Asian Noodle Dishes: The Differences Between Soba, Udon, and Rice Noodles

asian noodles

Buckwheat soba noodles are one of the most flavorful types of asian noodles.

If you’re looking to get into cooking Asian cuisine from home, sooner or later you’re going to run into a noodle dish. Noodle dishes are a mainstay of Korean and Vietnamese cuisine, and there are a wide variety of noodle types to go along with them. Just like any other pasta, cooking Asian noodles typically involves placing them in a large amount of salted boiling water until they are ‘al dente’. Here’s a quick guide into the world of Asian noodles and how to cook with them.

Soba Noodles

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour. Buckwheat has a very strong, nutty flavor. As a result, most buckwheat noodles also have some wheat flour in them, meaning they’re not gluten-free. There are pure buckwheat soba noodles, however, and they are incredibly strong in flavor — but also delicious and gluten free! Buckwheat flour is packed with protein, fiber, iron, thiamine, and manganese, making them an incredible superfood. Dried soba will look like a light beige or dark brown-gray flat spaghetti. They pair wonderfully with sesame, garlic and fried egg.


Udon is beloved by children for their chewy, soft and thick texture. Pick up udon fresh whenever you can, as the texture is not as dense as with dried udon. Because udon’s flavor profile is mostly neutral, these noodles work best with stronger flavors like bok choy, poached egg, and spicy curry.

Vermicelli Rice Noodles

Vermicelli rice noodles are reminiscent of angel hair pasta in western cuisine. Made from rice flour, these dried noodles come in packs of very long, thin translucent threads. Although more delicate and fragile than their wheat counterparts, they are also much easier to prepare. They are so thin that cooking them simply involves pouring some hot water over the noodles and draining until they are soft. Vermicelli rice noodles are the go to choice for many stir-fries, soups, spring rolls, and salads.

Cellophane Noodles

It’s easy to confuse vermicelli noodles with cellophane, or bean thread, noodles. Cellophane noodles are made from mung bean starch and look very similar to vermicelli rice noodles. They are a fantastic substitute and go wonderfully in summer rolls.

Get All Your Asian Noodles at Lotte Plaza Market

Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to better serve our customers. Opened since 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at 1

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Lotte Plaza
5821 Riverdale Rd. Riverdale, MD 20737
Phone: 301-699-7508