The world of noodles is far from a small one. Walk into any Asian Market and you’ll be surprised to see how many sizes, shapes and colors of noodles there are to explore. From the everyday lo mein noodle to the tremendously long la mien noodle, there are many textures and consistencies of noodles to accompany traditional Asian dishes. And don’t even get us started on how different they are from Italian pasta.
So how do you keep track of all your noodles without ending up all tangled and confused? Well there are a few main categories which all of the noodle types you’ve probably heard of/eaten fall under:
- Wheat Noodles
- Rice Noodles
- Starch Noodles
There’s a lot more to these categories than these three thanks to hybrid noodles and untraditional ingredients, but in general (and lucky for you), every Asian market will have these types of noodles.
Asian Noodle Types
Soba Noodles: This Japanese noodle is known for its earthy, nutty flavor. They come packed with protein and look a lot like regular ol’ spaghetti. They’re popularly served cold in broths and slurped right from the bowl with chopsticks.
Udon Noodles: Udon noodles are among the thickest noodles out there. They can be found fresh, frozen or dried and make a great addition to any meaty, hearty dishes thanks to their dense, chewy texture. If you think you’re up for the challenge, The Crying Dragon here for a limited time only is a delicious and spicy dish that incorporates udon noodles, beef and our special concoction of spicy chilies!
Rice Noodles: Also known as fun or fen in Cantonese, these delicate noodles are more commonly used as a means to add texture to a dish rather than flavor. They’re often cooked into soups, salads or spring rolls and especially seafood dishes. For a delicious dish that incorporates the rice noodle with some other delicious flavors, we recommend our Garlic Pepper Noodles.
Naengmyeon Noodles: This traditional Korean noodle is served chilled and made with buckwheat or starch of potatoes, sweet potatoes or seaweed. There are two types of naengmyeon noodles, mul-naengmyeon, which is served in a cold broth and bibim-naengmyeon, which is accompanied by a spicy sauce and served warm.
Cellophane Noodles: Cellophane noodles, otherwise known as “mung bean threads” are very thin, string-like and clear. Interestingly, these noodles like a few other Asian noodles don’t require more than about a minute in hot—not boiling—water. These noodles work great in soups, stir fries and spring rolls.
Ramen Noodles: These wheat and flour noodles are a bit of a sensation among college students. But the traditional Chinese/Japanese noodle is often sold fresh and not in the dried packets we’ve become accustomed to seeing. Nevertheless, both are delicious well—kind of fun to eat!
For more delicious dishes to expand your noodle palate, visit lingandlouies.com/national-noodle-month and check out our limited time Noodle Month menu!