What 11 popular noodle dishes from around the world look like

iStockNoodles can be prepared in a lot of different ways.

Whether they’re stir-fried, topped with sauce, or served in a rich broth, noodle dishes are a beloved comfort food in many cultures.

From crispy chow mein to spicy laksa, here’s what different noodle dishes look like around the world.


Udon is a thick, wheat-flour noodle that’s popular in Japan

Yuya Shino/ReutersUdon noodles are made with wheat flour.

Thicker than soba (another type of noodle), udon noodles are popular in both hot and cold dishes in Japan.

The wheat-flour noodles are often served in a rich broth.


Pad see ew is a popular street food in Thailand.

ShutterstockPad see ew is traditionally made with caramelised noodles.

Although popular in Thailand, this dish is also said to have roots in China.

Pad see ew is a stir-fried noodle dish that’s made by throwing all of the ingredients into a hot wok and allowing the noodles to caramelize in soy sauce.

It’s traditionally made with sen yai (wide rice noodles), vegetables, and a sweet and savoury sauce.


Cacio e pepe is an Italian classic.

ShutterstockCacio e pepe is a popular Italian pasta dish.

Authentic cacio e pepe is made using tonnarelli noodles, a spaghetti-like pasta made with eggs.

The sauce for the dish has just three ingredients: cacio cheese, pasta water, and coarse black pepper.


Chow mein is a stir-fried noodle dish that’s popular in Chinese cuisine.

Larry Crowe/APChow mein noodles sometimes have a crispy texture.

In Hong Kong, chow mein is often prepared with thin, crispy egg noodles to add texture.

This versatile dish can be made with a variety of different meats and vegetables or served vegetarian.


Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup

Reuters/KhamPho is a broth-based noodle soup.

Banh pho rice noodles and a delicate bone-beef broth are the main ingredients of this dish – with add-ins like thinly sliced beef, herbs, and sauces – offering many options for customisation.


Popular in Korea, japchae features stir-fried glass noodles.

Deb Lindsey For The Washington Post via Getty ImageJapchae is made with starch-based, transparent noodles.

Typically served as a side dish, japchae is a stir-fried, glass-noodle dish with a sweet and savoury flavour.

It’s a staple at some Korean holiday celebrations but also enjoyed throughout the year.


Laksa is a spicy noodle soup that’s popular in Southeast Asia

Richardernestyap/ShutterstockLaksa has a spicy flavour.

A staple in Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian cuisines, laksa features Hokkien noodles or rice vermicelli, a spicy broth that’s coconut- or tamarind- based, and toppings like vegetables and different proteins.


Found in Hawaii, saimin is a popular dish with influences from several different cuisines.

ShutterstockSaimin is another noodle soup dish.

Popular in Hawaii, this ramen-like noodle dish takes influences from a mix of cuisines including Japanese, Chinese, and Polynesian.

Soft, wheat egg noodles are served in a dashi broth and topped with ingredients like green onions, Spam, and fish cake.


Filipino spaghetti usually has a sweet sauce and is topped with hot dogs

ShutterstockFilipino spaghetti.

This sweet pasta-based dish is a staple comfort food in the Philippines.

It’s distinguished by its unique tomato sauce (sweetened with the addition of banana ketchup) and hot-dog topping.


Kushari, also known as koshari, is widely regarded as Egypt’s national dish

AS Food studio/ShutterstockKushari is usually made with macaroni noodles.

To make this dish, rice, lentils, chickpeas, and macaroni are first cooked individually before being tossed together and topped with a spiced tomato sauce, garlic vinegar, and fried onions.


Tallarines verdes, popular in Peru, has a pesto-like, creamy sauce.

Larry Crowe/APTallarines verdes is typically green.

A twist on an Italian pesto pasta dish, tallarines verdes (“green noodles”) is made with either spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine and topped with a pureed spinach-basil sauce that’s thickened with evaporated milk.

The evaporated milk gives a creaminess and subtle sweetness to the dish.

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