Types of Asian noodles


Hello Cocinacas! Do you like Asian food? If so, noodles are surely one of the first dishes that come to mind. They combine perfectly with other ingredients, and although you will be used to eating them by now, surely it is not always easy for you to differentiate them. That is why today we want to talk to you about the main types of Asian noodles that exist, so that you know how to recognize them in each dish and even cook them at home, because we will teach you some recipes.

The oriental diet or Asian is one of the most recommended by nutritionists. It stands out for its nutritional benefits and for their low-fat dishes. Although this covers many types of cuisines and each one has its specialties, one of the most widely used foods is vegetables, these take a great role in the dishes. They also use a lot fish in its preparations, although the different types of sushi are those that have achieved the greatest success in the world.

For their part, Asian noodles have been the basis of countless dishes for centuries, both for their nutritional properties and versatility, as well as for the variety of colors, sizes and ingredients with which they are made. The main types of Asian noodles are those that are made with rice and those that are based on wheat and eggs. However, there is also green tea, bean starch, zucchini or quinoa.

In order to more easily recognize which are the main types of Asian noodles, we have decided to group them into two categories: according to their elaboration and according to your origin (Chinese, Japanese, Thai noodles …). In this way we can also teach you the recipe for one of them, in case you want to buy the noodles yourself and transport yourself to the Asian continent through the flavors.

Asian noodles according to their elaboration

Rice noodles

Stir fry with rice noodles

Rice is a cereal considered as basic food in the gastronomy of many cultures, especially Asian. In fact, it is the second most produced cereal in the world, behind wheat.

Rice noodles in Asian cuisine are made from fine rice flour and water. Are suitable for celiacs. There are many varieties of different length and thickness. However, they are easily recognized because they have a milky white color, slightly translucent, and a flattened shape. They are always sold dry and when boiled they regenerate.

They are a source of vitamin B, phosphorus and potassium, and help balance blood pressure.

They are a basic ingredient in China, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam. They are used mainly to elaborate salads but they can also be eaten in soups, stews and stir fries (type wok), since they absorb liquids very well and acquire a tender and slippery texture.

Egg noodles

Dish with egg noodles

Made with wheat flour and egg, are the most typical within the Asian food. They are similar to Italian pasta and their quality usually depends on the percentage of egg they contain. They can be found both dry and fresh.

Are consumed in soups or pre-cooked, too sautéed in the wok with different types of meat and vegetables with sauces. Another option is to serve them cold in salads.

They are very popular in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

Green tea noodles

They are made from wheat flour and buckwheat flour or, only, with buckwheat flour (also called buckwheat) and it is also added matcha powder.

They are not noodles that are eaten regularly, only on special occasions.

Cellophane noodles

They are made from green soy flour. This type of soy is also known as Chinese green chickpea, kidney bean, or mung bean. Although it is called soybeans, green soybeans are totally different from the most well-known soybeans in the West. It only has in common its high protein content.

Cellophane noodles are white, when boiled they become transparent and are also very thin. When they are immersed in hot oil to whiten them, their size multiplies and then they remain very crispy.

They are used in soups or to garnish other dishes. These are laid as a base or made stir fry noodle nests with meats, crustaceans and vegetables. It is the base of the popular Chinese dish, ants climbing a tree.

Konjac noodles

Shirataki noodles
Shirataki noodles

The konjac or elephant sweet potato, also known as devil’s tongue, is a tuber of Asian origin, from the tropical climate of Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Its root is 100% fiber with a great water absorption capacity. Because of this, konjac fiber is widely used in diet products for women. slimming diets and for the production of pasta. Due to its satiating properties, it regulates blood sugar levels and protects the intestinal flora.

With the konjac the Shirataki noodles, which are gray, gelatinous and translucent and, above all, very fine. They can be dry or fresh.

Japanese noodles

Ramen noodles

Ramen noodles

They are known throughout the world, although their origin is Chinese. They are made with wheat flour and they are dry and fresh. Are elastic, yellowish in color and about one millimeter thick

The usual is mix them with broths of poultry, meat or fish. Also in vegetable soups, seafood or meat as in dry dishes in which the pasta is cooked and then sautéed and mixed with other ingredients.

