Japanese ramen vs Korean ramen/ramyeon/ramyun: Is ramen Japanese or Korean? (2022)

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Japanese ramen vs Korean ramen/ramyeon/ramyun: Is ramen Japanese or Korean? (1)

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Have you ever noticed the word “ramen” spelled in multiple ways?

The most common written forms of the word are ramen, ramyun, and ramyeon. But do you know what the differences between the 3 really are?

Keep reading to find out why there are 3 forms of the word “ramen”!

Japanese ramen vs Korean ramen/ramyeon/ramyun: Is ramen Japanese or Korean? (2)

Now, if you want to have some fun, you should taste both the most popular Korean and Japanese instant ramen brands, and you’ll instantly know!

Ramen brandImages
Most popular Korean ramyun: Shin RamyunJapanese ramen vs Korean ramen/ramyeon/ramyun: Is ramen Japanese or Korean? (3)

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Most popular Japanese ramen: Ichiran TonkotsuJapanese ramen vs Korean ramen/ramyeon/ramyun: Is ramen Japanese or Korean? (4)

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Nongshim is a South Korean food and beverage company headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.

Established in 1965 under the name Lotte Food Industrial Company, Nongshim products are now sold across Asia with more than 46 countries exporting them to other continents.

Nong Shim is a family-owned enterprise founded by YeoJin Bae (Bael). It began when he first created his recipe for noodles made from flour mixed with konjac powder, obtained through boiling dried white yam ‍(kochu).

Ichiran Ramen is a Japanese ramen food service business specializing in tonkatsu ramen.

The chain restaurant began as an izakaya before it was renamed Ichiran and became popular for its signature dish, the Tonkkotsu Shoyumai (pork noodles with poached eggs).

In this post we'll cover:

  • 1 Ramen
  • 2 Ramyun and ramyeon
  • 3 What’s the difference between Korean and Japanese ramen?
  • 4 What is Korean ramen?
    • 4.1 Different varieties of Korean ramyeon
    • 4.2 How to cook ramyeon
  • 5 What is Japanese ramen?
    • 5.1 Different varieties of Japanese ramen
    • 5.2 How to cook Japanese ramen
  • 6 Korean vs. Japanese ramen: history
  • 7 Korean vs. Japanese ramen: nutrition
  • 8 Chow down on delicious ramen/ramyeon/ramyun
(Video) Ramen vs Ramyun vs Ramyeon: Japanese vs Korean Ramen

Ramen

Ramen is the English spelling of Japanese ramen. But it doesn’t mean the instant ramen noodles we’re familiar with.

Ramen is a Japanese cuisine involving fresh noodles in a hot broth (usually a meat base) with extra toppings such as bean sprouts, seaweed, tonkatsu (pork), garlic, spring onions, and more.

It’s made from scratch and is absolutely delicious!

In the West, however, this spelling of ramen is used to refer to instant ramen noodles, which you’re likely most familiar with.

So if you’re in Japan and see “ramen”, you will likely find a real ramen restaurant. If you’re in the West and see “ramen”, you’ll likely find instant ramen noodles.

Ramyun and ramyeon

Ramyun and ramyeon, on the other hand, are two different ways to spell the Korean word for instant ramen noodles.

The reason it’s spelled differently is that you can romanize the second vowel in two different ways: “u” or “eo”.

When you say “ramen” in Korea, however, it’s used to refer to the traditional Japanese non-instant ramen.

Ramyun or ramyeon usually refers to Korean-style spicy instant ramen, which is based on traditional Japanese cuisine. Ramyun often comes in cup or packet form.

There are several globally popular Korean ramyun brands that fall into this category: Shin Ramyun, Jin Ramen, and more.

So if you’re in South Korea or the West and see “ramyun” or “ramyeon”, you’ll find Korean-style instant noodles, likely from a Korean brand. If you’re in South Korea and you see “ramen”, you’ll find a Japanese ramen restaurant.

Now you know the difference between ramen, ramyun, and ramyeon!

(Video) How Korean Ramen Is Different From Japanese Ramen — K-Town

“Ramen” refers to Japanese ramen cuisine in Japan and South Korea, and refers to instant noodles in the West.

In Korea and the West, both “ramyun” and “ramyeon” refer to Korean-style instant noodles, which most Koreans eat regularly. No matter which ramen you choose, you’re sure to be in for a tasty treat. Bon appetit!

Also read: these are the different types of ramen broth you can order

With tasty noodles, a flavorful broth, and yummy seasonings, how could you not love ramen?

