With the cooler fall season right around the corner, it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy a warm, steamy bowl of ramen. Whether you’re buying your ramen from your favorite noodle house or you’re making some of your own at home, the noodles are the most important part of the dish.
If you’re like many first-time home ramen chefs, you’re probably wondering, are ramen noodles egg noodles?
Yes, ramen noodles are, in fact, egg noodles. Egg noodles are made using a combination of egg, wheat flour, and water, which makes for a unique flavor that perfectly accentuates the traditional broth used to make ramen. The ramen egg noodles also make for a very filling dish!
If you’re interested in cooking your own ramen dishes, then you’ll find this post particularly helpful. In today’s post, I’ll show you some of the key reasons why egg noodles are used to make ramen noodle soup (as opposed to other noodles, such as rice noodles), and also answer a few other ramen-related questions I’ve received over the past couple of weeks. Let’s talk noodles!
When it comes to Asian cuisine, you’ll find that egg noodles are used in a number of different dishes, including ramen. Overall, egg noodles are a great choice for ramen because they’re affordable, have a great flavor, are surprisingly filling, and have a unique texture that you won’t get from pure wheat or rice-based noodles.
In this section, I’ll expound a little bit more on each of these traits, so you can see why egg noodles are always used in traditional ramen dishes.
If you were to cook one ramen dish with rice noodles and another ramen dish with egg noodles, and then do a side-by-side taste comparison, you would immediately realize the difference. Unlike Italian pasta noodles (which all taste relatively similar), egg noodles have one ingredient that gives them a rich flavor and sets them apart from any other noodles on the planet – Eggs!
Ramen fans often describe the flavor as somewhat creamy and mistakenly believe that ramen noodles are made using dairy. However, the “creamy” consistency and flavor of the noodles is due to the fact that they’re made using eggs, not milk products.
One of the biggest reasons why egg noodles became (and stayed) so popular is that they’re a lot more filling than other varieties of noodles. Although rice noodles and ramen egg noodles have a similar calorie value, a 1-cup serving of egg noodles has more fat and protein content than a 1-cup serving of rice noodles.
If you were to make a ramen dish with rice noodles, you’d have to use more noodles if you wanted to be satisfied.
One of the most notable features of egg noodles is that they’re a lot more slippery than rice or flour-only noodles. The added egg proteins works with the proteins in the flour to strengthen the protein bonds, making for a firmer noodle that’s easier to pick up with chopsticks and slides right down your throat.
The firmer texture of ramen egg noodles also makes them a good noodle to freeze. Unlike softer noodles that may fall apart or taste strange after being frozen, ramen keeps its consistency. This means that you can make your own homemade ramen noodles, use what you need, and then freeze the rest to use at a later time.
One of the most common questions I’ve gotten from aspiring ramen chefs is, “Can I substitute rice noodles for egg noodles in ramen?”
Well, there’s no “rule” that says you can’t. You could use extra-thin rice noodles to make a ramen-style dish that would still taste pretty great. The rice noodles would also help to absorb some of the soup’s broth, which would give the traditional dish an interesting flavor and consistency.
That being said, I will say that ramen tastes a lot better with egg noodles. The overall firm texture and flavor of egg noodles just goes well with the traditionally soft ramen ingredients such as pork belly and cabbage.
Hopefully, I was able to provide you with a good explanation of why ramen is traditionally made using egg noodles. There are a number of other Japanese, Chinese, and Korean dishes that use rice noodles; however, one of the things that differentiate ramen from other noodle-based dishes and soups is the egg noodles.