For the majority of Asian population, noodles form part of their traditional staple diet. Noodles, which is made from unleavened dough appears in a long strip or string shape often and mostly is made of either wheat, or rice, or buckwheat as the primary ingredient. Historically, Chinese, Italian and Arab cultures equally claimed the invention of noodles at one point of time. The decades-long dispute ended in favour of China when recent research unearthed 4000 years old naturally preserved noodles from the Lajia archaeological site in the Chinese province of Qinghai.

Although noodles originated in ancient China, the word noodle is of German origin, where the root word is ‘nudel’. In the traditional Chinese language, noodle is called ‘mian’. The Chinese origin might have helped noodles to spread across the sister civilizations of neighbouring Asian countries and to develop into different varieties of noodles with its own uniqueness inherent to the respective geographical regions. Examples of such offshoots can be found in almost all Southeast Asian as well as East Asian cuisines including Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and so on.

In this article, we hope to analyse some of the most important noodle varieties along with a few noodle dishes.

Chinese Noodles

In the northern regions of China, wheat noodles are widely used; but coming to the South, rice noodles are more popular. Apart from wheat and rice, other ingredients also are part of noodles which include egg, arrowroot, tapioca, cereals, etc.


Lamian is a variety of Chinese wheat noodles, which is made using a traditional twisting, stretching and folding method of the dough. The term ‘la mian’ means ‘pulled noodle’. The conventional hand-making process of lamian noodles significantly changes in different parts of China. For example, Lanzhou and Beijing have two different styles of making la mian noodles. La Mian noodles are usually served along with a beef dish or occasionally served with a sauce after stir-frying.

Cellophane Noodles

Cellophane noodles are known in many other names, including glass noodles, mung bean noodles, beanthread noodles, etc. Cellophane noodles are made of starch derived from high-quality peas and green beans (mung beans). Because of its semi-transparent appearance, they are often called glass noodles. Apart from mung beans, cellophane noodles are derived also from potato starch, tapioca starch, and so on. Even though they are marketed under the name saifun in China, which means ‘slender noodle’, the most popular name of cellophane noodle in China is ‘fensi’, which means ‘noodle thread’. Cellophane noodles are often served as part of hot pot dishes, stir-fries and soups. A decent collection of beanthreads can be found here.

Ho Fun

Ho fun is a Chinese rice noodle dish which is also called in other names including Shahe fen. Ho fun is the Cantonese name, whereas, Shahe fen or he fen is the popular name in the Mandarin language. Ho fun noodles are remarkable for their white colour, broad and slippery texture, and elasticity and chewiness. Shahe fen rice noodles (ho fun) are mostly stir-fried with meat or vegetables and often served with a traditional dish called chow fun (also called chao fen). Beef, chicken, shrimp and crab are mostly used with ho fun noodles while stir-frying. Here is a collection of ho fun noodles featuring beef, shrimp, chicken and other flavours although they are produced by Thai and Vietnamese companies.

Rice Vermicelli

Rice vermicelli is made using rice flour and is very thin form of rice noodles. Rice vermicelli is often served as a part of soups, stir fry dishes and salads. Although Chinese in origin, they are found in almost all Asian countries and are widely known by the variants of the term ‘bi hun’, which means rice vermicelli. The Bihon noodles of the Philippines is quite popular which is the derivative of Chinese rice vermicelli. The Chinese mai fun is a dish that makes use of rice vermicelli. Rice vermicelli is semi-transparent in appearance, and should not be confused with cellophane noodles. Our website features a good collection of vermicelli featuring products from Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam apart from traditional ones from China.

Wonton Noodles

Wonton noodles is a Cantonese noodle dish variety which is equally popular in Hong Kong and some of the Southeast Asian countries. This dish gets its name from the Chinese wonton dumplings since the serving includes wonton dumplings. Served in hot broth, wonton noodles often comes garnished with leafy vegetables like ‘kai lan’.  The noodles used in this dish is often fresh egg noodles that are thin, pale yellow in colour and has a springy texture. Here is a Thai style wonton noodle soup base featured on our site.


Another popular Chinese noodle dish variety is called Luosifen, which directly translates from Chinese to English as ‘snail rice noodles’.   It is mainly composed of rice vermicelli and river snail stock along with other flavouring agents and spicy ingredients. Luosifen is a relatively new dish that originated in the 1970s in the city of Liuzhou, in Southern China. Nowadays Luosifen restaurants are quite popular in China.

You can enjoy luosifen noodle flavour featured in the form of instant noodles and bowl noodles on our website.

Japanese Noodles

The colloquial name for noodles in the Japanese language is pronounced ‘men’. Just like Chinese cuisine, noodles are widely used as a staple food in Japan. Noodles are part of soups, stir fry dishes and salads in Japanese cuisine. Apart from that, noodles are also enjoyed with dipping sauces. Below listed are the most important noodle varieties prevalent in Japan.


Ramen is simply translated as ‘pulled noodles’ in the Japanese language. Ramen is something Japanese directly incorporated from the Chinese wheat noodle culture. Ramen as a noodle dish often made up of a broth featuring either meat or seafood, and flavouring ingredients like soy sauce, and miso. Ramen noodle dishes are found frequently topped up with pork, seaweed and scallions.

Ramen often features a handful of flavours in Japanese cuisine. Pork bone-based tonkotsu flavoured ramen is one of the most popular ramen noodle dishes. Soy sauce flavoured ramen is called Shoyu ramen Besides, salt tasting shio ramen, miso ramen, curry flavoured ‘kare’ ramen are other varieties prevalent in Japan.


Udon is a relatively thicker, wheat-based Japanese noodle with a pale white colour. Udon is chewy and soft and is neutral in terms of flavour, which makes it a good candidate to consider pairing with dishes that have a strong flavour. Udon can be served hot in a nice dashi broth and works well in a stir-fry.  One of the most popular dishes is Yaki Udon, which consists of wok-fried udon noodles with Asian vegetables.  Find here our collection of udon noodles.


Contrary to the appearance of Udon, Somen is thinner and is a stretched pale white noodle variety very popular in Japanese cuisine. It resembles the Chinese rice vermicelli in terms of appearance and is ideal to serve both hot and cold. Find some somen noodles available on our site.


The Japanese buckwheat noodle is called soba. Just like other Japanese noodle dishes like somen and udon, soba also features both hot and cold versions which are served during cold and warm seasons respectively. Soba noodle is served ideally with a variety of Japanese dipping sauce called ‘tsuyu’. Try the traditional Japanese buckwheat soba flavour by getting a packet of organic soba noodle.


Japanese shirataki noodles is also called konnyaku noodles as it is prepared from a plant called ‘konjac’. They are called ‘shirataki’ because of its waterfall-like appearance. ‘Shira Taki’ in the Japanese language means ‘white waterfall’. Shirataki is surprisingly low in calories and thus it is termed as a healthy noodle. Find here a fresh version of shirataki (konnyaku) noodle.

Korean Noodles

In Korea, the noodles are called ‘myeon’, which is derived from the Japanese ‘men’ and Chinese ‘mian’. Wheat noodles collectively are called ‘guksu’ in the Korean language. Some of the popular Korean noodle dishes are listed below:


Japchae is Korean stir-fried noodle dish prepared using a type of cellophane noodles derived from sweet potato starch. This variety of Korean cellophane noodle is called ‘dangmyeon’ and the Japchae noodle dish is prepared from which is composed of mixed vegetables, meat, mushrooms and other condiments. Japchae is seasoned with a type of Korean stir-fried noodle soy sauce normally called Japchae sauce. You can also find a Korean Japchae recipe if you wish to try.


The Korean term ‘Kal-guksu’ means ‘knife noodles’ which is a reference to the way these noodle threads are hand-cut using a knife from the whole noodle dough. Kal-guksu is more popular during the summer season and is normally enjoyed with a delicious broth flavoured by anchovies, seaweed and shellfish extracts. You can try oriental style kalguksu noodle from our website also try Samyang brand’s instant noodle Kalguksu flavour and Bajrak clam flavoured Kalguksu.


Another popular Korean noodle dish variety is called naengmyeon, which is a type of ‘cold noodles’ usually made of starch derived from a range of items like buckwheat, potatoes, arrowroot, sweet and potatoes. Naengmyeon is further divided into two; the first being a cold noodle soup (called mul naengmyeon) and the second one is usually served with Korean red pepper paste (gochujang) based spicy dressing, which is called ‘bibim naengmyeon’. You can find here an awesome recipe for Korean naengmyeon cold noodle dish and also order the ingredients.

Bibim Guksu

The Korean variety of spicy noodles is called ‘bibim guksu’. Korean spicy noodle dish is normally prepared using the thin version of Japanese (also Korean) style wheat noodles called somen. Somen is called ‘somyeon’ in the Korean language. Bibim Guksu spicy noodles is also called ‘stirred noodles’ or ‘mixed noodles’ in the Korean language. Bibim Guksu dish is composed of somen noodles coupled with beef stir-fried dices and seasoned vegetable ingredients.

Noodle Dishes in Other Asian Countries

When considering a list of noodle dishes that originated outside the East Asian landmass, the most deserving one to be featured top on the list would be Indonesian Mi Goreng, (also spelt Mie Goreng meaning ‘fried noodles’). A spicy fried noodle dish, mi goreng is something like a signature dish as far as Indonesian cuisine is concerned. Mie goreng is also popular in other Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore.  Mi Goreng is made of yellow noodles fried in cooking oil, and flavoured with other spices and condiments, vegetables like cabbage and prawns, meatballs and so on. Find a number of mi goreng based instant noodles offered by Indonesian Indomie brand on our website.

Another one is Pad Thai, which is a stir-fry noodle dish from Thailand. Pad Thai noodles is composed of rice noodles, eggs, tofu, spices, and a handful of other ingredients. Along with tom yum, pad thai is one of the iconic Thai dishes widely popular across the globe. Find on our website a traditional Pad Thai noodles recipes and also an instant noodles featuring pad Thai flavour.

Nowadays, the culture of instant noodles has eased the efforts required for making traditional Asian style noodles to a great extent. Almost all popular, as well as traditional flavours, now have instant avatars. You can browse through a good number of instant noodle flavours in our dedicated section and also in our comprehensive noodles section. Even though the instant noodles can mimic the traditional noodles to a certain level, the original dishes still take the centre stage during special occasions and events especially because of the originality, tradition, quality and rich taste.