directly above image of ramen bowl wabi sabi style, containing soba, shiitake mushroom, eggs tofu and edamame, with chopsticks on grey background, Studio shot, Nikon equipment
The Pivotal Differences Between Pho And Ramen
Vietnamese pho and Japanese ramen are both iconic noodle soups that combine flavorful broth, noodles, and toppings, but these dishes have plenty of striking differences.
With Chinese and French influences, pho's flavor is characterized by its elegant simplicity, with a crystal-clear, clean, very aromatic broth made of beef, chicken, and/or seafood.
Pho broth includes fish sauce, sugar, onions, ginger, and spices like coriander and star anise, paired with thin, delicate rice noodles called bánh phở and meaty toppings.
You can order pho with toppings like thinly sliced rare beef, flank steak, meatballs, chicken, or seafood, and it's often served with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, chilis, and limes.
Unlike the thin rice noodles in pho, Japanese ramen can use a wide variety of noodle shapes, though all are more firm and chewy than bánh phở and are made with alkaline water.
While most pho broths share a lot of traits, ramen broths vary widely. They may use meat, seafood, or vegetables and can be seasoned with salt, soy sauce, miso, and more.
Ramen broths also vary in texture, from light and clear broths to creamy and rich tonkotsu (boiled pork bone) broths. Toppings come in a far wider array compared to pho.
Depending on the style of ramen and where you're eating it, you could wind up with meat, seaweed, green onions, bamboo shoots, fish cakes, corn, and/or boiled eggs in your bowl.
While pho and ramen are equally delicious, and share the common thread of being noodle soups, ramen can be far more varied and complicated than simple and elegant pho.