10 Types of Noodles for Japanese Ramen

Ramen is a quintessential Japanese noodle dish, together with udon and soba.

In recent years, many Japanese ramen chains have been opening branches overseas so you could taste their noodle soups near where you live.

Types of Wheat Noodles for Ramen

When it comes to the broth of Japanese-style ramen, “Miso (味噌)”, “Shoyu (醤油: soy sauce)”, “Tonkotsu (豚骨: pork bone)”, and “Shio (塩: salt)” are the basic flavors.

But have you ever heard about the variety of noodles for ramen made of wheat flour? For those who don’t know much about that, today let me talk about the type.

Based on Water Content

First off, the wheat noodle for ramen is divided into two types based on water content.

One whose water content is high (over 35 percent) is called “Takasui-men (多加水麺)”, while the other whose water content is low is “Teikasui-men (低加水麺)”.

Takasui-men has a bouncy texture and rarely gets soggy as the noodles already contain plenty of water. To put it the other way around, they are hard to soak up the flavor from the broth, so suitable for a flavorful soup.

In contrast, Teikasui-men has a pronounced wheat taste, absorbs the broth well, and is easy to get soggy. Therefore, the noodles work well with soup with a delicate flavor.

Based on “Bante (番手)”

The wheat noodle for ramen is generally classified into six types, based on “Bante (番手)”, which is the number of noodles you get by cutting 30mm-wide dough evenly.

If you get 15 equal strips of noodles by cutting the dough, the Bante is 15 Bante, and its thickness is 2mm. If you evenly cut the dough into 30 strips, the Bante is 30 Bante, and you get 30 equal strips of 1mm noodles.

Thus, the thickness of Japanese noodles ranges from 1mm to 30mm in Bante. For example, the thickness of udon noodles roughly corresponds to 10 Bante (3mm), while somen corresponds to 30 Bante (1mm).

Regarding the noodles for ramen, they are classified into six types according to Bante, which are listed below.

Type Bante
Gokubutomen (極太麺: Very thick noodles) 10 to 14 Bante
Futomen (太麺: Thick noodles) 16 to 18 Bante
Chubutomen (中太麺: Medium-thick noodles) 20 Bante
Chubosomen (中細麺: Medium-thin noodles) 21 Bante
Hosomen (細麺: Thin noodles) 22 to 25 Bante
Gokubosomen (極細麺: Very thin noodles) 28 Bante

Based on Shape

The wheat noodle for ramen is divided into two types, based on shape. As you may already know, the two types are “Straight-men (ストレート麺: Straight noodles)” and “Chijire-men (ちぢれ麺: Curly noodles)”.

(Reference Page: 店舗経営レシピブック)


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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