• Shanghai fried noodles (SBS Food)Source: SBS Food
Slurp, suck and devour your way around this noodle-tastic planet.
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19 May 2022 - 12:04 PM  UPDATED 24 May 2022 - 8:37 PM

Try your hardest, but you simply can't eat a bowl of noodles without a smile. And a napkin. Noodles are messy and all the more glorious for it.

Whether you're tucking into a bowl of rosol in Poland or pho in Vietnam, you're having plenty of fun. Comforting, nourishing, satisfying fun. 

Hoovering in Thailand

Thai noodle dishes conjure up flavourful excitement and a sense of delicious stir-frying ease. Exhibit A: Pad Thai, everybody!

Exhibit B: Pad see ew. Fast becoming Australia's favourite Thai noodle dish (though admittedly it still has a way to go to knock Pad Thai off its lofty perch). Big, fat, flat noodles for the win!

Drunken stir-fried seafood (pad kee mao talay)

There's actually no alcohol in this recipe; the name stems from the story of a drunkard who was hungry and had to cook with the ingredients available, resulting in a surprisingly delicious dish – spicy, aromatic and full of herbs.

Pad woon sen (stir-fried glass noodles)

Deliciously chewy, mung bean noodles are habit-forming. Just make sure you snip them to make their slipperyness manageable. 

Chicken noodle curry (khao soi)

"I’ve sampled all varieties of curries in Bangkok, but this noodle curry, originating from Chiang Mai, has to be one of my favourites. This recipe uses Thai curry powder – a fragrant blend of ground pepper, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin, fennel, chilli flakes, turmeric and ginger, available from spice shops and Asian markets." Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's Street Food Asia

Indulging in Indonesia

One of the many chicken noodle soups that have captured the world, soto ayam is a much-loved Indonesian classic. The noodle-laced broth is placed in the middle of the table and guests add their own noodles, beansprouts, shallots and spices to suit.

Munching in Malaysia

If we're talking noodle dishes and Malaysia, it has to be all about the laksa. The noodle soup is all about the spicy, aromatic paste and thick vermicelli noodles, and there are many ways to laksa.

Prawn laksa

"Most weeks I would go to a place called Grandma's Laksa House in Glebe and enjoy chef Richard's iconic mixed seafood laksa. Here's my home version of a seafood laksa."

Donal's easy vegetarian laksa

Laksa is a noodle soup popular across south-east Asia and rightly so – it’s an all-encompassing soup with a whole host of textures and flavours.

Asam laksa

Forget everything you know about coconut-based laksa, this light, sour, and savoury seafood broth is garnished with sweet pineapple and lots of fresh herbs. 

Gulping in Hawaii

Hawaii is a melting pot of Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Polynesian influences and saimin borrows from every single one of them.

Hungry in Hong Kong

You actually won't find Singapore noodles in Singapore. You can get a mean laksa or a warm wonton bowl, but the noodle dish that carries Singapore's name was actually invented in Hong Kong. No matter, as anyone who has ever had a bowl of these curry powder-laced noodles will attest, they're a tribute to both the city-states.

Not made in Singapore: The curious case of Singapore noodles
Despite the fact that Singapore noodles don't come from Singapore, they've become a global symbol of the city-island-nation's cosmopolitan spirit.

Scarfing in Italy

Is pasta a noodle? Some types yet, others no. Breaking up your linguini, spaghetti or fettuccine to make pasta rotta con lenticchie most definitely puts it into the noodle category.

Midnight spaghetti

Short on prep time but not flavour, this 15-minute spaghetti is cooked up with anchovies, garlic, chilli flakes, capers, parmesan – and even some crunchy fried panko breadcrumbs.

Spinach fettuccine alfredo

This homemade spinach fettuccine is actually very easy to make. The trick is to make sure that the cooked spinach is very dry.

Rich tomato Italian meatballs with linguine

If I was to name one recipe that is ideal food therapy, it’s this. There is something extremely relaxing about rolling the meat into little balls and plopping them into a boiling, rich, tomato sauce. 

Feasting in the Philippines

Making a bowl of sotanghon is almost as nourishing as eating it. Chicken noodle soup tends to be like that.

Scarfing in Peru

Peru's "green noodles" adds a milky twist to Italian pesto. Serve it as a side with meat and potatoes.

Inhaling in Vietnam

Oh pho, how we love you. That is all.

13 recipes that are pho the win!
Here's why you should be making bowls brimming with a rich broth.

The hotpot is another Vietnamese noodle triumph. A bowl of richly layered broth, add a little bit of this, a little bit of that, then plonk your noodles straight in to cook gently in the broth. 

Gulping in Germany

Spatzle is Germany's go-to for a comfort noodle fix. The noodles are made with just flour and eggs, so they are delightfully dense and to-the-tooth.

