolling boil. When the water is fully boiling, the additional heat will cook the insides of your noodles quickly enough that it won’t overcook the outer layers. The noodle has a consistent bouncy texture throughout. This is especially important for noodle cups, since they’re not being prepared overheat. The water starts cooling down the moment it’s added to the cup, so adding it at a full boil is crucial.

It’s worth noting that some people add their noodles early on purpose because they prefer a stiffer ramen. Unfortunately, this technique still leaves the noodles with an inconsistent texture. If you like a stiffer noodle, try just cooking them for less time. The noodles won’t be as soft, but they’ll still have a consistent texture.

Ramen noodle cups

Use a Timer

Boiling your water is just a start. It’s also essential to cook your noodles for the right amount of time. These instructions are for Mike’s Mighty Good noodles – other brands will have their own requirements.

Preparing a Ramen Pillow Pack

To cook a Mike’s Mighty Good pillow pack, start by boiling 1 ¾ cups of water. This might seem like a lot, but remember that some will soak into your noodles and some will boil off.

When your water comes to a rolling boil, pour the noodles into the pot and let them cook for three minutes. Stir them every few minutes, and remove them from the heat at the three minute mark.

From here, it will depend on what recipe you’re making. Some recipes call for using the broth. In that case, just stir the flavor packet into the water and you’re all set. In other cases, your recipe may call for only the noodles. You’ll have to strain them in a colander and then add them to your recipe.

You don’t need a stove or a hot pot to make ramen noodles. All you need is a microwave. For microwave cooking, start with 1 ½ cups and make sure your bowl is microwavable. You’ll probably need to break the noodle block in half to make sure that it’s entirely submerged.

Microwave the water until it boils, then stop the microwave immediately. This can take different amounts of time depending on the microwave. Take out the bowl, mix in the flavor packet, and you’re all set.

Preparing a Ramen Noodle Cup

A Mike’s Mighty Good noodle cup only needs 1 ¼ cup of water. Open the lid of the cup halfway, boil the water in a separate container, and pour it into the cup. Cover the top of the cup with a saucer or similar flat object, and wait six minutes. Now you’re ready to stir in your flavor packet!

Stir While You’re Boiling

When you cook most kinds of noodles, including ramen, they can tend to clump together. This creates clusters of noodles that don’t cook evenly, and they can even fuse together, creating a mushy mess.

As you’re cooking your noodles, stir them every 30 seconds or so. Note that this is only necessary for packets. Noodle cups are specifically designed to cook without clumping.

spicy beef ramen

Start With Top Quality Noodles

There’s an old saying in computer programming: “Garbage in, garbage out.” The same is true for cooking. If you’re not using the best ingredients, you’re not going to have the best meal.

Not all ramen noodles are created equal. Go and buy a packet from your local grocery store, and the noodles are most likely flash-fried, which leaves an oily residue. They also use huge quantities of salt in their flavor packets, and skimp out on other herbs and spices.

Mike’s Mighty Good noodles are steamed, not fried, and the flavor packets have all kinds of ingredients. By starting with the best noodles, you’ll get a perfect bowl of ramen.

Looking to stock up on ridiculously awesome instant ramen? Shop all our Mike’s Mighty Good craft ramen flavors on our site.

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.


"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