Difference Between Pho And Ramen

There’s nothing better than a hot cup of noodle soup when you’re feeling out of it.


Or maybe a big bowl of it when it’s extremely cold out. However, there’s no reason to crack open a boring chicken soup from a can to satisfy your craving. Pho and Ramen are two hearty, flavorful noodle soup bowls originating from Asia. These bowls will fill you up and hit your craving all in one slurp. Their flavorful broth, rich noodles, and range of toppings take your average chicken noodle soup to the next level. On the surface they look quite similar but they’re quite different than one may think.


Although pho and ramen can be confused for one another because of their similarities, they’re quite different. For starters, they each originate from a different country in Asia. Pho originates  from Vietnam and is considered to be its national dish. The dish came about during the late 1970s after the fall of Saigon. Ramen, on the other hand, was sought to be a Chinese soup brought to Japan in the nineteenth century where it flourished.


You may be craving ramen but what you really mean is pho, so how can you tell the difference next time you order it? Simple, its appearance. Ramen and pho are quite different in many aspects but the main is in their appearance. Ramen has a more picturesque aspect. One of the main things to differentiate the two is that ramen bowls include a soft boiled egg and narutomaki; which you might’ve seen while scrolling  through emojis. Narutomaki is the white and pink fish cake which mimics the texture of lobster meat or crab. Ramen also includes a sheet of nori, aka seaweed, which is absent from pho. Ramen uses noodles made of wheat which make them slightly heartier than pho’s usage of thin rice noodles.


Apart from what’s on the surface, pho broth and ramen broth are not the same. Pho is usually served in beef broth with loads of scallions, cilantro, and bean sprouts. Ramen broth, on the other hand, is more versatile. The most common broth is tonkotsu which is made out of pork bone. However, its versatility has allowed for an array of dishes to be made. Shoyu ramen is made from soy sauce, shio is a sea salt-based broth, and miso is evidently made using miso paste. Now you know.


Article credit: Spoon University

Photo credit: Keni Lin

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