Ramen verses Yakisoba – Instant

If you haven’t lived in Japan, you probably don’t know the difference between ramen and yakisoba. When I return home to the United States, I correct my friends and family because they call everything ramen.

I also tell them that the ramen and yakisoba in America and many other countries taste nothing like authentic Japanese noodles. Japanese noodles in several countries are flavored with a large amount of salt. In the US, there is so much salt in the noodles that I cannot eat them. In Japan, they use natural flavors and a little salt.

Amazing fresh ramen and yakisoba are available throughout Japan, but sadly this is not available in other countries. These countries can only enjoy instant ramen and yakisoba. These usually come with only one flavor packet, and the main ingredient is salt.

Instant ramen and yakisoba are also frequently made in the microwave in other countries, which is never done in Japan.

Let’s look at instant ramen and yakisoba in Japan and see what the difference is.


Ramen is not a soup. In Japan, ramen is ramen, and soup is soup. Some people are confused about this. Call it soup in Japan, and everyone stares at you. Also, the server will bring you soup instead of Ramen.

Ramen has pork broth, noodles, and various toppings like beef, pork, seaweed, scallions, and other flavorings such as miso. Instant ramen attempts to replicate the taste using different flavor packets added to the noodles before the hot water helps mix everything.

Prepare Ramen

To start making the ramen remove the plastic covering and pull the tab on the lid halfway up. Don’t remove the top all the way. Remove the flavor packets and sit them next to the instant ramen container. 

Read the instructions carefully because sometimes, not all the ingredients go into the container before the water.

Don’t open all the ingredient packages all at once because some are full of liquids. Open and add the packets one at a time. If spilled, it makes a mess that’s difficult to clean.

Once the contents of the ingredient packets are added, it’s time to add the water.

The hot water is boiling when added. In Asia, most homes have an electric kettle instead of heating water in a pan on the stove. If you add hot water from the tap, the noodles won’t cook correctly. The water must be boiling when added.

I have burnt myself more than once when adding the water, so be careful. Close the lid flap once you add the water. Wait for the time listed in the instructions, which is usually five minutes.

Once the noodles are tender, remove the lid and stir the ramen until everything is mixed. Don’t drain the water. Enjoy your ramen!

I like to add thin pork precooked slices to my ramen, whatever the flavor. It adds extra flavor and makes a complete meal if there’s not already meat in the container. 


Unlike instant ramen, which has broth, instant yakisoba is dry noodles with flavoring. The noodles are prepared the same as ramen, but the water is drained, and the flavor packets are added after the water is removed.

Prepare Yakisoba

Remove the plastic cover from the yakisoba container. The most accessible place to open is the seam under the container.

Pull the tab and open the lid to the line shown on the top. Add the dry ingredients unless you like the crunchy like I do. I add all the ingredients after the noodles cook.

Add the boiling water from the electric kettle and close the lid. I use the flavor packet that has liquid inside. The heat ensures runny liquid because otherwise, it’s in a kind of paste form and challenging to remove from the package.

Cook the noodles for 5 to 8 minutes and then open the tab on the opposite side to drain the water.

Remove the lid and add the contents of the flavor packets. Stir the noodles to mix in the ingredients. Enjoy your food.

I like to add a Japanese cheese hamburger to my yakisoba. It adds a lot of flavors, and the cheese goes well with the noodles. I’ve also added peanut butter to some flavors, and it tastes great.


Instant ramen and yakisoba are different, but both are delicious and offer another way to enjoy Japanese noodles. Ramen has a broth and usually serval toppings, while yakisoba is dry noodles with flavoring and usually a single topping. 

Both come in many different flavors in Japan but only a few in other countries. Salt also is the main ingredient in these countries, but in Japan, natural flavors are the norm. 

The smell and taste are delightful, and you’ll enjoy every bite.

I recommend buying these products from Japan if you don’t live there and have them shipped to your home. The taste is worth the money and time.

Check out another great story here.

Have you had some Japanese instant ramen? Let me know how it tasted in the comment section below.

Do you have questions about this article? Would you please ask your question below in the comment section?

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