What Is The Pink & White Thing In Ramen

What Is the Pink & White Thing in Ramen? Unpacking Mystery

Last Updated on September 7, 2023 by Shari Mason

As a curious explorer of diverse cuisines, the world of ramen has introduced me to a colorful array of ingredients. Amidst the broth and noodles, the pink and white element has stirred my intrigue.

So what’s that pink and white thing in ramen? Let’s find out.

What Are the Pink & White Slices In Ramen?

Bowl of Ramen

The pink and white slices nestled in your ramen bowl are none other than “narutomaki,” a fish cake [1] that carries a distinct spiral pattern.

These slices, reminiscent of a playful whirlpool, are crafted from a blend of fish paste and seasonings. 

The captivating pink and white hues are achieved by adding natural food colorings during its making.

“Once you understand the foundations of cooking – whatever kind you like, whether it’s French or Italian or Japanese – you don’t need a cookbook anymore.”

– Thomas Keller, American Chef

Beyond being visually appealing, Narutomaki is designed to infuse the ramen experience with subtle flavors and a delightful texture. 

Acting as a complement and a contrast, these slices elevate each spoonful of ramen into a symphony of taste and aesthetics.

What Are They Made Of?

Narutomaki, those pink and white slices in ramen, are meticulously fashioned from a blend of fish paste and an array of seasonings. 

The preparation involves combining fish, often white fish like pollock or cod, with additional ingredients like starch, salt, sugar, and sometimes even egg whites. 

This amalgamation of flavors and textures results in the distinct chewiness and slightly sweet, savory taste that Narutomaki brings to the ramen bowl. 

The characteristic pink and white colors are achieved by incorporating natural food colorings during creation, enhancing the visual allure and overall appeal of these delightful fish cake spirals.

Find out how long do fish cakes last in the fridge.

How Do They Enhance the Ramen Experience?

Narutomaki, those charming pink and white slices, contribute a multifaceted enhancement to the ramen experience.

Beyond their eye-catching appearance, their slightly sweet and savory taste serves as a harmonious counterbalance to the rich flavors of the broth. 

The chewy texture of Narutomaki provides a pleasant contrast to the softness of noodles and vegetables, creating a delightful interplay of sensations in each spoonful. 


Are They Nutritious?

Slicing Narutomaki

While Narutomaki, the pink and white slices in ramen, are not a primary source of nutrition, they contribute some nutritional value.

Being crafted from fish paste, Narutomaki adds a modest amount of protein to the dish, supporting muscle health and providing a sense of satiety. 

Additionally, the fish used in their preparation brings essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids [2], which are beneficial for heart health. 

However, it’s important to note that their contribution is relatively small compared to other more nutrient-dense ramen components, like vegetables and protein-rich toppings.

Can You Customize the Slices?

Some variations of ramen might incorporate different flavors of Narutomaki, such as those infused with wasabi or a touch of spiciness. 

This flexibility allows chefs and enthusiasts to experiment with combinations that harmonize with their specific ramen creations. 

“The pink and white swirls in ramen are like edible art, a flavorful journey that adds a twist of tradition and a dash of delight to every bowl.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

This showcases how even the seemingly simple slices can evolve to match diverse tastes and preferences while remaining a distinctive element in the bowl.


What does Narutomaki taste like?

Narutomaki carries a subtly sweet and savory taste. The combination of fish paste and seasonings lends it a gentle marine essence reminiscent of the ocean’s salty touch.

This flavor complements the overall richness of ramen, offering a balanced contrast that enhances the entire culinary experience.

The chewy texture of Narutomaki further adds to its appeal, creating a harmonious symphony of taste and sensation with every bite.

Does Narutomaki inspire Naruto?

The popular manga and anime series “Naruto” is indeed inspired by Narutomaki. The creator, Masashi Kishimoto, named the main character after this fish cake’s spiral pattern.

In Conclusion

So there you have it, the mystery of the pink and white thing in ramen, known as Narutomaki, unraveled. It’s like a delicious twirl that adds flavor and charm to your bowl. 

Crafted from fish paste and a sprinkle of magic food colors, these spirals are eye-catching and taste enhancers. With a hint of sweetness and a dash of savory, Narutomaki brings a bit of the sea to your ramen experience. 

Think of it as a friendly hug from the ocean right in your bowl. And just like how ramen comes in different styles, Narutomaki is a versatile player, too, sometimes showing up with a wasabi twist or a hint of spice.

So, next time you savor ramen, remember the story behind these pink and white spirals – a reminder that even the slightest touch can make a bowl of goodness even more delightful.


Shari Mason

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