15 Noodle Bowl Recipes inspired by iconic bowls from Japan, China, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Rich flavorful broth, amazing noodles, and piles of colorful, healthy toppings make these the 15 Asian noodle bowls you really do need in 2023.
Eating long noodles is a New Year’s tradition in many Asian countries ~ slurping a long, unbroken noodle from your bowl symbolizes a long, happy life and luck in the new year. But whether you believe in the superstition or not, noodle bowls are everything, and I consider myself very lucky to sit down to any one of these amazing meals, from instant ramen to the most complicated pho…
maybe what’s holding you back is noodle confusion
Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of noodles you’re likely to see in your supermarket~ they can be fresh, or dried, but you’re much more likely to come across the dried ~ and don’t stress over this, you can use any of them in your noodle bowl, just follow the package instructions for cooking.
photo: Steamy Kitchen
types of Asian noodles
- Ramen ~ a Japanese wheat noodle you know from the little packets. It’s sold fresh and dried, the fresh are long and smooth, but the dried have a curly, kinky texture.
- Soba ~ Thin Japanese buckwheat noodles. Pale grey or very light brown and straight, they can be used hot or cold.
- Udon ~ Japanese wheat noodles with a hearty texture, perfect for hot dishes.
- Somen ~ very thin wheat noodles often used cold in the summer, and also in Vietnamese pho.
- Chow mein ~ ‘mein’ means noodle in Chinese, and there are lots of variations on these classic wheat noodles.
- Rice noodles (vermicelli) ~ a translucent white, and made from rice flour, a great choice for gluten free noodle lovers.
- Glass noodles (bean threads, cellophane noodles) ~ made from bean starch, they’re translucent and have a slightly gelatinous texture. These are also gluten free.
- Homemade! You can make Asian noodles from scratch…here are recipes for Udon, Ramen, and Squid Ink Noodles.
- Spiralized veggies ~ why not?
My Dan Dan Noodles are an easy weeknight version of traditional Sichuan street food, and SO delicious. The crispy pork in a creamy spicy sauce is outrageous. We make this dish on a regular basis all year long, the family loves it.
China, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia all lay claim to peanut noodle dishes, each with its own flavor spin. The concept that ties them together is the combination of creamy peanut butter clinging to chewy, carby noodles. That’s delish in any language and makes quick work of dinner no matter where you live. Let’s dig in to my Weeknight Peanut Butter Noodles.
Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest gives this bowl of ramen a healthy makeover with collagen rich bone broth, lots of veggies, and fresh kale. The noodles are made with brown rice, too. If you’re used to bland ramen that comes in a cellophane bag, you’re going to love this colorful noodle bowl. She shares the recipe over on The Chriselle Factor.
This Thai Green Curry Noodle Soup is a symphony of vibrant greens from lemongrass and basil, to broccolini. Sylvia from Feasting at Home makes this stunning bowl in about 20 minutes with the help of store bought green curry paste.
Western chow mein is a distant cousin of a Mandarin dish of the same name and at this point it’s really more of a Western dish. Different versions of chow mein are served all over the US (and the world) in Chinese-style restaurants. This Easy Vegetable Chow Mein is patterned after the one from Panda Express, which is my fave, and a good base recipe if you want to take it in different directions.
My Miso Ramen with Shitake and Chicken is a hearty meal that still manages to be under 30 minutes, low fat, and low calorie. Miso paste makes a umami rich broth that will boost your immune system.
Are you all about the noodles? No prob, here’s a bowl of Honey Garlic Ginger Noodles. Dennis from @dennistheprescott sauces these chow mein noodles with tons of classic flavor and a good bit of spice.
This gorgeous rainbow bowl of ramen is ingeniously made with sweet potato and zucchini noodles. Anneka from @ANNEKAEATS uses radishes, green onions, and purple carrot ribbons to complete the color scheme.
My Easy Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pho Recipe makes use of the crock pot to do all the heavy lifting, and after the broth is cooked to perfection, all you have to do is assemble this aromatic noodle bowl.
Lindsay from Pinch of Yum makes this unique Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodle Bowl with a fresh flavor profile and pad Thai style noodles. Love that crunchy red cabbage garnish.
My Quick Chili Oil Noodles are a godsend when you’re fiercely hungry, totally beat, and short on time and ingredients. This recipe has come to our rescue countless times!
I made these Beef and Broccoli Noodle Bowls with Japanese udon noodles that just require a quick soak to soften them. Quick cooking thin slices of sirloin steak and lots of crunchy broccoli and water chestnuts makes this our favorite 30 minute meal.
When noodles are this good, it pays to make a whole pot of them, like this Kombu Ramen from Judy Kim. Dried kombu (seaweed) gives this quick broth great umami flavor.
Vegan dan dan noodles is a plant based version of our favorite weeknight meal ~ this easy Chinese noodle bowl has got all the flavor without the meat!
Vermicelli noodles star in this pretty green curry noodle bowl from Taylor, the Girl on Bloor. I love that she uses peanut butter and coconut milk to boost the flavor, and she makes her own homemade green curry paste.
These simple Teriyaki Salmon Noodle Bowls from The Cozy Apron rely on big chunks of caramelized salmon and brown rice spaghetti style noodles. If you marinate the salmon overnight, the meal comes together in a flash.
This vibrant Shrimp & Zoodle Thai Curry Bowl from Vodka & Biscuits is an aromatic Whole 30 meal guaranteed to chase away any chill.