What’s so different about Asian noodles?

Asian noodles have been around since ancient times. Some wonder which came first the Asian noodle or spaghetti. Lately, noodles have been overtaking restaurant menus around the United States. So what’s the big deal about these Asian noodles? Let’s take a closer look at a few….Soba-Ramen-Glass-Udon.


-is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It usually refers to thin noodles made from buckwheat flour, or a combination of buckwheat and wheat flours (Nagano soba). They vary from the thick wheat noodles, called udon. Soba noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup. Soba are a nutritious source of Thiamine; eating thiamine (vitamin B1) can help prevent the disease. Soba contains all eight essential amino acids, including lysine.


-Chinese-style wheat noodles

Chinese noodles made from wheat flour are usually made from salted dough and therefore do not require the addition of salt to the liquid in which they are boiled. Chinese noodles also cook very quickly, generally requiring less than 5 minutes to become al dente and some taking less than a minute to finish cooking, with thinner noodles requiring less time to cook.

Glass Noodles

-are a type of transparent noodle made from starch (such as mung bean starch, yam, potato starch, cassava, canna or batata starch) and water.

They are generally sold in dried form, soaked to reconstitute, then used in soups, stir fried dishes, or spring rolls. They are called “cellophane noodles” or “glass noodles” because of their appearance when cooked, resembling cellophane, a clear material of a translucent light gray or brownish-gray color.

Cellophane noodles are generally round, and are available in various thicknesses. Wide, flat cellophane noodle sheets called mung bean sheets are also produced in China.


-is a thick wheat flour noodle of Japan. Udon is often served hot as a noodle soup in its simplest form. Like many Japanese noodles, udon noodles are usually served chilled in the summer and hot in the winter. Cold udon, or udon salad, is usually mixed with egg omelet slices, shredded chicken and other fresh vegetables, such as cucumber and radish. Toppings of Udon soup are chosen to reflect the seasons. Most toppings are added without much cooking, although there is also deep-fried tempura. Many of these dishes can also be prepared with soba.

Did you know?

  1. It is considered acceptable to slurp the noodles noisily. This is especially common with hot noodles, as drawing up the noodles quickly into the mouth helps cool them.
  2. The earliest Chinese noodles where actually strands of dough formed from bread dough and shaped into small pieces and then thrown in a wok of boiling water. This is still eaten today in China, called mian pian.
  3. The earliest mention of noodles in a dictionary from the 3rd century A.D. in China.
  4. Noodles are considered healthy because of their low sodium and fat content.
  5. Noodles are so versatile. You can eat them steamed, boiled, fried, baked, sautéed, and even raw. They also go with seafood, beef, poultry, pork, veggies, and tofu.

Lloyd’s Chicago Restaurant offers American comfort dishes in the heart of Chicago’s Financial District. These dishes can be found on our lunch menu and dinner menu. Our dishes are influenced by the many cultures of the world and highlight unique ingredients like Asian noodles. You may want to try our Sesame Seared Yellow Fin Tuna, Sashimi style, wasabi, ginger, soy sauce and ramen noodles. Another Customer favorite at Lloyd’s Chicago Restaurant and Banquets is the Seared Asian Shrimp Salad with mixed greens, red and green peppers, red onions, green beans, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts, Glass Noodles, and sesame ginger vinaigrette.

Asian noodles are an intricate part of each of these lunch or dinner entrees. So whether you are heading home from Union Station or stopping in for a business lunch in downtown Chicago, Lloyd’s Chicago has some delicious entrees to satisfy your appetite. Located just minutes from the Lyric Opera house, Lloyd’s Chicago is great place to drop in for a cold Craft beer or cocktail. We look forward to your next visit. Have a great day!