Tempura Udon

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Noodles Around The World

Our Favorite Comforting Noodle Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Supplies

Noodles are a culinary staple and universal comfort food. Invented in Asia or the Middle East, it's likely that several people simultaneously had the brilliant idea to create noodles. And we are so glad they did! From spicy soups to saucy dishes and exceptional stir-fries, noodles have filled hungry stomachs around the world for centuries. Get ready to twirls and slurp your way through a culinary road-map of noodles, including udon, soba, rice, and wheat.

Easy Bangkok Street Vendor Noodles in a cast iron pan

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Noodle Dishes of China

China lays claim to a wide variety of noodles, from hand pulled wheat and egg noodles, to rice noodles and cellophane or bean thread noodles made from mung bean starch, there is something for everyone and every type of dish.

Different Chinese Noodle on a counter, rice and wheat noodles

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

The Chinese have mastered the use of noodles, and if all you know if Chinese noodle dishes is lo mein or chow mein, you are in for a treat.

Vegetable Chow Mein

The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

Nyumen: Somen Noodles in Hot Soup in bowls

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Noodle Dishes of Japan

Soups and cold dishes are at the heart of Japanese noodles. From the thick chewiness of udon to thin somen, tasty buckwheat soba noodles, and konjac, they're must-try recipes.

cold somen

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

udon noodles on surface

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  • Kitsune Udon Noodles: It's like chicken noodle soup when you need a soothing meal.
  • Tempura Udon: An umami broth, tempura, and shrimp team up for the ultimate comfort food.
Bean thread noodles

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Hiyashi Yamakake Udon: On hot days, enjoy a cold noodle salad with Japanese yam.
  • Nyumen: Somen shines in a warm and simple soup.
  • Zaru Soba Noodles: Discover the nutty taste of soba noodles with little adornment.
  • Tsukimi Soba: A traditional noodle soup of dashi, soba, and eggs.
  • Cha Soba: Infused with tea, green soba is a fascinating noodle.
  • Miso Ramen Japanese Soup: A classic recipe with chukamen noodles beats packaged ramen every time.
  • Shoyu Ramen: Dashi, sake, and ginger give ramen extra flavor.
Thai Rice Noodle Salad With Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Noodle Dishes of Thailand

Rice noodles are a staple of Thai food. Lighter than wheat noodles, there are thick and thin varieties. Rice noodles are also naturally gluten-free.

Rice noodles in different shapes

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Thai Vegetable Coconut Soup With Noodles ingredients

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Thai Vegetable Coconut Soup With Noodles

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

pasta carbonara

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Noodle Dishes Of Italy

Italian cuisine is centered around pasta made from scratch with double-zero flour and tossed lightly in savory sauces. Super easy to cook when you need a quick dinner, pasta noodles like fettuccine, angel hair, and spaghetti are fun to make too.

Fresh homemade pasta noodles.

 The Spruce

  • Fresh Pasta: With four ingredients and a pasta roller, you won't buy pasta again.
  • Spinach Pasta: After perfecting homemade pasta, go green with spinach dough.
  • Pasta Carbonara: A creamy sauce and pancetta dress up noodles wonderfully.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto in a bowl with a spoon

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  • Pesto: A vibrant, cheesy and nutty fresh pesto is the perfect foil for freshly made tagliatelle or spaghetti noodles. Beyond pine nuts, try making your pesto with walnuts or pumpkin seeds.
  • Bolognese: The simple ingredients plus plenty of slow cooking time make this sauce (or gravy, depending on who you ask) the perfect Sunday supper. Try your hand at rolling out fresh sheets of pasta while the sauce simmers.
  • Beyond Noodles: Italy is home to over 600 unique pasta shapes, all designed with sauces in mind. From extruded shapes, shells for filling, and endless noodle widths and thicknesses, this pasta shape glossary will help you decide what's for dinner.
Vietnamese Noodle Salad With Lemongrass Beef (Bun Bo Xao) in bowls

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

More Noodle Dishes from Around the World

From Korea to Vietnam, Malaysian to Peru, noodles find their way into bowls in every corner of the world. A universal comfort food second only to dumplings.

Korean Stir-Fried Noodles (Jap Chae or Chap Chae) cooking in a pan

The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  • Pho: Rice noodles star in this emblematic Vietnamese soup.
  • Bun Bo Xao: A light Vietnamese dish of lemongrass-marinated beef over rice noodles.
Tallarines Verdes (South American Green Noodles) in bowls

The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  • Char Kway Teow: Flat rice noodles are essential to this definitive Malaysian dish.
  • Laksa Noodle Soup: The taste of Southeast Asian cuisine in a single bowl.
  • Filipino Pancit: From the Philipines, make it with Chinese egg noodles or spaghetti.
  • Tallarines Verdes: Italian-style pasta in a Peruvian dish with spinach, basil, and queso fresco.
Homemade Spinach Pasta Dough

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Noodle Making Kitchen Essentials

Some of the tools we can't live without when making noodles and noodle dishes from scratch at home. Plus, we keep this handy article on Pasta and Noodle Mistakes to Avoid at the ready.

Homemade Spinach Pasta Dough sliced into pieces with a pasta maker

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

varieties of flours

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Quick Shoyu Ramen in two bowls

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga