Noodles have an extended history in Japan and even today they are probably the most consumed food in the country. In general, four types of noodles are eaten. Soba noodles, made from buckwheat flour, are thin and greyish-brown. Udon noodles are made with wheat flour and are very thick and whitish in colour. Ramen, which are still thought of as Chinese although Japanese consume them voraciously, are grey in colour and of medium thickness. Lastly, somen and hiyamugi noodles are quite thin and usually eaten cold.
The first three types are eaten as a kind of fast food. Even the noodles served in hot soup are usually al dente and devoured quickly, before they can go limp in the broth.
Containing high-grade protein and vitamins B1 and B2, these thin, tan noodles may be eaten hot or chilled. Made from a combination of buckwheat and wheat flours, which vary by product, the best are said to be those with a 4:1 ratio, respectively. Although fresh soba noodles are readily available in Japan, the dried and frozen noodles are more common overseas because they keep indefinitely.
- ISHIGURO Yamaimo Soba 250g (Dry Soba Noodles)
- HIME Sarashina Soba 450 (Dry Soba Noodles)
These hearty noodles are made simply from wheat flour, salt and water. Available in a variety of thicknesses, udon noodles are often used in soups and are added to nabe dishes towards the end of the meal. As with soba noodles, the dried and frozen forms are prevalent outside Japan.
- JFC SUNDELIC Sanuki Udon Men Meijin 1kg (250g x 4)
Frozen Udon Noodles
Ramen is a wheat-based noodle dish with a variety of toppings and soups. Each local city has its own ramen variety and each local ramen chef is invents his/her own specialities every day. Instant ramen is another popular dish. JFC is constantly expanding its line-ups and always keeps a supply of the latest popular dishes in stock.
Ramen with varieties of soup and toppings
Somen / Hiyamugi
These very thin noodles are also made from wheat flour, salt and water. The thinner variety is called somen; the slightly thicker one is hiyamugi. Somen and hiyamugi noodles are often eaten with chilled dipping soups or men-tsuyu. They are one of the typical summer season meals that are best enjoyed cool.