Whether they're stir-fried, topped with sauce, or served in a rich broth, noodles are a beloved comfort food in many cultures.
From crispy chow mein to spicy laksa, here are 11 different noodle dishes from around the world.
Udon is a thick, wheat-flour noodle from Japan
Thicker than soba (another type of Japanese noodle), udon is served in hot and cold dishes. To eat, use chopsticks and slurp to take in all the flavors from the rich broth and cool the hot wheat-flour noodles.
Pad see ew is a popular street food in Thailand
Meaning " stir-fried soy sauce noodles," pad see ew is made by throwing ingredients into a hot wok and allowing the noodles to caramelize. It's traditionally made with sen yai ( wide rice noodles coated with oil to prevent them from sticking to each other), vegetables, and a sweet and savory sauce.
Cacio e pepe is an Italian classic
Authentic cacio e pepe, according to Italian chef Lidia Bastianich, is made using tonnarelli, a spaghetti-like pasta made with eggs (which lend a chewy texture). The sauce has just three ingredients: cheese (cacio or pecorino, sheep milk cheese), pasta water, and coarse black pepper.
Chow mein is a stir-fried noodle dish from China
This versatile dish can be made with a variety of different meats and vegetables or served vegetarian. When prepared Hong Kong-style, the thin, crispy egg noodles add texture.
Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup
Banh pho rice noodles and a delicate broth are the backbone of this dish, with add-ins like thinly sliced beef, garnishes like basil and cilantro, and condiments offering many options for customization to make your bowl just the way you like it.
Japchae, from Korea, features glass noodles made from sweet potato starch
Typically served as a side dish, japchae is a stir-fried glass noodle dish with a sweet and savory flavor. It's a staple at festive holiday celebrations but also eaten on regular days.
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup that's popular in Southeast Asia
A staple in Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian cuisine, laksa features hokkien noodles or rice vermicelli, a spicy broth that's coconut- or tamarind- based, and toppings like bean sprouts and seafood.
Saimin, a comfort food in Hawaii, has influences from several different cultures
Hawaii's version of ramen exemplifies the mix of cultures represented on the island: Japanese, Chinese, and Polynesian. Soft wheat egg noodles are served in a dashi broth and topped with green onions, Spam, fish cake, and more.
Filipino spaghetti has a sweet sauce and is topped with hot dogs
This twist on spaghetti Bolognese is a comfort food staple in the Philippines. It's distinguished by its sweet tomato sauce (made sweet with the addition of banana ketchup) and hot-dog topping.
Kushari is regarded as Egypt's national dish
To make this dish, rice, lentils, chickpeas, and macaroni are first cooked individually before being tossed together and topped with a spiced tomato sauce, garlic vinegar, and fried onions.
Tallarines verdes, from Peru, has a pesto-like green sauce
A twist on a traditional pesto, tallarines verdes ("green noodles") is made with your pasta of choice ( spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine) and a pureed spinach-basil sauce with evaporated milk. The evaporated milk gives a creaminess and subtle sweetness to the dish.