Two massively popular Asian noodle soups are pho and ramen. From a distance of 1,000 feet, they resemble one another quite a bit. Generally, they have similar noodle sizes and shapes, and their broths frequently contain meat and a metric ton of umami, but in actuality, these soups are distinct and savory expressions all on their own.
What’s the difference between pho and ramen?
Even though they may have many similarities, pho and ramen are quite unlike dishes. It’s critical to understand how these two soups differ from one another and what makes them special because they have various flavor profiles, ingredients, and noodle types.
Although I see that not everyone does, I personally make a big contrast between pho and ramen. Last week, when my dad and I were looking for a spot to dine, I pointed out a pho restaurant across the street and inquired as to whether he had ever had pho. He claimed to have, which made me think of the California eatery Urban Ramen (which literally has ramen in the name). I struggled to explain the distinction between pho and ramen to him, so I looked up the details.
I’m going to compare pho and ramen and explain what makes each meal special so that no one else ever needs to get caught up in the dispute. You can tell they aren’t at all the same if you’ve tried both. If you haven’t, I can see how you could be perplexed.
PHO VS RAMEN: A NOODLE SOUP SHOWDOWN
Amazing examples of flavorful Asian noodle soup meals that are bursting with flavor are ramen and pho. Despite significant distinctions like noodle type and country of origin, there are many subtle variations that completely alter the flavor profiles of these two soups.
Whatever you happen to be eating, pho and ramen are delicious soups that will make you feel satisfied and full. Read on to learn more about the distinctions between these two amazing noodle soups, regardless of which you like.
What Is Pho?
Vietnamese soup known as pho (pronounced “fuh”) is prepared with broth, rice noodles, and typically some type of sliced meat. The majority of folks choose beef, but I like my pho simply with only chicken. Typically, a bowl of pho is served with a side of lime, fresh herbs, and crispy bean sprouts to garnish the soup.
It’s unclear where pho first came from. Some contend that the Vietnamese imported it from China’s Yunnan Province, when they fled French control, while some assume it originated with Mongolian hot pot. Whatever its origins, we know that this soup is a mainstay of Vietnamese cuisine and a favorite street snack.
Typically, cattle bones are used to make the broth, which is highly scented with cinnamon, star anise, onion, garlic, and other herbs. The soup itself is robust but not overly rich or heavy.
A platter of fresh herbs, bean sprouts, jalapeño slices, and lime pieces is typically served with pho. These add-ons, together with typical table sauces like sriracha, hoisin, and sate sauce, let you completely personalize your bowl of noodles at the table.
In general, either at home or at a restaurant, pho is most frequently made freshly. Although there are a few varieties of quick pho-style noodles available, if you are eating a fresh bowl of pho, you are probably doing it in a restaurant.
WHAT IS RAMEN?
Both pho and ramen are broth-based noodle dishes. Ramen, which is most frequently linked to Japanese cuisine, really has Chinese roots—at least the wheat noodles that are used in it do.
According to the predominant idea, Chinese immigrants brought wheat-based ramen-style noodles to the Japanese people in the 19th century. After World War 2, when there was a historic rice scarcity all throughout Japan, ramen started to take off. Bread consumption during these years skyrocketed as inexpensive wheat flour became the preferred source of starch, and ramen, which was offered at street-side booths across bigger towns, also gained popularity.
With many variants in ingredients, presentation, and composition, ramen has been improved into an immensely delectable culinary experience today. Wheat noodles, a meat broth, and toppings such sliced roasted meats, nori, fish cakes, and soft-boiled eggs are the most typical ingredients in ramen. With additions like miso or soy sauce, the soup itself is frequently intensely flavored.
In addition to izakaya, which is a bar or drinking establishment that sells a variety of cuisines, ramen is frequently consumed in stalls or tiny ramen businesses. Amazing chefs who specialize in cooking amazingly delectable bowls of noodles serve ramen at speciality restaurants across the world, including in America. You can also make ramen at home.
Ramen broth is sometimes far more difficult to make than the broth used in pho, which is typically produced from cattle bones. Tonkotsu ramen is a popular soup prepared with roasted pig bones as the basis. Ramen is frequently prepared with a fish broth made of bonito flake, a roasted and dried fish flake that gives the dish amazing amounts of umami. This is in addition to intensely flavored meat broths.
