Embarking on a culinary journey is one of the most satisfying ways to explore a region’s culture and traditions. In Asia, noodles hold a special place in the hearts and palates of people from diverse backgrounds. Just like pasta in Italy, Asian noodles come in a stunning variety of styles, each with its own unique flavors and techniques. Join us as we traverse Asia in search of some of the finest noodle dishes the continent has to offer.

  1. Ramen in Japan

Our culinary expedition commences in Japan, the birthplace of the world-renowned Ramen. Ramen’s fame extends far beyond Japan, thanks to its versatility and affordability. This iconic dish comprises two essential components: the broth and the noodles. Four classic broth variations, namely shio (salt), shoyu (soy), miso (miso), and tonkotsu (pork bone), offer a spectrum of flavors. The wheat noodles, available in various thicknesses, perfectly complement the richness of the broths. Toppings like barbecued or braised pork, scallions, nori (dried seaweed), and a soft-boiled egg add depth to the dish. To experience Ramen’s regional diversity, you can try the fiery chili ramen at Karashibimisoramen Kikanbo or enjoy a serene meal at Hoshinoya.

  1. Pad Thai in Thailand

Our next stop takes us to Thailand, where Pad Thai reigns as a beloved national dish. Although you can find Pad Thai on menus worldwide, there’s something extraordinary about indulging in the original version on the vibrant streets of Bangkok. Pad Thai boasts a harmonious blend of flavors, with firm tofu, succulent prawns, garlic, sweet radish, fish and soy sauce, sugar, tamarind, egg, spring onion, and bean sprouts all stir-fried to perfection. The dish is topped with chopped peanuts and a drizzle of lime. To savor Pad Thai at its best, immerse yourself in the lively ambiance of Bangkok’s street-side eateries. Thipsamai Pad Thai, with its dedicated following, is a fantastic choice for an authentic experience.

  1. Pho in Vietnam

Our gastronomic journey then takes us to Vietnam, home to the beloved Pho. What started as a humble noodle soup has achieved global acclaim in recent years. Pho’s appeal lies in its complex flavors, featuring a piping hot broth infused with star anise and onions, accompanied by rare to medium cuts of beef and long, opaque rice noodles. The dish is customized with various garnishes, including lime, chili sauce, bean sprouts, and basil, depending on regional preferences. While there’s no shortage of places to sample Pho in Vietnam, the most authentic experiences often await at unassuming eateries. However, be prepared to wait in line at popular spots like Pho Gia Truyen in Hanoi, where the wait is well worth it.

  1. Japchae in South Korea

Our journey now leads us to South Korea, where Japchae holds a cherished place in the culinary landscape. Whether served hot or cold, Japchae tantalizes the taste buds with its sweet and sour flavors and slippery, moreish texture. According to legend, King Gwanghaegun was so enamored with Japchae that he promoted the dish’s creator to the prestigious position of Secretary of the Treasury. Japchae features sweet potato glass noodles (dangmyeon) tossed with stir-fried black pepper beef and an assortment of vegetables, including green onions, mushrooms, and peppers. A delectable mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar binds the ingredients together, and the dish is crowned with a jidan (egg garnish). You’ll encounter Japchae throughout South Korea, especially during special occasions and at vibrant markets like Kwangjang Market.

  1. Knife-cut Noodles in China

Our final destination takes us to China, where the art of crafting knife-cut noodles is as captivating as the dish itself is delicious. Noodle artisans skillfully hold a block of dough over a pot of boiling water at a precise angle, using specially designed knives to shave the dough directly into the simmering liquid. The result is a dish that’s visually impressive and immensely satisfying. Knife-cut noodles in China come in various preparations, with one favorite being stir-fried with garlic, shiitake mushrooms, chili, ground pork, Shaoxing wine, and an array of soy sauces. The flavors are robust, and the dish is best enjoyed with gusto.

As you embark on this culinary odyssey, remember that each dish not only delights the palate but also offers a glimpse into the culture, history, and culinary expertise of its region. Whether you’re savoring a bowl of Pho in Vietnam or relishing the art of knife-cut noodles in China, your taste buds will revel in the diverse and flavorful world of Asian noodle cuisine.

Related tours & packages