Tasting in Taiwan

These cold sesame noodles are a popular Taiwanese street food that you can whip up at home in about 10 minutes flat. Ah, the benefits of a noodle dish just keep on coming.

Downing in Spain

Fideuà

Fideuà is Spain's lesser-known seafood dish that's cooked with a pasta base instead of rice. The noodles of choice are fideo, but you can substitute broken spaghettini instead.

Chewing in China

Where do we start with noodles in China? With breakfast, of course. This recipe is a classic Cantonese brekkie dish that is super-fast and super-tasty. A good place to start any noodle journey.

Shanghai fried noodles

Another dish that started in Hong Kong but is named after somewhere else, Shanghai fried noodles were an adaptation of Shanghai-style cooking for the Hong Kong palate. It's a tasty pork dish that's perfect for a quick mid-week slurp.

Is the peanut sauce in Fujian sa cha noodles the original peanut sauce? The flavour certainly bends towards the Malaysian classic.

One more from China before we depart. Dan dan noodles simply had to get a mention. The ultimate customisable street food.

Spicy pork noodles

"This is a version of the classic spicy Beijing noodles, but I’ve reduced the pork and increased the vegetables. Make sure you use free-range pork mince – your best bet might be to source it from your local farmers’ market." Matthew Evans, For the Love of Meat

Char hoon

"Char hoon is a classic Hokkien dish and this recipe is from my dad’s side of the family. I will never be able to eat this without thinking of my late Grandma and Grandpa Yeow. It’s a dish I can fiendishly inhale – it’s so delicious, so reassuring, every problem in the world evaporates when a bowl of it is sitting in front of me." Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co.

Gobbling in Japan

We are forever grateful to Japan for bringing us udon. It's the thick, chewy noodle with bite we simply can't get enough of. Goes particularly well in this 20-minute vegetable and miso broth.

That's not to say that ramen doesn't also do a sterling job. Udon's wavy, non-vego cousin (ramen is made with egg) holds its own in meaty, rich dishes like this tonkotsu ramen.

Speeding in Australia

Not to dismiss Australia's vast culinary expertise, but two-minute noodles have a place in our hearts that's basically unshakeable. This recipe pimps the packet to round out the uni student favourite into an actual nutritious meal.

How to make two-minute noodles more nutritious for those who are homeless
This is just one of the life skills that Melbourne's The Living Room teaches in their free classes, with the aim of putting good food in the hands of the homeless.

Kicking in Korea

"Army base stew" was created after the Korean war, when food scarcity led starving Koreans to concoct a meal from food leftover from US military bases. The fact that budae jjigae is still made today is a testament to the culinary genius of Koreans.

Japchae is made from clear sweet potato noodles tossed in sesame oil, sesame seeds and sweetened soy sauce. It's generally served as a side dish, but feel free to go to town.

Supping in the States

The healing powers of a bowl of chickpea noodle soup should never be underestimated.

Comforting in Poland

Rosol is a traditional Polish clear meat broth with added fine homemade noodles. It's comfort food at its best, guaranteed to warm both toes and soul.

Use your noodle
Pimped up instant noodles

If it weren’t for instant noodles, I probably would have starved as a kid. This iteration of pimped-up instant ramen is my favourite. 

Shiitake, garlic and spring onion noodles

The noodles are big on flavour, with two different types of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and dried shiitake mushrooms – and can be whipped up when you're short on time.

Cumin lamb with sesame noodles

This is a quick way to give lamb plenty of flavour without waiting hours for a marinade, simply toss it in ground spices and cook.

Dan dan noodles

These noodles would normally be accompanied by a salad or vegetable dish for a rounded meal. Sichuanese suimi yacai from Yibin is readily available at Chinese supermarkets.

Spicy peanut butter noodles

Lots of different noodles would no doubt be delicious coated in this nutty sauce, but I do love those packets of thick udon noodles which just need a quick blast in a pot of boiling water.

Vietnamese beef noodle salad

This simple beef noodle dish can be made quickly and should evoke the taste and smell of Vietnam’s busiest street food alleys.

Barbecue Asian noodle salad

Grilled mushrooms and cabbage are tossed with rice noodles and a soy sauce-lemon dressing. 

Lobster with e-fu noodles

E-fu are Chinese egg noodles that are said to bring a long life to they who consume them, and thus they're a popular appearance at birthdays and celebrations.

Five-spice duck noodles

Aromatic five-spice powder is used extensively in Hong Kong cuisine and is beautiful as a seasoning for fatty duck meat.

Rice noodles with coral trout

Plenty of umami goodness, this fish noodle soup is topped with crisp garlic and shallots fried in pork fat for extra flavour.