Like pasta, ramen in Japan is a blank slate that can be dressed up to the nines not just with a range of specialty toppings, but with the broth of your choice. Per MasterClass, there are usually two categories of broth which ramen soups generally fall under.
One category of broth is clear and light, known as “chintan,” where stock made with chicken, vegetable, or seafood soup can be mixed with a traditional Japanese soup base known as dashi. Dashi is used in different dishes and is made by soaking ingredients like bonito flakes, dried shiitake mushrooms or dried scallops in either cold or warm water, per Bon Appetit.
Then there is also a cloudier, richer broth known as “paitan,” which MasterClass describes as “full of fat, and silky in texture due to gelatin, which forms when the collagen-rich connective tissue is cooked at a high temperature.” It is with one or the other that ramen broth is usually made.