The dish made with this type of pasta is also often called ramen.

Udon noodles

Udon noodles

They are the thickest noodles in the asian gastronomy (2 or 3 millimeters). They are made with wheat flour.

They can be square, flat or round and are sold dry or fresh, in small packages. In addition, they can serve hot, as in a vegetarian tofu soup for example, or cold. When cooked they are white and tender.

Soba noodles

Buckwheat noodles

They are recognized because they are dark colored noodles because they are made from wheat flour and buckwheat flour. They can also be just from buckwheat flour, known as buckwheat. Hence, these noodles are also known by the name of buckwheat noodles.

This type of flour is rich in Vitamin B, amino acids and carbohydrates. They are typically sold dry and served in soups, both hot and cold, or sautéed in dishes like this chicken and vegetable soba noodle dish. You can also make a nutritious buckwheat noodle salad with tofu with them.

Yakisoba noodles

In Spanish they would be what we call Fried Noodles. Although the word soba is integrated into the term yakisoba, these Asian noodles are not made with buckwheat flour, but with wheat flour.

They are cooked with beef, chicken, or pork and seasoned with cabbage, onions, and vegetables.

Somen noodles

They are easily recognized because they are white, very long and very thin. They look like sobas but are much more delicate. They are made with wheat flour, water and also with a little oil.

They are usually eaten on top of a ice base that keeps them cold and wet in a sauce called tsuyu. If it is cold they are served with a hot broth called numen.

Hiyamugi noodles

Have a intermediate thickness between the udon noodles and the noodles somen, with a diameter of between 1.3 and 1.7 millimeters.

They eat cold and they are made with wheat. In summer they are seasoned with a spicy broth.


It means Spring rain in Japanese and so they designate these glass noodles of potato starch or sweet potato. They measure 12 to 18 cm and are thin and transparent.

They are used in salads, in the famous let’s go (typical Japanese stew), in spring rolls, in sushi dishes and in some soups. They are also gluten-free.



Ho fun

Made with rice flour, they are very widths (they can reach the centimeter) and quite thick.

They are usually served sauteed, as is the case with the beef chow fun.

Mei fun

Also made from rice flour, they differ from Hon Fun noodles because Mei Fun is a fine noodle.

In our recipes for Chinese food you will find succulent dishes such as these Chinese noodles with vegetables or Chinese noodles with chicken with chicken and almonds. And also others chinese dishes like this chow mein whose noodles have to be fried to give them a crunchy texture, or the popular lo mein.

Korean noodles

The Naeng myun or naeng-myeon noodles are typical of North Korea and are made with buckwheat flour (buckwheat) and potato starch. They are very similar to soba but with a more intense brown color.

They are usually eaten cold, but sometimes they are also eaten in soups, hot or cold, with beef broth.

Thai noodles

Pad thai with prawns
Pad thai

In Thailand, the most widely consumed Asian noodles are noodles. It is the generic name that refers to the form, of flattened profile. Specifically, those made with wheat flour and those made from rice stand out. The latter are very versatile and used in soups but especially in stir-fries. They do not require cooking, just a few minutes of soaking before sautéing them.

Pad Thai or Thai wok is the most popular noodle dish.

Filipino noodles

The Pancit luglug noodles They are of Filipino origin although introduced by the Chinese. They are made from cornstarch and before cooking it is recommended to rub them with hot water.

They also call pancit to the noodles or dishes of, which are sold throughout the country in the so-called panciterias.

Another type of Asian noodles

The tokoroken are Asian noodles that have their origin in Japan and are made with vegetable gelatin, obtained by boiling the agar agar. This is passed through a gutter press that has a mesh-like end of small squares (or planes) that gives them the shape.

They have a very low calorie content Y high fiber content. They are eaten cold in salads, or with broths and vegetables.

In their Chinese version, they are known as chinese jelly noodles.

Did you know all about these types of Asian noodles? Tell us through the comments which ones you like the most and the recipe that you will be encouraged to cook at home. Take the opportunity to travel through the flavors.

As you can see, there are many types of noodles, so if you think that we are missing one, feel free to comment on it as well so that we can complete the list together.


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