Noodles Around the World

Between the growing signs of spring, spring break and March Madness (for you sports fanatics), March is an exciting month. If you’re a noodle lover, it just got a little more exciting.

March is National Noodle Month! Before you hit the cookbooks to celebrate in style, we thought it would be fun to take a quick trip around the globe to look at some of that different noodle dishes that are favorites across the world. Naturally, we also found some recipes, if you’d like to make your own!

Vietnam

A Vietnamese specialty is a noodle soup called pho. This mixture of rice noodles, broth, meat, and garnishes is eaten at all times of day by Vietnamese locals. Depending on where in the country you get the pho, the flavors can change, but the basics remain the same. Pho’s popularity grew throughout the world when refugees from the Vietnam War began relocating. To make your own beef pho, try this recipe!

Hawaii

The fiftieth state’s favorite fast food is a noodle soup called saimin consisting of thin white noodles, clear broth, fish cakes and green onions. You can add other garnishes, if desired. The dish came to be when a large population of Chinese and Japanese immigrants arrived on the island in the 1800s. Saimin is now so popular that it is on the menu at McDonald’s throughout the state and it can be found in instant mix packages like instant ramen. If you want to make it at home, try this easy recipe!

Thailand

Pad Thai can be found in most towns in America, but it’s history has some strong roots. Once a sign of Thai nationalism, this dish can be found on almost every street corner. The basics of the dish are rice noodles, eggs, tofu, tamarind paste and spices with roasted peanuts and red chili pepper. From this basic recipe, it is easy to add on whatever delicious garnishes you want. In 2011, CNN Travel ran a readers’ pick poll in which Pad Thai was ranked 5th best food in the world!

Japan

While instant ramen may be quite popular among the college crowd, traditional ramen is even more popular in Japan. While originally hailing from China, ramen can now be found in myriad forms throughout Japan and is typically categorized by its soup base. Ramen additives can also vary by region. As for instant ramen, you can visit the museum dedicated to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen as we know it today, and create your own package of these famous noodles.

Iran

Asheh Reshteh is a popular persian dish in which the noodles are meant to symbolize good fortune and success, so it is eaten during the Persian New Year (or Norouz) celebrations. The Persian noodles in Asheh Reshteh are very similar to fettuccine. Persian whey (or khask) and a variety of hearty vegetables are added to make this a delicious, vegetarian soup. A more traditional recipe can be found here.

Peru

In Peru, a mix of Cantonese and Peruvian culture can be found in the country’s popular chifa cuisine. One of the most well-known chifa dishes is Tallarin Saltado. This dish looks similar to lo mein and features long noodles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, onion, beef and many spices. All of these ingredients are then stir-fried together and served in large portions. A traditional recipe is featured here.

Now that we’ve gone around the world in six noodle dishes, feel free to try them all and let us know which one is your favorite!

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