Flavoring (Tare)

There are 3 basic types of tare.
Specific regions in Japan tend to have a specialty.  Ramen lovers can spend hours extolling the virtues of their particular favorite.

Miso -
Miso is fermented soybean paste.  There are as many varieties available as miso
soup is a staple of the diet.  Nagoya is famous for red miso and Tohoku for white miso.  The shop owner will usually blend several types of miso to achieve the
proper flavor and will be highly secretive of what he uses.

Shoyu -
Shoyu is the Japanese word for soy sauce.  Shoyu tare is generally a mix of soy
sauce, sake (rice wine), konbu (sea tang - kelp), some type of shellfish, garlic and onion.  The mix is then boiled down and left to ferment for at least a week.

Shio -
Salt in Japanese, Shio is considered to be the most difficult as it is mixed with the lighter soups and the taste must be more subtle than the other two variations.  Generally a mixture of sea salt, mirin, sake, various shellfish, shio tare is not fermented as long.