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Noodles for the New Year

 Join in this delicious tradition!

Chinese New Year is coming up and it’s celebrated around the world. Many Asian countries call the new year celebration “Spring Festival” and food is always involved. The first day of the new year is marked with decorative red lanterns, firecrackers and fireworks, family reunions, and a lot of feasting!

There are dumplings, rice balls, and spring rolls, and part of some annual feasts involves “long life noodles”—served for health and prosperity. In celebration of this new year and Asian cuisine, here are some of the most popular noodles around the globe and where you can enjoy them!

Soba noodles have a nutty and are perfect for dipping.


These noodles are made from buckwheat flour, so they’re usually brown or beige and have a unique nutty flavor (as a bonus, they pack some protein!).  They’re pretty thin—think spaghetti—and can often be found in soup, stir fry, or served cold in a salad.

Soba noodles originally came from Japan, where summers are hot, so cold soba with a dipping sauce is enjoyed as a refreshing meal. Soba’s cousin noodle, udon, is thicker and made with wheat flour. It’s mostly served hot.

Where to get them: Seattle has a large Japanese community (as well as great fresh fish), so look for soba noodles at a sushi restaurant.

Egg noodles are a staple all around the world!

Egg Noodles:

These tasty yellow noodles offer up a rich flavor and chewy texture thanks to—you guessed it—the eggs. They’re incredibly popular and can be found in all sorts of dishes, like Lo Mein meals in Chinese cooking.

Egg noodles are the star of the popular Indonesian dish Mee Goreng, where they’re served with a sweet (somewhat sticky) sauce and bean sprouts, green onion, shrimp or chicken, and even more egg cooked and cut into “ribbons.”  

Where to get them: Indonesia has excellent Mee Goreng, so try this authentic dish if you’re taking a trip! Otherwise, Chinatowns in New York City and San Francisco serve up plenty of egg noodle options.

This versatile noodle if often wrapped in rice paper, as well as served in soups.


This rice noodle is super thin and the fine white strands make up many traditional Asian dishes, from fried noodles to breakfast porridge noodles in China.

In the U.S., vermicelli is probably best known as a staple of Vietnamese food. It’s in pho, the hot, savory soup served with rare beef, bean sprouts, and sliced jalapenos (a perfect winter warmer). These versatile noodles are also wrapped up in rice paper with shrimp and veggies as the appetizer spring rolls.

Where to try them: You’ll find vermicelli in Vietnamese and Thai restaurants across the country, but if you’re taking a trip to Los Angeles, head to Thai Town—the only recognized one in the U.S.

It’s easy to remember their name when you can see through them.

Glass Noodle:

Possibly the best-named noodle out there, these transparent noodles are made from different starches, like sweet potato and mung bean, and really look like glass. You’ll find them in hot pots, a large communal simmering soup served at the center of the table. Glass noodles are also common in Korean cooking, like japchae—a savory glass noodle stir fry that’s a feature for holidays!   

Where to try them: Chinatown is well known, but there’s also a lively Korea Town in the center of New York City. And did you know Hawaii has the highest percentage of Korean ancestry of any state?