What is menma in ramen


With this recipe I introduce you to another important ingredient for the Japanese noodle soup Miso Ramen: Menma.

Menma is bamboo cut into strips or pieces, which is cooked for just under an hour in a broth made from chāshu broth and chili oil.

And the chāshu broth is the real challenge with this recipe, because - as far as I know - you can't buy it ready-made. But you don't necessarily have to make the Japanese pot roast chāshu beforehand.

But there are two ways you can prepare Menma. And I will now present these two recipes to you in the following.

  1. Menma with chāshu broth - You can find out how to make the Chāshu broth in my recipe for Chāshu.
  2. Menma with dashi broth - Dashi is a broth made from kombu (seaweed), shiitake mushrooms and bonito flakes (smoked and air-dried tuna shavings). You can get it as an instant powder in every Asian shop, but you can also make it yourself quickly. You can find out how in my recipe for Dashi.

To make the brew for Menma with dashi, you simply mix one tablespoon of sesame oil *, a liter of dashi broth, one tablespoon of soy sauce *, one tablespoon of sake *, two teaspoons of sugar and one teaspoon of salt together. The further preparation then corresponds to the preparation of Menma with Chāshu broth.

Memna with inlaid bamboo

The most common form in which bamboo shoots can be found in our regions is in pickled form. Mostly in glass or can and in the form of pieces, slices or rasps.

Apart from the fact that the kind of bamboo shoots are almost tasteless, the shoots are already pre-cooked and overcooked and therefore disintegrate quickly. Therefore, they are unsuitable for the preparation of Menma.

My advice: A good alternative here are whole sprouts pickled in brine from the Asian shop. I used this for my menma.

They have a fairly firm consistency and can easily be cut into the strips typical of Menma with a sharp knife. They survive the one-hour cooking procedure unscathed.

Menma with dried bamboo

Traditionally, dried bamboo strips are used in the preparation of Menma. Outside of Asia shops, however, they are rarely to be found.

They are also a little more “labor-intensive” because they have to be thoroughly soaked for about six hours before they can be processed. The water must be changed at least three times during the soaking time.

Menma with fresh bamboo

However, the aroma is unbeatable when it is prepared with fresh bamboo shoots. Unfortunately, fresh - in the sense of raw - bamboo shoots are rarely available here, with the exception of a few Asian shops.

The preparatory processing is similar to the bamboo shoots pickled in brine.

Good to know: Fresh, raw bamboo shoots must be cooked. Many types of bamboo contain the glycoside taxiphylline, which is converted to hydrocyanic acid in the stomach when consumed raw. However, this glycoside is destroyed during cooking.

For whole sprouts, the cooking time is around an hour, for pieces it is at least 10 minutes. The cooking water must never be used any further.

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  • Author: Carsten Lentfer // Just Yum Yum
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Preparation time: 60 minutes
  • Total time: 70 minutes
  • Quantity: 300 grams Menma 1x


Recipe for the traditional Japanese miso ramen topping Menma made from bamboo shoots, homemade chāshu broth and chili oil.

Pickled, whole bamboo shoots: Wash the sprouts thoroughly under running water. Use a sharp kitchen knife to remove the end piece and tip. Then cut the sprouts in half lengthways. Now lay the halves on the cut sides and cut them horizontally into long strips.

Dried bamboo shoots: Soak the bamboo strips in plenty of cold water for six hours. Replace the water at least three times during the soaking time.

Fresh bamboo shoots: First carry out the work steps as for the pickled bamboo shoots. Then cook the bamboo strips in salted water for ten minutes. Then wash thoroughly in a kitchen strainer under cold running water.

  1. Put all ingredients in a not too large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Simmer for about an hour without a lid until most of the stock has boiled down.
  3. Let the Menma cool down and process it further if necessary.
  • Category: Side dishes
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Nutritional values

  • Portion size:300 grams
  • Calories:1.095
  • Fat:103 grams
  • Carbohydrates:24 grams
  • Protein:9 grams

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