12 of the best noodle dishes from around the world

Flickr/City FoodstersA chef preparing ramen.

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

From crispy chow mein to spicy laksa, here are 12 different noodle dishes from around the world.

Udon is a thick wheat flour noodle from Japan

Thicker than soba (another type of Japanese noodle), udon is served in hot and cold dishes. To eat, use chopsticks and slurp to take in all the flavours from the rich broth and cool the hot wheat flour noodles.

Pad see ew is a popular street food in Thailand

ShutterstockPad see ew.

Meaning “stir-fried soy sauce noodles,” pad see ew is made by throwing ingredients into a hot wok and allowing the noodles to caramelize. It’s traditionally made with sen yai (wide rice noodles coated with oil to prevent them from sticking to each other), vegetables, and a sweet and savoury sauce.

Cacio e pepe is an Italian classic

ShutterstockCacio e pepe.

Authentic cacio e pepe, according to Lidia Bastianich, is made using tonnarelli, a spaghetti-like pasta made with eggs (which lend a chewy texture). The sauce has just three ingredients: cheese (cacio or pecorino, sheep milk cheese), pasta water, and coarse black pepper.

Chow mein is a stir-fried noodle dish from China

This versatile dish can be made with a variety of different meats and vegetables or served vegetarian. When prepared Hong Kong-style, the thin, crispy egg noodles add texture.

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup

Banh pho rice noodles and a delicate broth are the backbone of this dish, with add-ins like thinly sliced beef, garnishes like basil and cilantro, and condiments offering many options for customisation to make your bowl just the way you like it.

Japchae, from Korea, features glass noodles made from sweet potato starch

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 festive holiday celebrations, but also eaten on regular days.

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

A staple in Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian cuisine, laksa features hokkien noodles or rice vermicelli, a spicy broth that’s coconut- or tamarind- based, and toppings like bean sprouts and seafood.

Saimin, a comfort food in Hawaii, has influences from several different cultures


Hawaii’s version of ramen exemplifies the mix of cultures represented on the island; Japanese, Chinese, and Polynesian. Soft wheat egg noodles are served in a dashi broth and topped with green onions, Spam, fish cake, and more.

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

ShutterstockFilipino spaghetti.

This twist on spaghetti Bolognese is a comfort food staple in the Philippines. It’s distinguished by its sweet tomato sauce (made sweet with the addition of banana ketchup) and hot dog topping.

Kushari is regarded as Egypt’s national dish

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.

Pelmeni is a kind of dumpling popular in Russia


These meat-filled parcels are a staple in Russian cuisine, with theories suggesting the dish was inspired by Chinese wontons. Pelmeni is traditionally filled with pork or fish, wrapped in thin, unleavened dough, and served with sour cream.

Tallarines verdes, from Peru, has a pesto-like green sauce

A twist on a traditional pesto, tallarines verdes (“green noodles”) is made with your pasta of choice (spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine) and a pureed spinach-basil sauce with evaporated milk. The evaporated milk gives a creaminess and subtle sweetness to the dish.

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