Noodle soup garnished with lime, carrots, onions and coriander leaves.

A Guide to Japanese Noodles

2nd November, 2021

What is Japanese cuisine without its noodles? The product, which was first introduced as a luxury food in Japan, is now extremely popular across the world.

Their versatility makes the food so popular; they can be served hot and chilled; added to soups and stir fries and enjoyed with dipping sauces and salads.

This blogpost will guide fusion chefs through the different Japanese noodles, what they’re made of, and how to incorporate them in popular noodles dishes.

Ramen Noodles

Ramen Tonkotsu soup topped with eggs and spring onions.

Ramen noodles are the most popular type of noodles in Japanese cuisine, and their shape, length and thickness vary by region. They have a light-yellow colour, firm texture and are mainly served in broths and soups such as Ramen Tonkotsu Soup.

Let’s explore Japan’s most popular ramen dishes:

  • Shio: consisting of thick, wavy noodles; this original style of ramen is made from chicken, fish, and vegetable stock; topped with BBQ pork, pickled plumbs, or narutomaki (fish cake rolls).
  • Kitakata: thick, flat and curly ramen noodles served in pork and dried infant sardine broth. The soy flavoured broth is topped with spring onions, fish cake and bamboo shoots.
  • Yokohama: thick, straight noodles served in a soy flavoured tonkotsu-style pork broth, topped with boiled spinach, nori, eggs, and Welsh onion.

What Are Ramen Noodles Made Of?

Ramen noodles have four main ingredients:

  • Wheat flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Kansui (a form of alkaline water)

Udon Noodles

Vegan Udon Tempura soup served in a bowl.

Udon noodles are white, thick, chewy noodles also commonly used in soups and broths. They can be served both hot in soups such as vegetarian udon soup and stir-fries, or chilled with dipping sauces and salads.

There is a huge list of hot and cold dishes that vary regionally – however some of the most popular udon dishes are:

  • Kake Udon: broth consisting of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. The warm dish is topped with green onions and kamaboko.
  • Kare Udon: made with Japanese curry roux, this winter dish has various spice levels and is topped with thinly sliced beef.
  • Zaru Udon: this cold dish consists of noodles (often garnished with nori strips) served on a bamboo mat, accompanied by a dipping sauce.

What Are Udon Noodles Made Of?

Udon noodles are made of the following ingredients:

  • Wheat flour
  • Salt
  • Water

Soba Noodles

Soba noodles served in a black bowl.

Traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve, but now popular as a daily dish, soba noodles are made of buckwheat, or wheat and buckwheat flour. They can be found both fresh and dried – and just like other noodles, they’re served both hot and cold.

Soba noodles have an earthy and nutty flavour. They can be seasoned with a variety of foods and toppings – let’s explore the most popular soba noodle recipes.

  • Mori Soba: traditional cold noodles served with a tsuyu (soy sauce based) dipping sauce.
  • Hadaka Soba: plain chilled noodles served on their own.
  • Kake Soba: noodles served in a hot broth topped with spring onion and kamaboko.

What Are Soba Noodles Made Of?

Soba noodles are made of:

  • Buckwheat flour
  • Water

Now that you’re aware of the most popular noodles types, begin creating noodle recipes for your restaurants using Mizkan’s specially crafted vinegars and seasonings for an extra depth of flavour.

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