10 Types of Noodles for Japanese Ramen

Ramen is a quintessential Japanese noodle dish, together with udon and soba. In recent years, many popular Japanese ramen restaurant chains are opening their branches overseas so you could taste their noodle soups near where you live.

By the way, when it comes to the broth of Japanese-style ramen, “Miso (味噌: soybean paste)”, “Shoyu (醤油: soy sauce)”, “Tonkotsu (豚骨: pork bone)”, and “Shio (塩: salt)” are widely known as its basic flavor base.

Types of Wheat Noodles for Ramen

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

Based on the water content

First off, the wheat noodle for ramen is divided into 2 types based on its water content. One whose water content ratio is high (over 35 %) is called “Takasui-men (多加水麺)”, and the other whose water content ratio is low is called “Teikasui-men (低加水麺)”.

Takasui-men have a soft chewy texture and hardly get soggy as the noodles already contain plenty of water. To put it the other way around, the noodles are hard to soak up the flavor of the broth, so they are suitable for thick rich soup.

In contrast, Teikasui-men features a pronounced taste of wheat flour, easily absorbs soup broth, and is quick to get soggy. Therefore, it is said that Teikasui-men noodles work well with soup with a delicate flavor.

Based on “Bante (番手)”

The wheat noodle for ramen is classified into 6 types, based on “Bante (番手)”. They are “Gokubuto-men (極太麺: Very thick noodles)”, “Futo-men (太麺: Thick noodles)”, “Chubuto-men (中太麺: Medium-thick noodles)”, “Chuboso-men (中細麺: Medium-thin noodles)”, “Hoso-men (細麺: Thin noodles)”, and “Gokuboso-men (極細麺: Very thin noodles)”.

Bante is the number of noodles that you get by cutting 30mm 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), and the thickness of somen noodles corresponds to 30 Bante (1mm).

Regarding the noodles for ramen, they are classified into the 6 types above 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 the shape

The wheat noodle for ramen is divided into 2 types, based on its shape. As you may already know, the 2 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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