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Yakisoba vs Ramen: 3 Simple Steps to Differentiate The Two

Yakisoba is a pan-fried noodle dish. And ramen is a noodle dish with soup.

They have the same kind of noodles.

These noodles are made of wheat flour, water, and kansui.

They are chewy, have a yellow color,

And they have a distinct ramen noodle flavor.

You might say…

“Why is yakisoba not ramen even though it uses the same ramen noodles?”

This is because in order to be called ramen,

You need to have soup,

But yakisoba doesn’t have it.

1. Yakisoba is Tuxedo Mask

He protects the Earth from bad guys with Sailor Guardians,

But he is not part of the Sailor Guardians.

2. Yakisoba and ramen both taste great!

On a cold February when I was 15, instant yakisoba noodles were my midnight snack.

I needed to stay late to study for my high school entrance exam.

The warm, salty sweet noodles comforted me a lot.

3. Yakisoba has sweetness compared to ramen

Yakisoba sauce is made of Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, sake, and sugar.

And this salty-sweet taste differs from yakisoba to ramen in terms of taste.

Ramen has a salty taste and ramen soup is made of…

Broth from chicken, pork, seafood, or other veggies,

Sauce made of salt,  miso, or soy sauce,

And flavored oil.

4. Toppings of yakisoba are sliced pork, cabbage, bean sprout, carrots, and green bell peppers

While chashu, ajitama, green onions and nori seaweed are popular ramen toppings,

Fried vegetables are the most common topping of yakisoba.

Pork brings the savory taste and umami into yakisoba.

You pan-fry sliced pork before the vegetables.

So the vegetables can catch oil and umami from the pork.

Cabbage adds the freshness and crispiness of the vegetable.

It must be cut small, so you can easily bite it.

Bean sprouts go with the yakisoba sauce.

Get rid of the water as much as you can before pan-fry it.

So you won’t thin out the taste of the yakisoba.

Carrot makes your yakisoba colorful.

You need to cut it thin so it will be cooked fast.

I like the sweetness of the carrots.

This Japanese green bell pepper has a bitter taste.

Some people hate it,

But I think it adds a nice kick to yakisoba.

5. Beni Shoga

Beni Shoga is red pickled strips of ginger. You can find this as a topping on almost all yakisoba in Japan.

The unique taste of benishoga complements yakisoba very well.

I said, between yakisoba and ramen,

The only thing that is the same is the noodles but…

6. Noodles for yakisoba are steamed, but noodles for ramen are boiled

By steaming noodles, they can have some fluffiness compared to boiled noodles.

These noodles go well with yakisoba.

Because it has the right amount of water in the noodles.

Not too much, not too little.

The other thing is…

7. Yakisoba noodles are coated with oil

The oil makes these noodles untangle easily when you pan-fry them.

However, noodles for ramen are not coated with oil.

Instead, some flour is sprinkled on the surface of noodles to avoid them from sticking to each other.

8. Besides sauce yakisoba, there are shio yakisoba, gomoku yakisoba, and kata yakisoba

In Japan, yakisoba means sauce yakisoba which we were talking about.

It has a salty-sweet sauce taste.

However, there are different kinds of yakisoba out there…

9. Shio yakisoba is made from salt, chicken bouillon, and some lemon juice

When you feel like eating yakisoba but you are not in the mood for the thick sweet-salty sauce, this is a great option.

The fresh taste of shio yakisoba enhances the taste of the veggie toppings.

10. Gomoku yakisoba has a hot and runny sauce on the noodles

The sauce of gomoku yakisoba is made by adding water and starch to…

Pan-fried shiitake mushroom, carrots, shrimp, a bamboo shoot, and pork.

It is very satisfying to eat gomoku yakisoba.

Because there are a lot of veggies, seafood, meat, and of course noodles in it!

11. Kata yakisoba deep fried crispy noodles

Kata yakisoba and gomoku yakisoba have the same hot and runny sauce. 

However, there is a big difference.

Gomoku yakisoba has soft noodles,

And kata yakisoba has hard noodles instead.

“Kata” means hard in Japanese.

These hard noodles have a snacky feeling.

12. Yakisoba-pan is a sandwich that has yakisoba inside the bread

It might sound weird to you because it is a combination of two different types of carbs.

Bread and yakisoba noodles.

But surprisingly they go well together.

