The autumn and winter are some of the best times to enjoy a steaming hot bowl of ramen. Learning how to make your own homemade ramen is a great way to impress your friends, family, or just enjoy a great meal for yourself. Before you make your own ramen, though, it’s essential that you use the right noodles!
One of the most common questions I’ve gotten lately is, “Are ramen noodles rice noodles?”
Despite the fact that rice noodles are commonly used throughout Asian cuisine, ramen noodles are not rice noodles. Instead, ramen is a type of noodle that’s made using extra-thin strands of egg noodles.
The egg noodles used to make ramen give the dish its unique flavor and texture, which makes it distinct from other rice noodle-based dishes such as Pho. In today’s post, I’m going to explain a bit more about how ramen noodles are made as well as some of the key differences between egg ramen noodles and traditional rice noodles. It’s time for some noodle talk!
In that post, I explained that ramen noodles are, in fact, made out of an egg noodle base. This is often surprising for some people, as many tend to think of egg noodles as large and thick. By contrast, ramen noodles are very long and thin, which has led to a lot of confusion on the part of ramen eaters and cooks alike.
To make ramen noodles from scratch, the cook must first start with an egg noodle base. The egg noodles are made from combining wheat flour, eggs, and water. The addition of the eggs is what gives ramen/egg noodles their signature yellowcoloring.
Once the egg noodle dough is made, it’s time to make the special ramen noodles. The dough is stretched incredibly thin and cut into ultra-fine strands. Then, the noodles are either frozen, dried, or sent straight to local noodle houses.
Perhaps, you’re reading this after you’ve already gotten home from the grocery store and purchased all of your ingredients. If so, then you probably made the mistake of purchasing rice noodles instead of ramen noodles. Or, perhaps the egg ramen noodles were a bit too expensive and you purchased the cheaper rice noodles instead…
So, here you are, wondering whether you can use rice noodles for your ramen instead of traditional egg-based ramen noodles.
The good news is that you can substitute rice noodles for ramen. It will definitely taste a little different than what you’re used to, but you’ll still be able to use the same ingredients and make a great-tasting noodle dish. As long as you’re using long, thin rice noodles, the dish will likely look almost identical to traditional egg-based ramen noodles as well!
If you do end up substituting rice noodles for your ramen dish, the first thing you’ll notice is that the rice noodle ramen tastes a little bit different than traditional ramen. This is due to the fact that ramen egg noodles have a distinctive “eggy” flavor that is noticeably absent in the softer rice noodles.
Although some mistakenly attribute this to dairy content in the ramen, the flavor actually comes from the egg proteins in the noodles, which contributes to a smooth, wholesome, and extra-filling noodle.
The main difference between egg noodles and rice noodles is the way that the noodle dough is made. As I mentioned above, egg noodles are made by mixing eggs, wheat flour, and water together. By contrast, rice noodles are made using a mixture of rice flour, whole wheat flour, and water.
Due to the extra protein content from the eggs, egg noodles tend to have a firmer, more slippery texture. On the other hand, rice noodles are a lot softer than egg ramen noodles. This allows them to absorb more of the broth and noodles often take on the flavor of the broth itself.
Traditionally, ramen noodle dishes have always been made using long, thin egg noodles. If you go to most grocery stores, you’ll be able to find pre-packaged egg ramen noodles without any issues. However, if you’re in a pinch and you can only find rice noodles, then you can still make a delicious ramen-like noodle dish with rice noodles instead!