Udon is wheat flour noodles and usually served hot as noodle soup. But it’s also served cold or fried.
The flavour of broth and topping vary from region to region. Usually, dark brown broth, made from dark soy sauce (koikuchi shoyu) is used in eastern Japan and light brown broth, made from light soy sauce (usukuchi sh?yu) is used in western Japan. Even there are some disputes between people in east and west about which style is better! They take it quite serious…
You can get fresh Udon noodles and dried one which you have to cook like you do with dried pasta.
This is only my opinion. Fresh Udon noodles you can get at the shops in UK or Europe suit for Yaki-Udon (fried noodles style) because it’s usually quite thick and tough and hasn’t got much taste on its own. So, it’s good with strong flavour sauce. On the other hand, dried Udon noodles usually have got nice delicate texture and taste with them. It’s nice to have them with soup.
These are the examples
Ramen is of Chinese origin. But Japanese loved it so much and have been developing it with its own way.
Most noodles are made from four basic ingredients: wheat flour, salt, water, and kansui, which is essentially a type of alkaline mineral water, containing sodium carbonate and usually potassium carbonate, as well as sometimes a small amount of phosphoric acid. Eggs may also be substituted for kansui.<WikiPedia> And blah blah blah… Taste good anyway.
Ramen soup is generally made from stock based on chicken or pork, combined with a variety of ingredients such as kombu (kelp), katsuobushi (skipjack tuna flakes), niboshi (dried baby sardines), beef bones, shiitake, and onions, and then flavored with salt, miso, or soy sauce. <WikiPedia>
For vegetarians, sorry, probably there is no chance unless you make your own one.
- Shio (“salt”) ramen is probably the oldest of the four and, like the Chinese maotang. It is the lightest ramen, a pale, clear, yellowish broth made with plenty of salt and any combination of chicken, vegetables, fish, and seaweed. <WikiPedia>
- Tonkotsu (“pork bone”) ramen usually has a cloudy white colored broth. It is similar to the Chinese baitang and has a thick broth made from boiling pork bones, fat, and collagen over high heat for many hours, which suffuses the broth with a hearty pork flavor and a creamy consistency that rivals milk or melted butter or gravy (depending on the shop). Most shops, but not all, blend this pork broth with a small amount of chicken and vegetable stock and/or soy sauce. <WikiPedia>
- Sh0yu (“soy sauce”) ramen typically has a brown and clear color broth, based on a chicken and vegetable (or sometimes fish or beef) stock with plenty of soy sauce added resulting in a soup that’s tangy, salty, and savory yet still fairly light on the palate. Probably Shoyu ramen is the most common and popular in Japan. <WikiPedia>
- Miso ramen is a relative newcomer, having reached national prominence around 1965. This uniquely Japanese ramen, which was developed in Hokkaid?, features a broth that combines copious amounts of miso and is blended with oily chicken or fish broth – and sometimes with tonkotsu or lard – to create a thick, nutty, slightly sweet and very hearty soup. <WikiPedia>
To be honest, it’s pretty tough to make good ramen soup yourself at home cos there are lots of work and time to prepare for it. So, if you still want to make some ramen soup yourself, find some other sites cos I strongly recommend Japanese instant ramen noodles! They are really good. Honest!
I love instant noodles. It’s actually become a Japanese “national’ food!
“After their invention by Taiwanese-Japanese Momofuku And? in 1958, instant noodles became very common in Japan.” <WikiPedia>
There are so many varieties from cheap instant ramen noodles to posh ones. You might imagine those are like horrible European style instant noodles. But trust me that some are better than those ones at W$g$m$m$ or some other noodle bars. They usually come with soup and noodles. So, you better make some topping to make it better!
For example, these are quite common ones you can find at the shop and cheap & tasty.
These are the posh ones! It’s nearly or more than double price. But they are good!
Soba is made from buckwheat (Soba) flour. It’s served either chilled with a dipping sauce or in hot broth as a noodle soup.
Soba noodles you can get at the shops in UK or Europe usually are dried ones. Unless you are in Japan, fresh soba noodles you get here are let’s say “cheap and cheerful”.
There are so many Soba noodle choice at the shops. Even Japanese people get confused which ones are good or better than the others! The price usually tells the value but some of cheap ones are good too. But I have had some terrible soba noodle when I bought cheap ones. Some people might get offended but Soba noodles made outside Japan are not really up to Japanese made. Sorry… it’s only my opinion.
Hope you pick some good ones!