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Somen Noodles vs Ramen Noodles: 8 Main Differences

Somen noodles and Ramen noodles are two of the most popular noodle dishes in Japanese cuisine.

Both are made from wheat flour, but there are some key differences between the two.

Somen noodles are thinner and lighter than ramen noodles and are usually served cold.

On the other hand, Ramen noodles are thicker and heartier and typically served in a hot broth.

But what exactly is the difference between these two mouth-watering dishes? 

Let’s take a closer look at somen and Ramen to find out.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the historyproduction, and taste of somen and ramen noodles so you can better understand the key differences between these two popular Japanese dishes.

Somen Noodles vs Ramen Noodles
The main differences between Somen and Ramen are the noodles, production, texture, soup, taste, toppings, the width of noodles, and preparation method. Somen noodles are thinner and are typically served with vegetables and a dipping sauce, while Ramen are thick and can be topped with anything from eggs to pork.

What are Somen Noodles?

Somen noodles are a type of Japanese noodle made from wheat floursalt, and water.

They are very thin noodles, about 1mm in diameter.

These noodles are usually served cold with a dipping sauce, although they can also be served hot in a soup.

History of Somen Noodles

Somen noodles were first developed in the late 18th century in Kyoto, Japan.

We originally made the noodles from wheat floursalt, and water.

The dough was fermented for several days before being extruded through thin metal plates to create longthin noodles.

Somen noodles were traditionally considered summer food because they could be eaten cold or at room temperature and are light and refreshing.

What are Ramen Noodles?

Ramen noodles are also made from wheat floursalt, and water.

However, ramen noodles are thick, about 3mm in diameter, unlike somen noodles.

Ramen noodles are typically served in a hot broth with various toppings, such as chopped green onionporkeggs, and seaweed.

Ramen is a hearty dish that is perfect for colder weather. 

It originates from China (Chinese noodles) but has become one of Japan’s most famous noodle dishes. 

History of Ramen Noodles

In 1958, instant ramen noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando, the founder of Nissin Foods. 

Ando was inspired by the instant coffee developed in the 1950s and created a similar product using noodles as the base.

To do this, he flash-fried ramen noodles to remove all the moisture so they could be reconstituted with hot water.

These instant noodles quickly became a hit with consumers and soon became a staple food item in Japan. 

What are the differences between Somen and Ramen?

Somen and Ramen are both Asian noodles dishes that are enjoyed by people all over the world.

Though they are both noodles in soup, some key differences set these two dishes apart.

Let’s take a closer look at the difference between somen and Ramen.

1. The noodles

The first difference is in the noodles themselves.

Somen noodles are made from wheat floursaltwater, and often egg, while ramen noodles are made from rice floursaltwaterkansui (alkaline water), and pork fat.

This difference in ingredients results in a slightly different flavor and texture for each type of noodle. 

2. Production

The production process for somen is relatively simple.

First, wheat flour, salt, and water are combined to form a dough.

The dough is then fermented for several days before being extruded through thin metal plates to create long, thin noodles.

After the noodles have been cut to size, they are typically sun-dried or air-dried. 

Ramen noodles undergo a more complex production process.

First, wheat flour, saltwater, and an alkaline solution called kansui are combined to form a dough.

Kansui is what gives Ramen its characteristic yellow color and firm texture.

The dough is then extruded through metal plates and cut into small pieces before being boiled.

After being boiled, the noodles are flash-fried to remove all moisture so they can be reconstituted with hot water when ready to eat. 

3. Texture

One of the most significant differences between somen and Ramen is the texture of the noodles.

Somen noodles are very thin and delicate, while ramen noodles are thicker and have a chewy texture.

This difference in texture is because somen noodles are made with wheat flour, while ramen noodles are made with wheat flour and kansui (alkaline water). 

4. Soup

Another big difference between somen and Ramen is the soup. 

Somen noodles are usually served cold with a dipping sauce, while ramen noodles are served in a hot broth.

The broth for Ramen can be either clear or cloudy, and it is usually flavored with soy sauce or miso. 

5. Taste

Somen noodles have a light and delicate flavor that pairs well with simple dipping sauce or light broths.

Because of their light flavor, somen noodles are often served cold or at room temperature with dipping sauce on the side. 

Ramen noodles have a rich and savory flavor that pairs well with hearty broth and toppings such as roast pork or chicken slices, eggvegetables, and seaweed.

Ramen noodle soup is typically served hot with different toppings depending on regional preferences. 

6. Toppings

The toppings for somen and Ramen also differ.

Somen toppings are typically light and include boiled eggsshredded meatvegetables, and fish cake.

While ramen toppings can be heavy, they can include boiled eggs, pork, shredded meat, vegetablesbean sproutsbamboo shoots, and nori (dried seaweed).

7. The width of the noodles

The main difference between somen and Ramen is the width of the noodles.

Somen noodles are much thinner than ramen noodles.

This means that somen can be cooked faster and has a different texture.

8. Preparation method

Another difference between somen and Ramen is the way they are cooked.

Somen noodles are typically cold noodles, while ramen noodles are served hot.

To prepare somen, the noodles are cooked in boiling water for a few minutes, then rinsed in cold water and served with a dipping sauce.

To prepare a ramen dish, the noodles are cooked in boiling water until they are soft, then placed in a bowl of hot broth with toppings such as meat, egg, or vegetables. 

Somen Noodles vs Ramen Noodles: Are they the same?

Somen and Ramen may look similar, but these two Japanese noodle dishes are quite different.

From the type of noodles used to the soup base to the toppings, each dish has its unique flavor and texture that sets it apart from the others.

Somen noodles are thinner than Ramen and have a light flavor that pairs well with simple dipping sauce or light broths.

Ramen noodle soup is typically served hot with different toppings depending on regional preferences.  

Somen is typically served with vegetables and a dipping sauce, while Ramen can be topped with anything from eggs to pork.

Somen noodles are commonly served cold, while ramen noodles are typically served in a hot broth.

So, what’s the verdict?

Somen is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a light dish with delicate flavors.

If you’re looking for a heartier dish with bolder flavors, Ramen will hit the spot. 

Whether you prefer somen or Ramen will likely depend on your taste and texture; however, both noodle dishes make for a delicious and satisfying meal!

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