Food Beyond Ramen: 9 Japanese Noodle Recipes to Know Right Now
Eating a lot of instant ramen lately? Here are 5 tips to make your noodle soup better
Add an egg, seasonings and other ingredients to make instant noodles taste better.The internet is chock-a-block with all kinds of wild and crazy instant noodles, but if you quickly grabbed a mega-pack of one of the bland Brillo pads before you had a chance to peruse some of the tastier ones available, there’s good news. Cheap, bare bones brands may be weak sauce on their own, but they can serve as a decent blank canvas if you get a little creative.
Withmaking a tricky and even prospect this year, we're embracing the . All week (and all summer) long, we'll bring you transportive flavors and travel-inspired ideas from around the world, so you can take your tastebuds on a trip and give your mind a mini vacation while you're still at home. Here, we dip into some Japanese noodle dishes besides the beloved .
The ramen craze of the last few years has certainly accomplished a lot. Not only has it shown America that ramen is way more than just some brittle stuff with a spice packet in a Styrofoam cup (or plastic-wrapped blocks of noodles that resemble Justin Timberlake's '90s hair), it has also opened up a corner of Japanese gastronomy that was barely known on these shores before.
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And for every regrettable gimmick that has come out of the ramen wave (ramen burgers, ramnuts), there have been dozens of talented chefs who pushed the notion of the perfect bowl just a little bit further.
That being said, we’ve definitely hit peak ramen. It’s impossible to throw a stone in any moderately hip neighborhood in any moderately hip city and not have it land in a puddle of tonkotsu broth. The Chowhound community has even gone so far as to ask if the craze.
But just because the ramen juggernaut has run its course doesn’t mean that there isn’t still territory to plow. Japan is home to a surplus of great noodle dishes that aren’t ramen. Between soba, udon, somen, and shirataki (the four other major Japanese noodles), there are plenty of iconic, traditional recipes as well as more obscure regional specialties for any noodle completist to plow through.
Beyond Ramen: 9 Japanese Noodle Recipes to Know Right Now
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A Japanese noodle revolution doesn’t have to stop at the island nation’s shores, either. Noodles basically are just starch, after all; they can take easily to a whole array of flavors. To lead the charge, here are nine Japanese noodle recipes that are in a league beyond ramen, from the super traditional to the border-smashing.
Soba, which is made from nutrient-rich buckwheat, first caught on in the U.S. as a healthy option for macrobiotic diets. To a certain extent, it still hasn’t shed that health-conscious reputation. Not that that’s a bad thing: this miso-spiked take with a full helping of vegetables makes clean eating look good. Get our.
Nami | JustOneCookbook® on Instagram: “What do you eat on days when it's too hot to stand by the stove? Zaru Soba is one of my personal favorites. It's a simple dish of chilled…”
Tonkotsu ramen gets by on its flashy excesses, with a rich fatty broth and lots of pork. Traditional soba, on the other hand, is a matter of mystery and restraint. Typically served with tsuyu, a soy sauce-based broth, and just a handful of simple toppings, it can feel stoic at first. But it rewards with lots of earthy, deep flavors that come through in waves. As it's served cold, it's a perfect summer option. Get the.
Easy chicken recipes for busy weeknights
Weeknights can be a stressful and busy time. Between working, keeping your children busy with fun activities and learning new skills of your own, it can be hard to figure out what to cook. While there are plenty of quick dishes you can whip up, here are easy options that incorporate a crowd-pleasing protein: chicken. 2/36 SLIDES © Courtesy of the National Chicken Council Grilled Chicken and Peach Kabobs Peaches are a great fruit for grilling. For a sweet spin on kabobs, skewer chunks of peaches that will hold up well and taste delicious once off the grill with some marinated chicken.
Udon are thick, bouncy, and chewy, noodles made from wheat. They’re perhaps the most fun of all to slurp. Just plop them in some hot soup, like this one with white miso, add a few veggies to top, and get ready for some slithery action. Get our.
Another refreshing cold dish, tanuki udon comes topped with puffy tempura crumbs. That’s right, they’re noodles topped with crunchy, crispy fried stuff. Now just imagine how awesome it would be if all of the world’s deep fried leftovers got repurposed as noodle toppings. Pretty genius, eh? Get the.
Masaki Higuchi on Instagram: “Kitsune Udon
.#きつねうどん #きつね #キツネ #うどん部 #うどんが主食 #うどん #饂飩 #樋口さんちで麺類 #udon #kitsune #kitsuneudon”
Kitsune udon is topped by squares of fried tofu, which have a spongey texture that might be offputting to some. But they also have a salty-sweetness to them that can get quite addictive. The dish’s name literally translates to “fox udon”—legend has is that the tofu pieces are the animal’s favorite food. Get the.
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???? Caroline Nika Phelps on Instagram: “Summer means somen! Get ready for the most refreshing Japanese noodle recipe ever! Dip your cold and springy somen noodles in umami…”
Somen are thin and wispy wheat noodles, practically shrinking violets next to udon’s big and bouncy heft. Because they’re so delicate, they take especially well to light and summery dishes, like this radish and pea cold noodle dish with a thin broth. Get the.
Bev Weidner on Instagram: “Oh hey, vegetarians. This one’s for you! (Minus the whole chicken stock and eggs thing????????♀️) It’s a Somen Noodle and Tofu Soup, and I…”
Somen are also great to add to soups because they don’t try to steal the spotlight the way heftier noodles might. Here, they are a supporting player to seared tofu, a lime-spiked broth, and broccoli. Get the. (Or try this .)
ChihYu Smith | I Heart Umami® on Instagram: “Summer Shirataki Noodle Bowls with a wickedly delicious “peanut” sauce that’s oh-so creamy and nutty delicious! It's no cook, low carb, and…”
Shirataki are long noodles made from low-carb, gluten-free yam starch. In Japan, they’re usually served simply with a light broth or as part of a hot pot. But they are also a great stand in for other noodles when you want that slithery texture without all the heaviness. Here, they star in a paleo-friendly noodle bowl with summer veggies and a peanut sauce stand-in made from almond butter. Get the. (Try this fiery too.)
OK, so technically yakisoba is made from ramen noodles. But it’s staunchly a not-ramen ramen dish, with dry, pan-fried noodles that suck in the flavors of their salty-sweet seasoning. If you’re looking for the heady core of Japanese comfort food, this is where you start. Get the.
How to make a chicken noodle soup just like mom's .
When the cold weather rolls in, nothing quite compares to a big bowl of comforting soup or stew. And, on those particularly frigid days, no soup is more warming than chicken noodle. The dish has been used to remedy everything from the common cold to the flu, and this recipe is sure to give you what you need on the chilliest of days. Leftover Chicken Recipes You’ll Make Again and Again This recipe keeps things simple, with common ingredients like tender carrots and chicken. If you're planning to meal prep, this dish can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. It's also a great way to use up leftover chicken and veggies in your fridge.