bihun vs soun

My (Polish) best friend Iza and I had a blast conversation today. One of the topics we discuss was white, transparent noodle we (Indonesian) call as “soun”. Also “bihun”. And, oh, “vermicelli”.

Okay, what are those.

I said to her, to be honest, I had no idea what’s the different between soun, bihun, and vermicelli is.

Iza told me, when she was still live in Warsaw, Polish used to buy vermicelli from Vietnamese store. It’s white noodle made of soy.

Ahhh! Okay. Interesting.

To be honest, I’m not much of a chef myself. Sure I can cook, but limited to only Sundanese (West Java tribe) cuisines and few of Minang (West Sumatra tribe) cuisines–as my native and roots. Noodles (yellow and white) mostly not on the menu, except instant noodle (indomie, or mi sedap, or pop mie)–which is a whole different kind of cooking.

And so I googled and found this article about Soun vs Bihun from a website (

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Okay it’s in Indonesian, so allow me to translate..

Bihun is made of rice or corn flour. The color is white and milky. Need to soak in hot water for 3-5 minutes before cooking, and each serving has appx 192 kkal.

Soun is made of mungbean starch or cassava or potato. The color is whiter and more transparent. Need to soak in hot water 5-15 minutes–three times longer than bihun. Its calories is 291 kkal per serving.

In Indonesia, these type of noodles mostly used in bakso (meatball) bowl. Some use bihun, others use soun with bakso. Both taste okay. I prefer white noodles than yellow one (in bakso) anyway.

Oh, want to know how our traditional bakso looks like? Lookie here:

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Indonesians love this very much. We eat this almost in every ocassion, random time, even in celebration. No matter where you are in Indonesia, you can find this type of cuisine (it’s actually soupy-snack for us) at almost every corner of our archipelago.

Another snack using bihun/soun is fritters. Some call it risoles, some call it karoket/kroket. Don’t mistake it with croquette, although some of us also consider “kroket” as the croquette–a breadcrumbed potato balls filled with diced various vegetables and ground chicken/beef.

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That is fancy “kroket”, and kinda western type of snack.

What I meant was this

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Anyway, apparently Iza likes this snack very much, as do I.

If you ever visit Jakarta or Bandung, or Indonesia in general, have a try of these dishes I showed here. I bet you’ll love it.


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