I am looking to make my own instant ramen soup - nothing complicated, but there must be a way to duplicate the instant variety without all the salt. I've played with combinations of dried onions + no - salt chicken bouillon, but without much success. The key is something that can be kept in an office drawer for some time - I can already make homemade soup from the scratch.

  • 1
    Do you mean making your own ramen, or just the soup base? Ramen are slightly complicated to produce at home.
    – Orbling
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 1:50
  • 2
    Salt is the flavor.. Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 2:39
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    On the series, River Cottage Every Day, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall made some instant "pot noodle" soups along with one of his chefs. I believe some of the add-in ingredients were perishable, but they were all just-add-water recipes when it came time to eating them.
    – Allison
    Commented Feb 10, 2011 at 8:05
  • Tangentially related: Does dumping the water from boiling ramen noodles reduce the fat content much? Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


The Japanese use a stock called Dashi for the base of many soups, sauces and dishes including the famous miso soup. Dashi is made like tea by seeping several different varieties of dried ingredients such as dried bonito flakes, dried baby sardines, dried kelp and dried shitaki mushrooms in varies combinations.

What you can do is boil water and use a teabag to seep the ingredients for a while then just remove the teabag. It requires quite a bit of bonito flakes to get any flavor. Rather than using Ramen noodles you might opt to use cellophane rice noodles or mung bean noodles instead. Finish with a dash of soy sauce, sambal or saracha. All these ingriedents can be ordered online, found at an Asian market or Whole Foods. You might also find several other types of mushrooms (watch out for sand), fish and vegetables that have been dried which will rehydrate nicely in the soup.

  • Even if you made your own dashi this can still have quite a high salt level and wouldn't meet the instant requirement unless you keep two types of dried fish in your office desk draw! And I've seen low sodium soy sauce but not no salt soy sauce. I'm not sure this is a useful answer.
    – vwiggins
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 15:23
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    Most of the above could be managed in an office (canned fish/seafood and misc. dried ingredients can be stored in a desk drawer along with low-sodium soy sauce and bricks of "instant" noodles). You'd be hard pressed to find a "no salt" ramen recipe (that goes so far as to even exclude low-sodium soy sauce & salt from tinned or dried fish), but you could easily cut the sodium level in half with the suggestions above & careful selection of ingredients. Definitely more work than "boil, add seasoning packet" though...
    – voretaq7
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 16:02

What about some miso soup base instead?

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    Miso paste is more than 5% salt already!
    – TFD
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 5:08

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