Most people think of those instant noodle packets and cup-o-noodles when they hear of ramen.

However, this Asian dish is more complex and varied than you’d think, and the Japanese version definitely differs from the Korean one.

Japanese ramen vs Korean ramen/ramyeon/ramyun: Is ramen Japanese or Korean? (5)

But here’s actually only 1 true ramen: fresh noodles in a savory meat-flavored broth.

The other noodles most often mistaken for ramen are instant noodles or instant ramen.

Remember that ramen and instant ramen are different; the first is fresh, whereas the second is processed and dried.

The Korean version of ramen is quite different from the Japanese one, but if you see the word “ramen” in Korea, it refers to the Japanese fresh noodles dish. However, ramyeon is much more popular in Korea and refers to packaged instant ramen noodles, usually a lot spicier than its Japanese counterpart.

In this post, I’ll explain what you need to know about Japanese and Korean ramen, including the differences, varieties, nutritional value, and more.

You’ll want to hear about the different ramyeon you can find in Korea and the best fresh ramen in Japan. I’ll also tell you how to cook instant noodles so you can bring a bit of Asian flavor into your home!

What’s the difference between Korean and Japanese ramen?

In Japan, ramen is a dish with fresh, raw noodles boiled in a savory broth made from chicken or pork stock. It has a mild, umami flavor.

They also have instant noodles in Japan, but they aren’t traditional ramen. Instead, instant ramen refers to those packaged dry wavy noodles.

In Korea, instant noodles are sold under the name “ramyeon”, a regional variation on the Japanese word “ramen”.

Ramen takes on a different meaning in Korea than in Japan. So ramyeon is a dish made from packaged instant noodles boiled in a chicken broth made from powdered seasoning. The most common variety has a spicy chicken or kimchi flavor.

A probable source of confusion for many is the use of the word “ramen”. If you come across the word ramen in Korea, it refers to the same fresh Japanese noodle dish.

However, ramyeon is much more popular in Korea and refers to packaged instant noodles.

The most popular brand of ramyeon is NongShim, whereas the most famous Japanese ramen noodle brand is Nissin Foods.

What is Korean ramen?

There are 2 main types.

(Video) Is Japanese ramen better or Korean ramyeon?

The first is called ramen and refers to the fresh noodle soup dish you find in Japanese restaurants. The dish is borrowed from Japan, but it’s usually spicier.

The second is the more popular dish, and it’s called ramyeon, which refers to dried instant noodles and cup noodles. The dish consists of a spicy chicken stock made from instant powder and fried pre-packaged wavy noodles.

Ramyeon is a convenient dish to make, and it only takes a few minutes to cook, which is why it’s very popular in Korean households. The soup base is made with processed seasoning packets.

Different varieties of Korean ramyeon

Most ramyeon tastes spicy and salty. The most common varieties of ramyeon include:

  • Kimchi: a spicy flavored broth with small pieces of dried, pickled vegetables
  • Shin Ramyun brand spicy noodles
  • Kkokkomyeon chicken broth flavor
  • Jjapaghetti black bean noodles flavor

Kimchi is a very typical Korean hot and fermented dish that you’d never find in Japanese ramen. And mostly, Japanese ramen isn’t spicy at all.

How to cook ramyeon

One of the reasons why ramen noodles are so popular is because preparing them requires no cooking skills. Anyone can do it in minutes!

It’s ready to eat and requires the user to boil the noodles in water and flavor with a packet of seasoning.

You can also find the noodles in styrofoam cups. These require no preparation; simply add boiling water, drop the seasoning inside, and it’s ready to eat!

What is Japanese ramen?

Traditional Japanese ramen is a hot soup made with raw, fresh noodles that are boiled until firm, with toppings such as meat and vegetables in a flavorful broth.

In terms of flavor, Japanese ramen is more subtle, with an umami taste. So it’s not as spicy as its Korean counterpart.

Most ramen is made with chicken, seafood, or pork stock. The stock is the base ingredient for the soup.

Also check out these perfect ramen side dishes to make it a full meal

Different varieties of Japanese ramen

There are many types of ramen, but these are the most popular varieties:

  • Shio ramen: a salty broth with noodles
  • Miso ramen: noodles in a savory (umami) soybean paste or “miso” soup
  • Shoyu ramen: made with a soy sauce base
  • Tonkotsu ramen: a soup with noodles and a pork bone broth as a base

When you visit a Japanese ramen restaurant, you’re getting fresh noodles.