13. Yakisoba doesn’t have soba noodles but it is called soba

This is because a long time ago in Japan, the word soba was used to just mean “noodles”. 

Since yakisoba is created from noodles of ramen,

It might be more accurate to call it yaki-ramen.

Next one is worse…

14. Instant yakisoba is neither yaki nor soba

Yaki means pan-fried in Japanese.

And here is how to cook instant yakisoba.

Boil water in a kettle. Then open the package and pour the hot water.

After 3 minutes, get rid of the hot water and mix the seasoning packet.

Done! Your instant yakisoba is good to eat.

Did you pan-fry these noodles?

No, you didn’t.

Is instant yakisoba made of soba flour?

No, it isn’t.

Well, but it tastes really good!

Due to Covid, a lot of good ramen restaurants have closed

It makes me feel very angry.

I used to eat ramen out frequently,

But in this situation, 

Ramen shops have started to shorten the hours, limit the number of customers, or even closed their shops.

It has affected the industry so much.

I am afraid good ramen will be gone

But meanwhile, you still can enjoy ramen in the comfort of your own home.

Here are some of my recommendations for ramen lovers.

1. Sapporo Ichiban Shio Flavor


In truth, Sapporo Ichiban delivers a good quality shio ramen experience.

Actually, it is very difficult to find good shio ramen.

Do you know why?

Because it is very difficult to make it since it is very simple.

There are many good shoyu and miso flavored instant noodles out there.

But I feel specifically, the shio flavor market is monopolized by Sapporo Ichiban.

Think about this for a moment having good shio ramen for your dinner with your favorite ramen toppings.

Now, you want some, don’t you?

2. Nissin Raoh Shoyu Flavor


It is nearly impossible to make restaurant quality noodles at home without the right tools and equipment.

How can you beat that?

Using Raoh’s shoyu flavour will help you achieve this easily. This is top-notch ramen hands down!

One pinnacle of instant noodles is the soy sauce flavor. It is expensive compared to regular ones but let me tell you, it deserves every single penny.

In a nutshell, I loved every bit of it.

...And I am sure you will too.

3. The problem here is that no toppings come with these packets.

Here are some topping options and recipes for you.

Green onion

4. Have you ever faced these issues...

A lack of large, high-quality soup bowl sets at home?

Are you still struggling with...

😢 ...small bowls that aren’t large enough for soups, noodles and toppings.

😢 ...spillage every time you eat out of your bowl.

😢 ...low-quality tableware and utensils that don’t compliment your food.

Look no further, 

Our best-selling bowls are here to fix all the issues you face with small, inefficient tableware.

After struggling with spillage and leakage during dinner time, 

We decided to introduce APEX S.K’s large soup bowls to the market.

Want to hear why some people absolutely love our ramen bowls?

"These are perfect for homemade ramen soup nights! The bowls we have at home are not large enough and my wife has been trying to look for larger bowls. I'm so glad I stumbled upon these. They made a great Christmas gift for the whole family. Everybody was so excited and we can't wait to put them to use on our next ramen night."

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"The shape, the color, and the overall appearance of the bowl was exactly what I was looking for - the shape, the color"

Check our sets on Amazon..


About the Author

Kei is a self-proclaimed ramen lover, blog writer and founder of "Apex S.K. Japanese tableware".

"I am from Ibaraki, Japan.

Ramen is great! It can bring you a sense of happiness and satisfaction that no other food can. I have been eating ramen for 30 years.

If there is no ramen, my life would be miserable.

Ten years ago, I worked as an office worker. The job was really stressful - excessive working hours, low wages, unpaid overtime work, and constantly being yelled at by my boss.

I was new and alone, no girlfriend, no friends, and felt very lonely.

My only oasis was the ramen shop near the office. For me, the ramen chef there was literally an angel. I saw a halo on his head. (No joke)

Tonkotsu shoyu ramen was my all-time favorite. He made ramen with broth chock-full of umami flavor, nice chewy handmade noodles, and tender chashu.

My greatest dream is connect people with ramen through my blog. I want to share a lot of interesting and funny stories and ramen trivia with you.

Knowing more about ramen can help you appreciate your ramen and make it taste extra delicious."

Did you know that we offer more than just a ramen blog?

We also have an exclusive collection of ramen-inspired t-shirts and hoodies that any true noodle lover will adore.

Head over to ApexRamen and check it out for yourself.

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