While brothless pho is uncommon, brothless ramen dishes are increasingly popular. Mazemen, also known as brothless ramen, is frequently served with a dipping sauce like Tare or a cup of hot soup broth on the side for dipping the noodles in.
So what’s the difference between pho and ramen?
The main differences between ramen and pho, besides its geographical roots, are the noodle and the garnish. Despite the fact that ramen has more widely available broth varieties, both begin with a broth, you can identify the difference just by glancing at the noodles. Because pho noodles are made of rice, they are transparent and light. Kansui, however, is a unique component of ramen noodles. Kansui, a type of alkaline water that originates from Mongolia, is said to be responsible for the hard texture of ramen noodles.
The toppings are the other significant distinction. Although the toppings on each might vary greatly, there are several characteristics that give each of them a distinct identity. While the meat in ramen is often thicker and fattier, the meat in pho is typically cut rather thinly.
A bowl of ramen also needs an egg, which is something you definitely wouldn’t find in the Vietnamese soup. For me, ramen is more flavorful and the broth is typically a little thicker than pho.
If you’ve ever gone to a pho restaurant, you know the menu may be limitless. I know I stated there are many ramen alternatives. Even while I’m sure there are some variants of both soups that are similar to one another, the two soups themselves are completely different and have very different flavor profiles.
RICE NOODLES VS RAMEN NOODLES
The biggest distinction between the two noodle meals is unquestionably the type of noodle used in each, even if there are variances in the composition, spicing, and taste profiles of the two.
Noodles used in ramen are the well-known wheat kind that resemble many other wheat-based noodles from throughout the globe. The use of Kansui or alkali water in their manufacture is the one element that truly distinguishes Ramen-style noodles from other types. It’s a common misconception that the yellow hue of ramen noodles comes from the utilization of eggs during manufacturing, however this is untrue. The most typical ingredients used to make ramen noodles for restaurants are wheat flour, gluten, water, and a particular kind of alkali water that strengthens the gluten in the noodles.
The objective of making ramen noodles is to produce an elastic, chewy noodle that can withstand hot, delicious broth without losing its texture or structure. The alkali water and wheat gluten undergo an oxidation process, which gives the noodles their yellow hue.
Ramen noodles and pho noodles are as unlike as it is possible to get. Pho Noodles are created from glutinous rice flour, as opposed to the wheat flour used to make ramen noodles.
Thin, transparent noodles known as Banh pho or pho are typically offered dry. Fresh Banh pho is used in some Pho varieties, however these are generally uncommon and less prevalent. Before cooking the Banh pho noodles in hot, boiling water like you would other noodles, the noodles must first be soaked in cold water for thirty minutes. The act of rehydrating the noodles gives them more volume and makes them less delicate so they can withstand the boiling water.
Pho noodles are far more tender than Ramen noodles, which are designed to be chewy and springy. But, compared to wheat flour, the rice flour used to make them hydrates more slowly.
In conclusion, it is clear that there are a number of differences between pho and ramen. While some may say that the two are similar, the noodle base, herbs and spices, types of broth, and toppings certainly set them apart. Pho and ramen will both tantalize your taste buds with unique flavors from all over the world. Whether you favor the luxurious aromas of pho or prefer to savor the savory depths of ramen, these inventive dishes can make for a satisfying meal or hearty comfort food anytime. As with most international cuisines, there are sure to be regional specialties to explore regardless of which type of dish you prefer. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding your favorite noodle fix – so find yourself a bowl full today!
Depending on where you get them, both pho and ramen come with a variety of proteins, proteins, and even toppings. By visiting the country or region that first invented the dish, you can really get an understanding of its origins and appreciate it in its true form. While both dishes may have some similarities, pho and ramen are unique in their own way! So if you’re ever wondering what to have for dinner and just don’t know if to pick pho or ramen, then why not try both? You won’t be disappointed! In today’s article, we explored the differences between two well-known dishes – pho and ramen. We looked at their origin stories, ingredients and flavors. Hopefully this blog post has help you understand the differences between these two Asian food favorites. If there is still something that remains unclear or if you’d like to learn more about either dish please do not hesitate to contact us at Angelo’s Burgers. We would love to help!