Asian Noodles

Asian Noodles

Asian noodles consist of strands that vary in shape, width, and length. Many Asian noodles are very long in length, symbolizing longevity. They can be thin straight sticks, flat strands, round strands, and wavy strands. The noodles are made from various flours, such as wheat flour, rice flour, potato flour, soybean flour, and mung bean flour. Some Asian noodles are made with eggs but many do not contain any eggs. Many are available fresh and dried but some are only found in Asian markets. Asian noodles are a variety of colors, such as translucent white, opaque white, cream, yellow, tan and brown. The ingredients used, in the dough affects the color of the noodle. Asian noodles are eaten hot and cold, and are used in soups, salads, stir-fries, and other Asian dishes. Most Asian noodles are rinsed with cold water and drained after cooking to remove the starch.

Asian Noodles

Pasta

Description Estimated Cooking Time
Arrowroot vermicelli Thin white, semi-transparent noodles that are made from arrowroot starch. They are similar to cellophane noodles in appearance. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until tender.
Canton noodles
Long egg noodles that have been precooked and dried before packaged. They are found as flat or round noodles and because they are precooked they require only a short cooking time. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Cellophane noodles (mung bean thread noodles)

Cellophane noodles are thin translucent noodles made from mung bean starch. Also known as bean thread noodles and glass noodles. The dried noodles have a slippery texture when cooked. The noodles should be soaked before cooking. Cellophane noodles can also be deep-fried. They are sold in bundles.

To prepare: Soak by placing the noodles in a heatproof bowl and pouring hot or boiling water over them. Let them soak for 5 to 15 minutes, just until tender. If adding to a soup, it is not necessary to soak the noodles before adding them. Do not soak if you are deep-frying the noodles.

Cooking Time: Cook the noodles by adding to boiling water and cooking for 1 to 3 minutes.

Chinese egg noodles (dan mien)

Long noodles made with wheat flour and eggs. They are available as a round noodle in various thicknesses and can also be fond as a flattened noodle in various widths. Chinese egg noodles are golden yellow in color and generally found wrapped tightly in a bundle or nest. They should be cooked similar to Italian egg noodles.

Cooking Time: Dried noodles - Cook in boiling water for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on size. If adding to a soup, slightly undercook the noodles. Fresh noodles - Cook for 1 to 3 minutes. If adding to a soup, fresh noodles can be added without precooking.

Chinese wheat noodles

Long round or flat noodles made with wheat, water and salt. They are found in various thicknesses and are generally white or light yellow-beige in color.

Cooking Time: Dried Noodles - Cook in boiling water for 4 to 7 minutes, depending on size. Fresh Noodles - Cook for 2 to 4 minutes.

Chuka Soba

Long and wavy, dried Japanese noodles made from wheat flour. They have a mild flavor and are fine textured. They are packaged in brick form similar to ramen noodles. Chuka soba noodles are much lower in fat than ramen noodles because they are not fried in oil as ramen noodles are before they are dried. They are often used as a substitute for ramen noodles. Cook in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.

E-fu noodles (yee-fu noodles)

Long flat egg noodles that have been deep-fried in a flattened nest shape and then dried. The fried noodle cakes are fragile so they need to be handled with care.

Cooking Time: Cook in boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes to soften.

Fried chow mein noodles
Short lengths of deep-fried egg noodles that have been cooked until they are brown and crunchy. Added to salads and other dishes to provide a crunchy texture.
Additional cooking is not required.

Gook soo (gougsou)

A thin, pale colored Korean noodle made with wheat flour. They are available as flat narrow rods or thin round rods. Also found spelled as Kuk Soo.

Cooking Time: Cook in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes until al dente. Do not overcook.

Harusame

A Japanese noodle that is thin and translucent in appearance, similar to cellophane noodles. They are made from potato, rice, corn, or mung bean starches. Harusame noodles are round or flat thin rods that are generally 5 to 7 inches in length. They are also found as long, thin delicate noodles gathered in tight bundles.

To prepare: The noodles should be soaked before cooking. Soak in hot water for 5 to 15 minutes, just until tender. If adding to a soup, it is not necessary to soak the noodles before adding them. Do not soak if you are deep-frying the noodles.

Cooking Time: Finish cooking by adding to boiling water and cooking for 1 to 3 minutes. Harusame can also be deep-fried, which would not require soaking the noodles beforehand.

Hiyamugi

Thin, fragile, white Japanese noodles made from wheat flour. They are sold in straight strands that are dried and bundled. Occasionally the bundles will contain a couple brown or light pink strands. Hiyamugi is generally served cold with dipping sauces.

Cooking Time: Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, just until tender.

Hokkien

Thick, meaty fresh egg noodles that are popular for stir frying because their size allows them to pick up more sauce and provide more flavor. They are long strands of thick spaghetti-like noodles. Sold fresh or in vacuum sealed packages.

To prepare: Place noodles in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over the noodles. Let them stand for 1 to 2 minutes and drain.

Further cooking is accomplished when the noodles are added to a stir-fry dish or to a soup.

Korean sweet potato vermicelli (dang myun)

A Korean noodle made from sweet potato starch. It is a thin long, translucent noodle with a chewy texture. They are similar to cellophane noodles, except they are slightly thicker and tougher.

