Which is better pho or ramen

Ramen vs. Pho | Both pasta with broth, but a world full of differences

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If you love Asian noodles, you've probably eaten your share of pho and ramen.

These two dishes may seem very similar, but they actually have significant differences.

This article explains the similarities and differences between these two pasta dishes so that you know exactly what to expect when you order one at a restaurant.

What is the difference between ramen and pho?

Bot ramen and pho are noodle soup dishes, but the noodles used in ramen are made from wheat flour, while pho uses rice noodles. The pho beef broth is a little lighter and flavored with ginger, cardamom, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cloves. Ramen broth is often thicker and flavored with miso and Worcestershire sauce.

Of course, there's a lot more to it than that, and there are different variations of both. Let's take a closer look at what these dishes are and how they differ.

In this post we cover:

What is pho

Pho (pronounced fuh) is a Vietnamese noodle dish consisting of broth, noodles, meat and herbs.

It was founded sometime between 1900 and 1907 and is believed to reflect the different cultures of the country at the time.

The French colonists made it easy to get beef, while the Chinese immigrants brought noodles from their homeland.

The two came together and Pho was born.

Pho was originally sold to feed poor Chinese immigrants and Vietnamese farmers.

It was sold by street vendors who carried a pole with two hanging cabinets, one storing a cauldron and the other storing the pasta and beef.

Eventually, Pho spread across the country and all citizens enjoyed the dish.

Pho didn't come to America until the 1980s, but when it happened it hit big. Pho restaurants are open everywhere and it has become the latest trend.

What is ramen?

Ramen is a noodle soup that originated in Japan.

It's unclear exactly how this came about, but like Pho, it is said to have been inspired by Chinese immigrants who ran noodle stalls in Japanese cities.

It could have been a direct start on the Chinese noodle dish lamien.

Ramen was enjoyed across the country for several years, but it became even more popular in the 1950s when Momofuku Ando invented instant ramen.

This made it possible for people to enjoy the hot noodles at home by adding water to the raw, packaged form. With this invention, the dish spread around the world.

In the 1980s, ramen was introduced as a popular American dish with several varieties on offer.

These are very different from traditional Japanese ramen, which were a combination of meat, noodles, and vegetables.

Today the ramen trend continues to grow. Five-star restaurants are dedicated to promoting ramen for a healthy meal.

Ramen aren't the only Japanese noodles! Here we have listed 8 different types of Japanese noodles (with recipes) for you.

Ramen and Pho: What's the Difference?

So far we know that ramen was made in Japan and pho comes from Vietnam ...

Otherwise, both seem to be pasta dishes with beef and vegetables. What is the difference?

Let's take a look at that.

How pho is made

The first step in making pho is the broth.

This is usually a beef broth (although chicken is sometimes used) paired with charred onions, ginger, cardamom, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and cloves. The resulting broth is fresh and light.

Then the noodles are added. Pho noodles are rice noodles made with rice flour and water to create a light and translucent texture.

The meat usually consists of various pieces of pork and beef that are thinly sliced.

Finally, herbs and sprouts as well as various other side dishes such as freshly cut chilli and coriander are added and rounded off with a pinch of lime.

Some also enjoy fish sauce, hoisin sauce or chili oil with their pho.

How ramen is made

Ramen has a thicker texture and taste than pho.

It's usually made from chicken or pork along with other ingredients.

Here are some typical ingredients in ramen:

  • Pig bones
  • dried sardines
  • Seaweed (wakame) or nori
  • and onions

Soy sauce, miso and soup base add to the flavor.

There are three main types of ramen;

  1. The first is Shoyu Ramen, which has a soy-based broth.
  2. Then there is Shio Ramen on a salt basis
  3. Third, there is miso-based ramen, a broth flavored with fermented soybean paste.

The noodles themselves are made from wheat flour, which makes them heartier and more filling than pho.

They also added an ingredient called kansui, which is a type of alkaline mineral water that helps the noodles stay firm after being in the water for long periods of time.

The pasta can be thick, thin, wavy or straight.

As with pho, you can add any type of meat to your ramen including meat, chicken, pork, and so on.

However, the meat used tends to be fatter and thicker.

Ramen is also much more customizable than Pho. There are many options for what to put in your ramen.

Check out my article on the best toppings for your ramen for anything you can add, but roasted chashu pork along with some boiled eggs and a little chopped green onion pair well with some nori seaweed and bean sprouts that you often find .

Oh, and corn is often added to give it a little sweetness and to balance out the salty broth.

These are just a few that come to mind.

Do you really want to be polite? Knows how to say "thank you for the meal" in Japanese!

