Are you soon planning a stay in Japan or perhaps already in this wonderland of unique culinary delights? Regardless of your motivation, there is truly a wide variety of Japanese dishes, and one of the types of foods in which you may find a somewhat surprising range of diversified options is the noodle.
Let’s take a look at some of the different kinds of noodles you will most commonly find throughout Japan and will also likely want to enjoy during your stay.
Udon is a type of white noodle that is generally rather thick in appearance and also somewhat glutinous in texture. It is commonly available in many Japanese restaurants and is also often the main feature of some restaurants in Japan.
It is served both hot and cold to properly suffice for appropriate seasonal climates. A steaming bowl of Udon noodles in delicious broth is a welcome way to warm up in winter and a cold plate of Udon dipped in a chilled sauce is a great way to keep you cool in the summer months.
Soba is likely the healthiest option on this list since it is primarily composed of and made with buckwheat flour rather than white flour. The word “Soba” is also, appropriately enough, used in Japanese as the name for the buckwheat itself. This goes to show just how common Soba noodles actually are in Japan and also how often Soba dishes will be an option on menus in Japanese restaurants.
The variety of styles of Soba is so numerous and diverse that a lengthy article or even a small book dedicated solely to the wide array of Soba could easily be written. Soba is popularly served both hot and cold, in a hot broth or dipped in a cool sauce. This also accounts for its popularity throughout the seasons.
Similar to Udon, a hot bowl of Soba noodles in a steaming broth is a popular and wonderful way to prepare for winter weather and a cold tray of Soba noodles dipped in a tasty sauce is a really refreshing way to stay cool during summer.
While we won’t cover all of the variations of Soba noodles in this article, it is important to mention one other very popular noodle that also contains the word “Soba”. This is potential because Soba is so ubiquitous that noodles, in general, may have, at some point, simply been referred to as a type of Soba regardless of actually containing buckwheat or not.
Yakisoba ordinarily contains no buckwheat and is actually a kind of noodle that is fried after it is boiled. The prefix “Yaki”, in Japanese, actually translates as “fried” so you can easily spot many fried dishes in Japan by the presence of “Yaki” in their name.
Yakisoba appears both on its own and as a feature in many uniquely Japanese dishes. You may be surprised to find that “Yakisoba Pan” is a popular sandwich that features cold Yakisoba. You may be even more surprised to find a rather popular dish at Izakaya restaurants and Japanese festivals featuring a Yakisoba core covered in layers of eggs and vegetables and topped with a delicious sauce.
While there are even more kinds of noodles you will find in Japan, these are the most common uniquely Japanese noodles you will find in Japanese restaurants. Enjoy and remember that slurping is actually a sign of appreciation rather than a faux pas.