Noodles are the workhorse of Japanese cuisine and the foundation of many iconic dishes.
Whether you've fallen in love with comforting bowls of ramen or are experimenting with icy bowls of somen, here's a quick guide to identifying seven commonly found types of Japanese noodles:
Ramen noodles are made from wheat, are much thinner and longer than udon and have a nice chewy bite when cooked. You'll usually find them served in a tasty broth. See the best ramen in Japan if you're a fan of this type of noodles.
Chewy and soft, these thick wheat Japanese noodles are usually pale white by comparison to ramen. Udon has a neutral flavour, so they make a good choice for strongly flavoured dishes.
Somen noodles are stretched thin wheat noodles, comparative to vermicelli and can be served both hot or cold, and absorb other flavours well.
Never heard of this type of Japanese noodles? Thin light wheat flour noodles, hiyamugi are somewhere in between somen and udon noodles in terms of size, although they are eaten in the same types of dishes.
Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour or a mixture of buckwheat flour and wheat flour in equal parts. Try our delicious recipe for soup with soba noodles, spinach and poached egg. See how to handmake soba noodles if you want to try and make them at home.
Harusame, sometimes called cellophane noodles, glass noodles or mung bean threads, are translucent dried starch noodles, originally made from mung beans.
Whilst they are flavourless they are perfect for adding extra texture to soups, salads and stir fries. Try our refreshing recipe for glass noodle salad.
So, what about these types of Japanese noodles? Did you know them all already? If you feel like reading something else, read the article on types of stuffed pasta or the one on Myoga, Japanese ginger.