Whatever shape, form, or cuisine, noodles are tasty in every form. Come, take a trip around the world and explore the different ways This carb-licious delicacy is prepared around the world.
Asia, Europe, or America, there is a noodle dish in every continent and every country prepares its noodles differently. Anybody wishing to have some comfort food always thinks only of noodles first. A hot, heaping bowl of noodles, no matter the cuisine, is enough to make one forget all their woes. Noodles are a truly versatile ingredient and can be prepared in a myriad of ways – whether sweet or savoury, anything is possible here! Noodles can be pan-fried or stir-fried or put into soups, they are also prepared cold in some countries to beat the summer heat.
Noodles have an interesting history. The popular knowledge is that Marco Polo brought pasta back to Italy during the 13th century after discovering it in China. Although it is a great story, it is actually not true. The real history behind noodles is much less definitive and is longer than that. Food historians hold the view that Italians ate a form of pasta made of durum wheat well before Marco Polo’s feet hit their soil. And they also weren’t the first to be eating noodles. It was in China that an archaeological dig uncovered preserved noodles that dated back 4000 years. Not just that, countries like Greece and Turkey have their own rich and unique noodle histories, with nothing to do with China, or Italy!
Noodles offer pure, unadulterated comfort, making them the ultimate comfort food out there. Chewy, saucy, savoury and full of umami, noodles are prepared differently in almost every country, which gives them a personal touch. Noodles are a staple food in many cultures, even considered a lucky food and eaten on the New Year for longevity and prosperity in some countries. There is a plethora of options available out in the world when it comes to noodles, they aren’t just limited to ramen, instant noodles, or pasta! Come with us on a trip around the world and look at what all noodles are on offer. Grab your fork, or chopsticks, and come with us; we promise full satisfaction!
1. Bún bò Hu?, Vietnam
Soulful, rich, and full of complex flavours, Bún bò Hu? is extremely delicious and comforting.
A hidden Vietnamese gem yet to make its way to mainstream cuisine, Bún bò Hu? is a rich and spicy soup with a great depth of flavour. The noodles used in Bún bò Hu? are shaped like vermicelli and the dish features meats like beef shank, oxtail, and pig knuckle. Some recipes even include gelatinous pig blood or sometimes, even shrimp paste, as an additional ingredient. The soup’s origin dates back to the 16th century, in the royal city of Hue. Most Vietnamese cities just call this soup Bún Bò.
2. Japchae, Korea
Japchae is a well-loved dish in Korea that has a savoury and slightly sweet flavour profile.
A unique noodle dish, Japchae is the only noodle dish to use dangmyeon noodles. These noodles are made with sweet potato flour and are extremely chewy. Due to being made of sweet potato flour, the noodles have a translucent, glass-like appearance. Japchae was originally a noodle-free dish that was eaten by royalty centuries ago. But the addition of dangmyeon noodles made it popular among the masses in the 20th century. The dish’s intense flavour comes from sesame sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and soy sauce. The noodles are stir-fried with vegetables and are often served with beef in the country.
3. Saimin, Hawaii
A noodle soup that is popular in contemporary Hawaiian cuisine. Saimin is a clean and refreshing dish.
Despite being a part of the United States, Hawaii’s rich history and enmeshment of different ethnicities has given birth to distinctive cuisines found only on the island. Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, and Polynesian cuisines melded together to result in a dish called saimin. The dish is often referred to as Hawaii’s version of ramen. The dish uses thick, chewy noodles that are cooked in a clear broth, topped with bok choy, mushrooms, ginger, and spam. The dish is a true testament to the cultural influences that can be found in Hawaii and is a local comfort dish that is eaten the whole year round at any time of day or just as a snack.
4. Tallarines Verdes, Peru
Translated, Tallarines Verdes means “green noodles” and is incredibly bright and fresh.
We heartily believe that pesto can make anything better; pasta, pizza, popcorn, just about anything can be made better with pesto. So, we were truly elated to come across this mind-blowing dish, straight from Peru. A Peruvian pasta dish, Tallarines Verdes features a pesto made with queso Blanco/fresco and fresh spinach and basil leaves. The addition of evaporated milk makes it creamier and a bit sweet. Pasta of your choice can be tossed in the sauce. Traditionally, the dish is also served with a side of Palomilla steak.
5. Spätzle, Germany
Spätzle is a Swabian specialty equally enjoyed in Austria and Switzerland and is an extremely comforting side dish.
Germany’s contribution to the amazing world of noodles, Spätzle are small noodles made with eggs, flour, salt, and water. These noodles have their roots in Southwest Germany when they were originally made by hand three centuries ago. The noodles also enjoy huge popularity in the nearby countries including Austria, Hungary, France, and Slovenia. A great side dish, the noodles make for a great side dish and taste best when paired with cheese sauce or beef gravy.