But you can also find packets of dried noodles in supermarkets to make your own instant soup at home.

How to cook Japanese ramen

If you’re making instant noodles, all you need to do is boil the noodles or add hot water and the seasoning packets.

If you’re cooking fresh ramen, you need to cook the noodles for approximately 2 or 3 minutes until firm.

To make the broth, add your seasonings and bring to a boil. Next, boil or cook your meats and vegetables on a hot pan for a couple of minutes.

Then, combine all the ingredients in a bowl to make the soup!

Also read: 9 best ramen toppings to order or use when making ramen at home.

Korean vs. Japanese ramen: history

In 1958, Japanese national Momofuku Ando invented the world’s first instant noodles.

(Video) INSTANT RAMEN SHOWDOWN! korean vs japanese ramen, which is best?

His dish quickly gained massive popularity. The first flavor was a classic chicken broth ramen.

The first Korean instant noodles were invented by a man named Samyang Ramyun in 1963.

The Korean War caused mass poverty and food shortages, so he borrowed from Japanese ramen and made it an affordable meal option.

The rest of the world became acquainted with ramen in the early ’70s, and this dish has been a favorite ever since!

Korean vs. Japanese ramen: nutrition

In general, ramen and ramyeon are not considered healthy food.

Instant noodles are low in calories, so they don’t make you gain a lot of weight.

However, they lack the key nutrients the body requires. And ramen is very high in sodium as well, which is concerning for many.

Now more than ever, consumers are demanding healthier foods.

So manufacturers are constantly creating new low-sodium, gluten-free, and even vegan varieties. Check out this Gluten-Free Millet & Brown Rice Ramen With Miso Soup, for example.

Japanese ramen soup is still healthier than Korean ramyeon because it’s made with fresh noodles and ingredients. The seasoning packets and dried noodles in ramyeon are full of sodium, sugars, and preservatives.

Chow down on delicious ramen/ramyeon/ramyun

The next time you’re out for a quick and easy meal, don’t forget to try spicy Korean ramyeon. You can find it in most Asian food shops and cook it at home.

If you want a more savory taste, fresh Japanese ramen soup is sure to delight you.

Wondering what’s the difference between ramen and pho? Read Ramen vs. Pho | Both Noodles with Broth, But a World of Difference.

Japanese ramen vs Korean ramen/ramyeon/ramyun: Is ramen Japanese or Korean? (6)

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Japanese ramen vs Korean ramen/ramyeon/ramyun: Is ramen Japanese or Korean? (7)

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.

(Video) Chinese, Japanese, Korean Cup Noodles difference

FAQs

Is ramen Korean or Japanese? ›

Ramen (/ˈrɑːmən/) (拉麺, ラーメン or らーめん, rāmen, IPA: [ɾaꜜːmeɴ]) is a Japanese noodle dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles (or 中華麺, chūkamen) served in a broth; common flavors are soy sauce and miso, with typical toppings including sliced pork (chāshū), nori (dried seaweed), menma (bamboo shoots), and scallions.

Which is better Korean ramen or Japanese ramen? ›

Japanese ramen is more subtle in flavour compared to that of Korean ramyun as it has a stronger taste, and is generally spicy. Another difference between the two is that Japanese ramen's broth is made from chicken, seafood, or pork stock whereas Korean ramyun's soup is made from a processed seasoning.

What does ramyeon Meokgo Gallae meaning? ›

It's literal slang is for “Do you want to sleep with me?” These days, the phrase “Ramyeon meokgo galrae?” is often delivered more as a joke, although it serves its purpose by enabling people to invite or initiate romance without having to muster the courage to be more explicit.

What is the difference between ramen and ramyeon? ›

Ramen can be fresh or instant, but ramyeon is always instant. Ramyeon is the Korean version of instant Japanese ramen, it's sold in packets, and always made with quick-cooking noodles (via Maangchi).

What kind of ramen do Koreans eat? ›

In South Korea, there are many different types of ramen.

There are many flavors, such as beef-based broth ramen, chicken-based broth ramen, seafood ramen, kimchi-flavored ramen, ham-flavored ramen, and more. Ramen in beef-based spicy red broth is the mainstay of the market.

What is the Korean version of ramen? ›

There are two types of Ramen in Korea. One is called Ramen, which is a Japanese style Ramen, the other is called Ramyun, which refers to the Korean style instant noodles.