Ramen vs. Pho: Diet

Now let's look at how these dishes measure up in terms of nutrition.

Pho nutritional profile

The nutritional information for pho varies depending on the meat or vegetable content of the meal and the portion size.

However, beef ramen with four ounces of beef, six ounces of noodles and 20 ounces of broth along with various vegetables and herbs have 350 to 450 calories, 35 to 50 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of protein and a whopping 1,500 mg of sodium.

Ramen nutritional profile

Although ramen is now served in good establishments across the country, it is often purchased in 3-ounce portion packs that can be purchased at the grocery store.

The packs have a calorie count of about 180. Carbohydrates are about 27 grams and protein is about 5 grams. It also has 891 grams of sodium.

Different types of pho and ramen dishes

Pho and ramen have several regional differences that are usually categorized according to whether they come from the north or the south of the country.

The main differences are in the soup, broth and toppings. Here are a few examples of each.

Pho Dish varieties

Pho, which is native to North Vietnam, has a hearty broth.

It's based on side dishes like spring onions, coriander, garlic, and chili sauce to balance out the flavor.

Hanoi, located in northern Vietnam, serves a Pho style with a tasty, clear broth, wide noodles and a few additional side dishes. It may have added spring onions, fish sauce, and chili sauce.

Southern Pho has a lighter flavor and uses side dishes like bean sprouts (just like they do with ramen) and adds some lime and some freshly cut chili.

Saigon serves a South Vietnamese pho with a sweeter broth and thinner noodles. Toppings like basil, bean sprouts, and coriander are added.

Common spices include chilli and hoisin sauce. With freshly squeezed lime and some sliced ​​chilies, you can add extra flavor, freshness, and spiciness.

Pho can also be distinguished based on its meat content. For example:

  1. You can add pork that would make it pho heo
  2. or add beef that would make it pho bo
  3. You can also add fish and it would be called pho ca

These are all delicious options to choose from.

Ramen dish varieties

The two main types of ramen are domestic and Chinese. These differ in their soup base and their meat content.

Common types of ramen are:

  • Shoyu ramen: Also known as soy sauce ramen, this ramen has a soy sauce base with a rich flavor. Springy, curly noodles are added. Toppings include sliced ​​pork, spring onions, spring onions, fish cakes, and a soft-boiled egg.
  • Tonkotsu ramen: This type of ramen is made from a pork bone broth that is boiled to bring out the flavor and aroma. The broth is usually a little thicker and you get that by adding things like onions and garlic to the broth after boiling some pork's feet in the water. The broth contains wheat noodles, which can be a bit tough in the middle, as well as braised pork belly, kombu for the broth, fresh spring onions, some sesame seeds, and some chili bean paste to give it a kick.

These are just a few of the many regional differences.

Other popular ramens are sapporo ramen, which is made from a miso broth.

Soki Soba has a spare rib.

The art of ordering pasta

Other important differences between pho and ramen lie in how they are served and ordered in their countries.

How pho is ordered and served

Pho can be found almost everywhere in Vietnam.

It's served at street stalls as well as casual and upscale restaurants. It is usually eaten for breakfast.

When ordering pho the first thing you need to do is choose your broth. You usually choose between chicken and beef.

Then you have to decide what kind of meat you want in your soup.

The most popular options are steak, brisket, and meatballs. If you want to get more adventurous, you can try flank, fat breast, tendon, and tripe.

The meal comes with a plate of vegetables, condiments, sauces and condiments that you can add to your dish if you wish.

How ramen is ordered and served

Ramen is sold in restaurants and street stalls across Japan.

The food is so popular that there is even a ramen street in the country where you can find a variety of restaurants and stalls.

When ordering ramen, you can expect simple ramen with the original topping of spring onion, mushroom, and pork.

However, there are other types of ramen that you can order.

For example, try the Aji-Tama ramen, where you get a soft-boiled egg over it, or the popular Cha-Shu-Men-Ramen, where you get an extra piece of the famous Chashu pork.

You can also order a specific firmness for your pasta. Order futsu for regular noodles, katame if you want firm noodles, and yawarakame if you want tender noodles.

The thickness of the broth is also up to you. Order Usume for a thin broth. Futsu brings you normal sauce and kiome means thick.

You can also choose how oily you want your broth to be. Sukuname means little oil, Futsu means regular, and Oome means oily.

Now that you know the difference between pho and ramen, you can enjoy these meals to the fullest.

what do you prefer?

Read on: Rice or Pasta: Which is Healthier? Carbohydrates, calories & more.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun, is a content marketing designer, father and loves to try new food - with Japanese food as a passion. Together with his team, he has been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.