Noodles, Noodles!

By Andrea Villarreal

Noodles, a lengthy food enjoyed by many around the world, is given a twist from culture to culture. Though globally-known ramen is often mentioned when thinking of noodles, so many other noodle-based dishes are out there waiting to be eaten that can be healthier, tastier and simply just different to one's tastes!  From ramen to pho, there is so much to know about these dishes and their main ingredient: noodles. Here's a variety of noodles and the greatest Korean dishes made with them!

Soba 

This light brown noodle made from buckwheat and wheat flour is chewy and best used for cold dishes. Perfect for this summer heat! One popular dish made with soba noodle is jaengban guksu (쟁반국수), a cold noodle dish served in a large platter with vegetables meant to be shared with a large number of people due to it being more than one serving. The noodles are mixed with a tangy spicy red chilli sauce. Jaengban meaning large “platter” and guksu meaning “noodle.”

Udon 

Chewy and thick, udon is made from wheat flour and can be served either hot or cold! Although it is commonly served as a bowl of steaming brothy soup, this udon is sure to fill you up during cold and gloomy days. A dish that should be considered is kimchi udon noodle stir fry (김치 우동 볶음), with a spicy taste mixed with vegetables. This dish is the same as kimchi fried rice, but with the substitution of udon noodles. 

Glass Noodles 

Made from mung bean starch, they are glossy and translucent, being either thin or wide. These noodles can be used for salads, soups, and spring rolls. A trending dish seen all over YouTube by mukbangers is glass noodles and tteokbokki. The glass noodles are quick to absorb sauces, making this dish spicier than one would think!

Rice noodles

Made from rice flour and gluten-free, these noodles are great for those who want a healthier option. Rice noodles are commonly flat and sometimes as wide as a centimetre. The thinner version is called rice sticks! 

Sweet Potato Noodles 

Composed of sweet potato starch, as the name implies, these noodles cook quickly! They are similar to rice noodles being glossy, slippery, chewy, but are firm and translucent! This noodle is very well-known to Korean dishes! 

Japchae (잡채) is a well-known dish of a mixture of different vegetables that can be made with either rice or sweet potato noodles. It was once considered a royalty dish and is served on the first and sixteenth birthday, along with other special occasions. Japchae can be served as a main or side dish, depending on how much you’re craving it!

Noodles truly are an art, and so much more than ramen! The various types of noodles can all be enjoyed in different ways. Whether you want your noodles hot, cold, stir-fried or gluten-free, there is something for everyone! Which noodle is a must try for you? 

Written by Andrea Villarreal

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