Discovering Japanese noodles

Japanese noodles make a fascinating world. Japanese people are proud of their longstanding traditional culture as well as the “most difficult” taste in the world. Japanese cuisine is famous for the diversity, delicious taste, and sophisticated decoration. It can be said that Japanese cuisine contains the soul of the land of sunrise.

Besides rice which is the indispensable part of the daily meal, Japanese people also love to eat noodles. Japanese noodles have diverse processing methods and typical flavor for each type. A delicious bowl of noodles contains both the passion and the essence of Japanese cuisine. The most popular traditional Japanese noodles are Udon, Ramen, Soba, and Somen

  1. Udon:

Udon is made from wheat flour, water, and salt. The noodles are cloudy white, thick, with round or square shape. This is the most popular and favored noodle. The thickness of the noodles is also an issue. Depending on the locality, restaurant, and the hobby of each person, the noodles will make thicker or thinner than the normal size. In addition, the thickness of the noodles is also adjusted according to the hot or cold weather. Just like other types of noodle, Udon will swell after being cooked, so the noodle strings will be bigger, heavier, and thicker. We can easily feel the delicious taste and springy feeling of wheat flour. The broth is slightly salty and sweet, but very tasty.

In a traditional manner, Udon is served with meat broth, fried egg, vegetable, fish, dumpling, salted pork, and fried shrimp. Each type of Udon has a distinctive name such as kake Udon served with simple meat broth, mirin and dashi – the two popular Japanese spices, Kitsune Udon with fried tofu, or Yaki Udon which is mixed with black sauce.

  1. Ramen:

Ramen has bright yellow color with small strings which are totally different from Udon. This type of noodle is popular across Japan and each locality has its own Ramen flavor. There is a “Ramen park” (Odaiba ramen park) exclusively for this type of noodle. Visiting Odaiba Ramen Park, Tokyo, you will enjoy different types of Ramen of each region in Japan.

The ramen soup is made from salt, water (shio ramen), pig bone broth – the cloudy white fat broth (tonkotsu ramen), Japanese soy sauce – clear dark brown soup (shouyu ramen), and miso – cloudy white soup (miso ramen). Miso is a type of soy sauce made from fermented soy which is used to make soup to eat with rice and other dishes. In addition, there is also ramen soup with shrimp for seafood noodle, Japanese curry soup, or ramen with egg.

  1. Soba:

Soba is considered the symbol of luck and Japanese people eat this type of noodle at the end of the year to see off the old year and welcome the New Year full of luck and health. Soba noodles are long and springy with dark brown color. Soba noodles are made sophisticatedly through different processes and have a special way of eating. The noodles are made by mixing buckwheat and wheat flour, adding water to form a thick paste, kneading, rolling, and cutting into thin strips.

There are two types of soba to choose, namely mori-soba (soba noodles are dipped in cold water after being boiled and served on a bamboo tray) and kake-soba (noodles are put in a big bowl and served in hot broth). A recently developed type of soba tane-mono (noodles with tempura, fried tofu, herbs, and duck, etc.)

  1. Somen:

Among Japanese noodles, Somen is very famous. The summer here is not as hot as it is in Vietnam, but Japanese people still prefer cold noodles in the summer. Somen is a favorite cold noodles for the summer in Japan and it is also the traditional dish as well as the pride of Japanese people whenever they return to their home country.

Somen is sophisticatedly decorated with various flavors, depending on the taste of the diner. Somen noodles are thin and long, put in glass bowls and filled with cold water and served with some vegetable, fruit, or meat. Newly-made green bamboo chopsticks are used to eat Somen. Putting the noodles to the mouth, we will feel like we are enjoying the whole summer.

They are different types of Japanese noodles. Japanese cuisine is rich and attractive, isn’t it? If you study about this country, you will find that although Japan is a leading country in technology, it still retains the traditional cultures.

Source: Sushi Hokkaido Sachi

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