Udon vs. ramen: Discover the difference


When it comes to Japanese noodle dishes, udon and ramen are often in the spotlight. Both are deeply rooted in Japanese cuisine, but they differ in many ways, from the composition of the noodles to the typical serving methods.

Zaru Udon
Photo: Udon noodles

What are udon noodles?

Origin and history

Udon noodles are thick, wheat-based noodles that are popular in Japanese cuisine. They are known for their soft yet chewy texture.

Manufacturing process

Udon is made from wheat flour, water and salt. The noodles are much thicker and softer compared to ramen.

Typical dishes

Udon is often served in a clear broth, sometimes with various toppings such as tempura, spring onions or tofu.

Japanese noodle soup
Photo: Japanese ramen noodles

What are ramen noodles?

Origin and history

Ramen is a type of noodle soup that originated in China but has developed its own identity in Japan.

Manufacturing process

Ramen noodles are made from wheat flour, water, salt and an alkaline mineral water (kansui), which gives them a yellowish color and a firmer texture.

Typical dishes

Ramen is served in various broths such as shoyu (soy sauce), miso or tonkotsu, often accompanied by meat, vegetables and sometimes a soft-boiled egg.

Taste and texture

Udon noodles have a mild taste and a soft, chewy texture, while ramen has a firmer consistency and a more pronounced taste thanks to the use of kansui.


Although udon and ramen may appear similar on the outside, they offer unique taste experiences. The choice between them often depends on personal preference and the desired type of dish.

You can find more information on Wikipedia about udon and Wikipedia about ramen.


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