This glossary is in its earliest stages. Got something you think should be on the list? Email me at email@example.com!
ABC – An Indonesian company that makes instant noodles but is widely known for their kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and manis pedas (sweet chili sauce).
Ajinomoto – Ajinomoto is a Japanese company that primarily produces monosodium glutamate.
Bibimbap – A South Korean dish comprised of rice and vegetables and gochujang, which is a spicy chili paste. Bibim Men is very similar except it is made with noodles rather than rice.
Bowl Noodle – Bowl Noodle is a product made by Nongshim for the US market. Originally in foam non-microwaveable bowls, it now can be found in a new microwave form. Probably the best known variety is Bowl Noodle Hot & Spicy flavor.
Cup A Soup – Often confused, Lipton’s Cup A Soup is a completely different product from Nissin’s Cup Noodles. With the Lipton product, you supply the cup. Also, different flavorings and a completely different type of noodles are used.
Cup Noodles – Cup Noodles debuted in 1971. The story goes that Momofuku Ando thought a cup of noodles on a plane trip would be nice and got to work on the design. The end product is a portable meal that people enjoy the world over and whose design has been adopted by every noodle maker out there.
Dua Belibis – A popular Indonesian hot, sweet chili sauce.
furikake (foo-rih-caw-kee) Furikake is a Japanese condiment which usually contains salt, seaweed, sesame seeds and a varieties of other spices. Some versions include salmon and some contain kimchi. Everything is dried and is great on rice as well as instant noodles.
Indofood (in-doh-food) Makers of many lines of instant noodles including Indomie, famous for their Mi Goreng, Sarimi and SuperMi.
Indomie (in-doh-mee) – A brand of instant noodles made by Indofood. Indomie makes the very popular Mi Goreng line.
kamaboko (kah-mah-boh-koh) – A Japanese steamed fish cake. It is a type of surimi and comes on a little piece of wood.
kecap manis – Sweet soy sauce – thick and black. It is very common in Indonesian brothless noodle dishes.
kimchi (kim-chee) – Kimchi is Nappa cabbage that has been salted, wilted, seasoned with gochujang and sometimes anchovy soupp broth, onions, green onions and garlic. It is them allowed to ferment. The fermentation is key to the flavor. Kimchi is considered one of the five healthiest foods in the world.
kizami shoga – Tart pickled ginger. It is tart and has a bright pink hue, almost fluorescent in quality. Not to be confused with the palate cleansing ginger that comes with sushi which is sweet.
koya – According to Selby’s Food Corner, “Koya powder is made from prawn crackers, fried garlic and dried shrimp.” They mention sprinkling it on top of a dish at that link, so I am assuming that it is to be sprinkled on top as a garnish.
manis pedas – A sweet and spicy chili sauce very commonly enjoyed in Indonesian brothless noodle dishes.
mi goreng (mee go-reyng) – Mi Goreng simply means ‘fried noodles.’ Goreng means fried and ‘mi’ noodles. Can also be spelled mee or mie.
mie goreng – see mi goreng
mee goreng – see mi goreng
Momofuku Ando (moh-moh foo-koo ahn-doh) Momofuku Ando is known by many as the inventor as the instant noodle and the Cup Noodle. He founded Nissin Foods and marketed the very first instant noodle, Chikin Ramen in 1958. Cup Noodles began to grace store shelves in 1971. Starting in 2012, The Ramen Rater has officially marked January 19th as Momofuku Ando Day in an attempt to continue a short-lived tradition started in Texas.
narutomaki (nah-roo-toe-mah-kee) Like kamaboko, narutomaki is a steamed Japanese fish product. Narutomaki can be sliced and added to instant noodles – it usually is quite festive with a little spiral in the middle and star-like shape.
Nissin Foods (kni-sin) – Nissin Foods USA makes the well known Top Ramen and Cup Noodles you will commonly see at grocery stores and convenience markets everywhere. Nissin Foods Japan doesn’t make Top Ramen but Demae Ramen. They still make Cup Noodles, but is very different flavors like Seafood Curry or Prawn which are not normally found in the United States.
Nongshim (n-ohng-shm) – Nongshim is a South Korean company well known for their Shin Ramyun and Bowl Noodle products. Shin Ramyun is a red broth Korean ramyun noodle soup. It is hot and spicy and highly revered and popular. Bowl Noodles come in a myriad of spicy and non-spicy flavors. Shin Ramyun is made in South Korea as well as the United States.
ramen (rah-men) – By definition, ramen is a Japanese noodle dish with Chinese wheat noodles, some meat and a myriad of garnish possibilities like marinated eggs, kamaboko, narutomaki or even corn and butter.
ramyun (rom-yoon) – Ramyun is to Korea as ramen is to Japan. Ramyun’s a bit different though in the way that hot and spicy flavors are common.
sara udon – Means ‘plate noodles.’ The noodles are at the bottom with a thick sauce of meat and vegetables poured on top. The noodles are uncooked and crispy. Originated in Nagasaki, Japan.
Shin Ramyun (shin rom-yoon) – See Nongshim
shirataki noodles – Shirataki are very low carbohydrate, low calorie, thin, translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles made from devil’s tongue yam (elephant yam or the konjac yam). The word “shirataki” means “white waterfall”, describing the appearance of these noodles. Largely composed of water and glucomannan, a water-soluble dietary fiber, they have little flavor of their own. from Wikipedia – full entry here.
shio – Shio means salt in Japanese and is a popular variety of ramen.
soto (soh-toh) – An Indonesian soup. There are many versioolns but most have a strong lime presence.
Top Ramen – (top rah-men) – Top Ramen was introduced to the US market in 1970. Top Ramen is considered to be a cult food of college students as it is very inexpensive. Top Ramen is as much a part of pop culture as any food item ever has been, with common knowledge being that if you’re low on food, there’s always that pack of Top Ramen on the shelf.
udon (ooh-dawn) – a wider noodle often found in fresh South Korean and Japanese noodle bowls and refrigerated variants. Characteristically chewy.