Japanese Ramen noodles with chopsticks .

A Guide to Japanese Noodles

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Noodles are a staple in Japanese cuisine.

Image credit Reddit.

Whereas Americans view hamburgers and fries as comfort food, the Japanese default to noodle dishes for the same homey satisfaction. They can come in many shapes, sizes and styles to fit any meal. Ramen is gaining popularity in the US, and restaurants like Noodle Bar in Phoenix have been serving up the tasty dish. You don’t have to travel to the Pacific island to find them, though. This guide will help you navigate your local supermarket aisle and provide information on the various types of Japanese noodles. Whether you are looking to entertain guests with homemade ramen or just want to know more about dishes you’ve tried, this guide is for you.

First of all, it is essential that you know where to find the noodles. Specialty markets are always an option, but for those that live in areas without them, supermarkets are there. If you do not have access to an Asian or Japanese supermarket, go to your local grocery store’s international foods aisle. There you will typically find ramen, dried soba, and udon. Other varieties are possibly available.

When it comes to selecting fresh or dried noodles, each has their benefits. Both are incredibly convenient and have few ingredients. Either will cook quickly and provide a delicious addition to a meal. If you wish to select the fresh-frozen variety, they will last for months. If you are budget conscious, dried noodles are more cost-effective and have a longer shelf-life than frozen. Having trouble deciding? Fresh noodles are known to taste better and absorb other flavors more.

As far as storage goes, keep dried Japanese noodles in a cool, dry place and consume within six months. For fresh noodles, eat them within four days of being stored in the refrigerator.

You’re probably wondering what all the varieties are and how to pick one? Depending on the dish you are making, one noodle might hold up to strong flavors while another is better suited for dipping sauce. Below are the options you will likely find:

  • Ramen – Made from wheat, the chewy and high-protein noodle is very popular in Japanese cuisine. They can be wavy or straight and are sometimes made with egg. A suitable substitute for fresh ramen can be “chow mein.”
  • Soba – Also made from wheat, but primarily buckwheat flour, soba noodles are very thin. They have a nutty flavor and are typically light tan or brown. Serve these noodles in broth or stir-fry.
  • Udon – As far as slurpability, udon noodles are king. These thick and slippery noodles are made from three ingredients: wheat flour, salt, and water. This noodle resembles swollen spaghetti, but other varieties can be flat.
  • Somen – This quick-cooking Japanese equivalent of angel hair pasta is usually served in chilled broth. Keep in mind; this variety is usually sold dried.

You can skip the noodle shopping altogether and dine at the best Japanese restaurant in Phoenix, Noodle Bar.


Our extensive menu of noodle based options feature Japanese staples and will not disappoint. Boasting a delicious ramen menu with eight different types to choose from, you should try one today! Order the Spicy Miso Ramen and enjoy spicy slaw, chili threads, scallions, cured egg and chashu sesame seeds. For the vegetarians, the Vegetable Ramen combines fried tofu, shredded onion, vegetables and sesame seeds. There are many restaurants in downtown Phoenix, but we have been satisfying customer after customer since our doors opened. Whether you want a date-night out or are looking for a new lunch spot, be sure to come in and try one of our culinary delights. https://www.noodlebarphx.com

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