What does ramyeon mean in Korean? ›

They say it's the South Korean equivalent of asking someone you like, "Want to Netflix and chill?" But did you know why exactly ramyeon has a sexual innuendo Korea?

Do you want to eat ramen in Korean? ›

“Do you want to eat ramen in my home? (우리 집에서 라면 먹고 갈래?)” it's an indirect expression of “do you want to have fun with me, as a man and woman?”, which indicates a sexual activity in her home.

Why do Koreans love ramen? ›

“Ramyeon is like kimchi to Koreans,” says Ko Dong-ryun, 36, an engineer from Seoul, referring to the spicy, fermented vegetable dish that graces most Korean meals. “The smell and taste create an instant sense of home.”

How do you flirt Korean phrases? ›

Here is the list of romantic Korean phrases you'll need!
  1. I miss you – 보고 싶어 (bogo sipeo)
  2. I like you – 좋아해 (joahae)
  3. I like you a lot – 많이 좋아해 (mani joahae)
  4. I want to see you – 만나고 싶어 (mannago sipeo)
  5. I love you – 사랑해 (saranghae)
  6. I love you too – 나도 사랑해 (nado saranghae)
9 Sept 2022

Why do Koreans say call? ›

콜 is the Koreanized pronunciation of the English word “call,” used to signify that the person who said it is game. This expression can also be used for trivial pursuits. Like when your friends ask you if you're going to the movies with them. You can say “콜!” to mean that you're in and that you're definitely going.

What country is ramen from? ›

It starts in 1800s China, which is considered to be the birthplace of all things ramen. The idea of noodles in a soupy broth travelled with Chinese immigrants in the late 19th or early 20th Century to Japan after the Meijiichin [Meiji Restoration] in 1868.

Which country eats the most ramen? ›

China consumes the most instant ramen noodles in the world, approximately 40 billion servings per year. However, instant noodles were first invented in Japan by a man named Momofuku Ando, who later went on to invent Cup Noodles.

Is Nongshim Korean or Japanese? ›

Nongshim Co., Ltd.

Farmer's Mind) is a South Korean food and beverage company headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. Nongshim was founded in 1965 under the name Lotte Food Industrial Company. The name was changed to Nongshim in 1978.

Do Koreans eat ramen with kimchi? ›

Kimchi ramen is one of the most beloved noodle dishes by connoisseurs of Korean cuisine. It is a popular noodle dish that combines the spicy pickle from Korea with the umami-filled ramen from Japan.

How does Korean ramen taste like? ›

Taste: The sauce is flavorful without being overpowered by spiciness—just a great balance of salty and sweet. It blends seamlessly with the chewy noodles, too, though you can taste just a little of the potato starch contained in the noodles leaking into the sauce.

How popular is ramen in Korea? ›

Ever since, ramen in general has been the second most popular Korean food. What is this? Today, their Buldak Stir-Fried Korean Ramen Noodles – or Buldak-Bokkeum-Myeon (불닭볶음면) – is one of their most popular products.

Is Udon Korean or Japanese? ›

Udon (うどん or 饂飩) is a thick noodle made from wheat flour, used in Japanese cuisine. It is a comfort food for many Japanese people. There are a variety of ways it is prepared and served.

How often do Korean eat ramen? ›

How often do Koreans eat ramyun? Very often. 8 out of 10 Koreans eat ramyun 1-3 times a week. It's probably because Koreans have a busy and rough life, and ramyun is easy to cook and very cheap.

Why are instant noodles so popular in Korea? ›

One of those Korean foods that have managed to take the world by storm is instant noodles – and it's no wonder why! Not only are they packed with flavours, instant noodles are also affordable and convenient, making them an irreplaceable addition to the list of favourite go-to meals of many.

Should we eat spicy noodles for breakfast meaning in Korean? ›

In korea "shud we eat spicy noodles for breakfast" is a metaphor for baby making between relationship things.

Do Koreans eat uncooked ramen? ›

Tons of ramyeon are occasionally shipped to North Korea as part of humanitarian efforts. Even when hot, clean water is unavailable, ramyeon is eaten raw which is also considered a delicacy.

How do you pronounce Ramyun? ›

How to Pronounce Ramen? (CORRECTLY) - YouTube

Do you want to see butterflies meaning Korean? ›

In Korean, “nabi” means “butterfly”. The 2 of them leave the bar for a smoke break. They have a short romantic moment here and he asks, “Do you want to see butterflies?” What he really means is “Do you want to go to my place?

