Japanese noodles! Everyone loves them, they are a pivotal part of Janapese cuisine, and it’s probably the thing I’m looking forward to the most when our Anime Club goes to the Cherry Blossom Festival in April. But did you know there’s more than one kind of Japanese noodle? In fact, there are six!
Ramen, the most popular kind of Japanese Noodle, actually isn’t Japanese. It originated in China, and then was imported to Japan, becoming a staple food quickly. They are made from wheat flour, are yellow in color, and are a part of thousands of Japanese dishes. It wasn’t until instant ramen was invented that it became a popular food in the United States. A popular ramen dish in Japan is Miso ramen and Shio ramen.
Shirataki noodles are also known as white waterfall noodles, as they are clear. They are made from the “Devil’s Tongue plant”, and are often chewy or rubbery when compared to ramen. These are the best noodles for those on a diet, as they are highly nutritious, contain lots of fiber, and are low in carbohydrates and calories. They have no taste on their own, but will take on the flavors of whatever they are cooked with.
Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour, and can be bought either fresh or dried like pasta. They can be served hot in a variety of dishes, or cold with dipping sauces. They are sometimes confused with the Yakisoba dish, which is actually made with Chinese noodles.
Somen noodles are very thin and white, and are made from wheat as well. They are often served chilled with dipping sauces, but they can also be used in hot soups. They are similar to Udon noodles, only they are much thinner. They require oil when they are being cooked, and are often eaten cold in the summers of Japan to keep cool in the hot climate.
Hiyamugi noodles are a wheat flour noodle similar to somen, but a little thicker. They are served in the same way as somen noodles, and are usually white, but they can also take on pinkish colors as well.
Lastly, Udon noodles are the thickest noodles used in Japanese food. They are white wheat noodles, and can be served hot or cold with dipping sauces, similar to somen noodles. They are often found in hot soups and dishes during the cooler months in japan, as they are hearty and filling when mixed with other foods.
Now that we all know about the many different kinds of noodles in Japan, it’s time to eat some!