Main image courtesy of Yamachan Ramen
I know why you are here, it is because you just produced your ramen broth, and now you need the noods. Well, I got chuuuuuuu homie.
All too many people who have never had sushi in Japan will trivialize the rice for sushi, and the same goes for the noodles for ramen. Although like sushi, a proper bowl of ramen needs the right noodles to match like a good relationship…. except, I do like a variety of noodles in my relationships.
Ramen Is a Type of Japanese Noodle
“Ramen” refers to the type of Japanese noodle (wheat flour, water, kansui, and salt) which vary in thickness, shape, and tooth/feel.
So, saying “ramen noodles” is redundant since ramen specifically refers to the noodle, and aside from ramen, the other types of Japanese noodles are soba, udon, to somen.
The Different Types of Ramen (Noodle) Products
From thin Hakata style to thick tsukemen noodles.
- Hosomen (thin noodles)
- Futomen (thick noodles)
- Chijiremen (wavy noodles)
Japanese Noodle Brands/Producers
I produced the post to help you find a ramen producer (brand), but keep in mind a lot of these producers 1. are not strictly retail, 2. may not sell their noodles individually (at the time of this posting, only Sun Noodles provides this type of product).
“Bringing Authentic Japanese Flavor to America” was our motto as we established our Kobayashi Noodle U.S.A. office in Los Angeles in June of 2009. Since then, we have brought our noodle making machinery directly from our factory in Japan and while adjusting to the different environment, we have been successful in manufacturing noodles.
In the U.S., “Ramen” is gaining in popularity along-side the most popular “Sushi”. We will continue to proudly produce “Authentic Japanese Flavor” and we hope that many people will enjoy the “Flavors of Japan” in the U.S. and throughout the world.”
– Toshiya Ishii, CEO
Gardena, CA, 310-738-1251
Available at: Wholesale ONLY, but they have one of the simplest and best product line up to find a noodle for a particular broth style (you got to love that).
“We are a company of noodle-lovers and have been making them for over 25 years. Myojo Foods was founded in Japan in the year 1950 and specialized in making dry and instant noodle products. 41 years later, Myojo Foods looked to bring that love of noodles to the US by collaborating with Japanese food distributor, JFC International, and establish Myojo USA in Chino, California! Unlike its Japanese counterpart, Myojo USA focuses on crafting fresh noodles for restaurants and households all over the globe! Our love and appreciation of noodles did not go unnoticed, either. In 2007, Nissin Foods welcomed us into their family by making us their subsidiary! Our goal is to provide artisanal noodles to noodle-lovers everywhere.”
Chino, CA, 909-464-1411
“The Sun Noodle story starts in Honolulu, Hawaii, in a one-room factory in an industrial part of town. It was where Hidehito Uki first began making noodles in 1981.
Hidehito came from Tochigi, Japan at the age of 19 with one suitcase and a noodle machine. He named his new business Sun Noodle after the sunny skies of his new home.
Hidehito spoke just a few words of English, so he communicated through his noodles, bringing samples door-to-door to prospective customers every day. He made them thick or thin, wavy or chewy — each restaurant had a noodle to call its own.
Hidehito met his wife, Keiko, at the restaurant she owned down the street from Sun Noodle’s factory. Soon after they were married, she joined the business and the two became a true team. Hidehito made noodles in the morning and delivered them in the afternoon, while Keiko balanced the books and managed their small staff.
As Sun Noodle grew, so did the family. Hidehito and Keiko’s first daughter Jamie was born, followed by their second daughter Hisae, and their son Kenshiro. The Uki children spent much of their childhood at the factory, taste-testing samples, packaging noodles, and learning to cook homemade Japanese food.”
Honolulu, HI, 808-841-5808
Rancho Dominguez, CA, 310-764-0100
Carlstadt, NJ, 201-530-1100
New York, NY, 646-613-7522
Available at: Wow, THIS IS IMPRESSIVE! You know this company is not strictly a Japanese company when they are this effective because you can search for retailers near you through their “Find Us, Store Locator” because their noodles get around.
“Yamachan Ramen is a family-owned company, eradicated by Hideyuki Yamashita in 2000. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley in San Jose, California, Yamachan Ramen manufactures Japanese ramen noodles, udon, and Japanese-style gyoza for 20 years.
The company began as the main supplier for a Japanese restaurant called Ringer Hut Co. In 1989. After 11 years of commercial success, Hideyuki decided to revitalize the company as an open supplier for numerous Japanese restaurants in California. Thus, establishing a new facility with a new name called Yamachan Ramen.”
San Jose, CA, 408-479-0558
Available at: these are the retailers cited in their FAQ: 99 Ranch Market, Nijiya Market, Mitsuwa Market, Marukai Marketplace, and H-Mart. Aside from that you, you can also look here “Where to Buy Japanese Ingredients and Kitchen Products Online in the United States.“
In the process of personally opening a ramen ya, the single biggest issue I had as a small start-up was the quality of the noodles. Dealing with the major food distributors outside of Los Angeles, you will be forced to use what they have which is typically one noodle because nobody knows any other style of noodle. Which is why investing in a noodle machine is highly advisable step if you are wanting to produce the best quality product possible (Yamato also provides training/schooling).
“Yamato Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is a company for noodle startups, restaurant owners, professional chefs, and those who want to commercially start making superb fresh noodles of the highest quality”
Also note: out of all the companies I have had to have a correspondence with, Yamato is one of the best. Akira Mii is the man!
Japan, 37-4 Hamasanbanchō, Utazu-chō, Ayauta-gun, Kagawa-ken, 769-0203