5 Asian Noodle Dishes You’ve Never Tried

Asia is the birthplace of noodles. For thousands of years, Asians have been perfecting recipe after recipe — creating an impossible number of dishes that most of the world has never tried before. Put down your lo mein noodles and try out some of the more under-the-radar noodle dishes that Asia has to offer.

Jajangmyeon

Traditional bowl of jajangmyeon black bean noodles being lifted with chopsticks
Credit: TMON/ Shutterstock

Jajangmyeon is a popular Korean-Chinese noodle dish that has exploded in popularity throughout both Korea and China. For those who have trouble pronouncing Korean words, most people just call it noodles in black bean sauce or black bean noodles.

Once you learn the western name for the dish, it becomes pretty easy to figure out what it is. To make the dish, use Korean noodles and prepare the meat and vegetables. Most of the time, pork is the preferred meat for jajangmyeon. The sauce is made from a black bean paste mixed with seasonings and a bit of sugar to counter the bitter taste of the beans. The result is a delicious yet very distinctly flavored noodle dish that will leave your family wanting more.

Omusoba

Girl sitting at hibachi using utensil to lift omusoba dish onto plate
Credit: witaya ratanasirikulchai/ Shutterstock

Who says noodles have to be the base of the recipe? Omusoba is a popular noodle dish in Japan that’s served in mostly family restaurants. It’s a comfort food similar to macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes.

Omusoba features stir-fried noodles and veggies wrapped in an omelet and covered with a savory sauce quite similar to Worcestershire sauce. If you’re craving a heartier meal, you can even add meat to your omusoba as well.

The dish was invented around 1900 in a Japanese restaurant specializing in western food. Western food uses a lot of eggs, so they decided to make a Japanese omelet and fill it with noodles. The recipe turned out to be a big hit and quickly spread throughout the country. Now, it’s served in almost every family restaurant in Japan.

Biang Biang Noodles

Up close view of biang biang noodle dish, showing wide flat noodles and garnish
Credit: nickichen/ Shutterstock

Yes, biang biang noodles is a strange name for a dish, but it’s actually onomatopoeia. Biang biang noodles are made from hand by pulling the noodles and hitting them on the table to flatten them out. When the noodles hit the table — especially if it’s stainless steel — you’re going to hear a noise that sounds like “biang.”

These large, flat noodles can be made into a variety of dishes, but most of the time, they’re served on the spicy side. The fat noodles are great at holding ingredients and sauce.

Interestingly enough, the written character for “biang” is the most complex character in the Chinese language. It’s made up of 56 separate strokes. Some people claim that the popularity for the dish stems from its impressive appearance in menus.

Lamian

Up close view of lamian noodle dish with noodles being lifted by chopsticks
Credit: Tawan Ramtang/ Shutterstock

Like biang biang noodles, lamian noodle dishes are all about special noodles. Lamian noodles are hand-stretched noodles made of flour, water, and salt, which makes them different from the egg-based noodles typically found in most Asian dishes.

“Lamian” literally means “pull noodles.” They’re made by taking a big piece of dough, rolling it flat, and stretching it several times. If you get a skilled chef, a lamian noodle dish might contain only one noodle, but it’s going to be about as long as a truck!

Most of the time, lamian noodles are served in soup because of their ability to soak up broth. They don’t require many ingredients, but you’ll have to have lots of patience. It can be hard to make the perfect noodle.

Chicken Laksa

Overhead view of bowl of laksa showing chunks of chicken, eggs, and broth
Credit: AS Food studio/ Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a delicious Asian noodle dish, why not try one that combines culinary aspects of several Asian cultures? Chicken laksa is a Malaysian spicy chicken curry noodle soup that combines culinary techniques from China, India, and Malaysia to form one delectable concoction.

There are two main types of laksa: curry and assam. Curry laksa is the most popular. It’s made using coconut milk, which creates a thick, creamy base. Assam laksa omits the coconut milk and uses a thinner, fish-based broth to create more of a soup-like dish. Either way, it’s impossible to go wrong when choosing between the two.

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