Is Korean food healthy? ›

Is Korean food healthy? Considering the ingredients and cooking methods of the traditional Korean diet, it's generally considered healthy. Because they're often high in vegetables and cooked without much oil, Korean meals are often lower in calories than traditional American meals (2, 3 ).

Do Koreans eat noodles everyday? ›

According to Korea's consumer agency, 7 out of 10 koreans eat instant noodles once a week . 15% eat it more than three times, while 30% eat it 2 times a week. An average Korean's yearly instant noodle consuming number was 75 in 2013, the highest of all countries.

Is ramen good for health? ›

Though instant ramen noodles provide iron, B vitamins and manganese, they lack fiber, protein and other crucial vitamins and minerals. Additionally, their MSG, TBHQ and high sodium contents may negatively affect health, such as by increasing your risk of heart disease, stomach cancer and metabolic syndrome.

What nationality is ramen? ›

It starts in 1800s China, which is considered to be the birthplace of all things ramen. The idea of noodles in a soupy broth travelled with Chinese immigrants in the late 19th or early 20th Century to Japan after the Meijiichin [Meiji Restoration] in 1868.

What ethnicity is ramen from? ›

Ramen is widely known imported from China to Japan, ramen-noodle shops first sprang to popularity in both countries in the early 1900s, and the noodles were actually called “Chinese soba” noodes in Japan up until the 1950s.

Is Udon Korean or Japanese? ›

Udon (うどん or 饂飩) is a thick noodle made from wheat flour, used in Japanese cuisine. It is a comfort food for many Japanese people. There are a variety of ways it is prepared and served.

Is ramen healthy or unhealthy? ›

Though instant ramen noodles provide iron, B vitamins and manganese, they lack fiber, protein and other crucial vitamins and minerals. Additionally, their MSG, TBHQ and high sodium contents may negatively affect health, such as by increasing your risk of heart disease, stomach cancer and metabolic syndrome.

Is ramen Halal or Haram? ›

Samyang Instant Ramen Noodles, Halal Certified, Spicy Stir-Fried Chicken Flavor 4.93 Ounce (Pack of 10)

Who made ramen first? ›

Instant ramen was first invented in 1958 by Japanese-Taiwanese businessman and Noodle God, Momofuku Ando. But let's rewind a bit. After World War 2 (post 1945), Japan was having difficulties feeding its population. Rice shortages around this time didn't help either.

What is the difference between ramen and noodles? ›

Noodle is an umbrella term of ramen

The dough is also mixed with water and salt. Noodles have long strip shapes or string shapes. These shapes are made by cutting, extruding, or stretching.

What is the correct way to eat ramen? ›

Try not to pick up too many noodles at once, as it's best to eat ramen in small, manageable mouthfuls. Dip the noodles in and out of the broth to soak up the flavour. Whilst doing this, hold your spoon underneath to support the noodles, as well as to collect more broth.

Is ramen originally from Japan? ›

Ramen isn't originally from Japan at all. It's from China, and how it made the jump is still up for debate. Characterized by its use of kansui—the mixture of baking soda and water that gives ramen noodles their chewy texture and characteristic yellow color—and meat broth, ramen isn't originally from Japan at all.

How many types of ramen are there? ›

There are four major types of Japanese ramen, decided by the tare, or base flavor: shio (salt-based ramen), shoyu (soy sauce-based ramen), miso (soybean paste-flavored ramen), and tonkotsu (pork bone broth ramen).

What culture is ramen? ›

Uncover past and present history about ramen from all over Japan. Ramen was born when the Chinese noodle dish came to Japan and fused with Japanese cuisine, combining men (noodles), dashi (soup stock), tare (sauce), ingredients, and fat or oil.

Why is ramen so popular in Japan? ›

Its origins are the reason ramen is often known as Chinese soba (chūka soba) in Japan. After World War II, after returnees from China began selling ramen around the country, it became a favorite down-to-earth dish, rivaling Japanese curry in popularity.

Is udon Chinese or Japanese? ›

Both udon and soba are typical Japanese noodles forming part of the Japanese diet and culture. Served hot or served cold, they are both delicious and are compatible with a variety of other added ingredients.

What is difference between ramen and udon? ›

The big main difference between udon and ramen is that ramen is made with egg while udon is vegan. Although Nona Lim ramen is also vegan friendly as we don't use egg in our noodle production. Another of the major differences is the use of kansui in ramen to give it that authentic taste and color.

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