To prepare: Place the noodles in a heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over the noodles, and let them stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until noodles have soften.

Cooking Time: When the noodles are added to a stir-fry or to soup, further cooking is accomplished during the cooking of the dish.

When adding to a dish in which the noodles will not receive additional cooking time, add the noodles to boiling water and cook for 3 to 5 minutes before adding to the dish.

Korean buckwheat noodles (naeng myun)

Korean noodles made from buckwheat flour and potato starch. They are brownish in color with a translucent appearance. The noodles are most often eaten cold but at times they are added to soup.

Cooking Time: Cook in boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes if noodles are dried, if fresh or frozen, cook just long enough to soften.

Miswa (misua)

Long Philippine wheat noodles, which are very fine and delicate. They are slightly off-white in color.

Cooking Time: The noodles can be boiled for 1 to 3 minutes or they can be added directly to soup without precooking. Miswa noodles can also be quickly deep-fried in oil.

Ramen

A long thin noodle made with wheat flour. Some ramen noodles also contain eggs. The off-white noodle is very popular all over the world and is available in straight rods or crinkled into a brick shape. It is sold fresh, dried, frozen and in instant form, which generally includes a flavor packet. Instant ramen noodles have been deep-fried before they are dried to assist in removing some of the moisture. There is also a low-fat variety that is made by using a blow-drying method to remove the moisture, rather than deep-frying.

Cooking Time: Fresh: Cook in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. Dried: Cook in boiling water for 4 to 6 minutes. Instant: Follow package directions.

Rice Macaroni

White translucent, slightly curved, thin tubes that are approximately 1 inch long. Rice macaroni is made from rice flour. Cook for 9 to 12 minutes.

Rice noodles

Rice Paper

Rice Sticks

Rice Vermicelli

White translucent noodles made from rice flour, which are available in various widths and thicknesses. The different varieties of rice noodles include rice paper, rice sticks, and rice vermicelli. Several cooking methods are used in cooking rice noodles - see individual varieties.

To prepare: Soak noodles in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes until they have softened.

When boiling, cooking time will vary according to the variety of rice noodles being cooked. Thin noodles such as vermicelli should be cooked for 3 to 5 minutes and the thicker noodles should be cooked for 7 to 9 minutes.

Rice paper

Circle or triangle shaped sheets made from rice flour and water. They are generally found dried and require soaking before using so they soften enough to allow them to be rolled up. The papers are used to wrap ingredients similar to a spring roll wrapper.

Cooking Time: Deep-fry until golden brown.

Rice Sticks

A variety of dried rice noodles similar to rice vermicelli, only they are thicker and wider. They are white and translucent in color and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from thin to a width of more than ΒΌ inch.

To prepare: Soak in hot water anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the rice sticks and cooking method to be used.
To stir-fry: Soak for 15 to 25 minutes and add directly to the stir-fry.
Adding to soup: Soak for 5 to 10 minutes to soften and then add to the soup (or salted water). Rice sticks can also be added directly to the soup without soaking first but will require a little more cooking time.

Cooking Time: To stir-fry: Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Soup: Boil for 2 to 3 minutes.

Rice vermicelli (mi-fun)

Long, thin, brittle noodles made from rice flour. They are white and translucent in color. Rice vermicelli is similar to cellophane noodles, except that it is made from rice flour rather than mung bean starch.

To prepare: Place noodles in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let the noodles stand for 5 to 7 minutes, or place the noodles in cold water and allow them soak for 25 to 30 minutes. Rinse, drain, and then add to boiling water.

Cooking Time: Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. If adding to soup, only cook for 1 minute. Rice vermicelli can also be deep-fried. When deep-frying, add noodles to oil without presoaking.

Saimin
A long crinkled noodle similar to ramen noodles. The differences are that saimin noodles contain eggs and are not deep-fried. Saimin is available fresh or dried. Dried saimin is very brittle and must be handled carefully. Cook for 1 to 3 minutes.

Shanghai noodles

An 1/8 inch thick egg noodle made with semolina flour. It is generally found fresh but is also available in thin dried rods.

Cooking Time: Fresh: Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Dried: Cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

Shirataki

Thin, long, translucent noodles made from very fine strands of a gelatinous substance called konnyaku, which is taken from the "devil's tongue plant" (Japanese yam). Their texture is slightly rubbery and they do not have any flavor. The noodles will pick up the flavor of the broth or other ingredients in the dish in which they are simmered. They are available dried or packaged in water in a plastic casing that gives it a sausage-like shape. They are also found packaged in cans.

To prepare: Noodles that are packaged in water should be drained and the noodles rinsed in cold water.

Cooking Time: Water packed: Add to boiling water and allow noodles to simmer for 5 minutes or parboil for 2 minutes. Dried: Add to boiling water and allow noodles to simmer for 6 or 7 minutes.

Soba

A flat noodle made from a mixture of buckwheat flour and standard wheat flour. Soba has a nutty flavor and the noodles have a slightly flecked color ranging from light beige to brownish gray. It is also available in a green color, which is produced by adding ground green tea to the dough when the noodles are being made. They are most often found dried but they can also be found fresh in Japanese markets.

Cooking Time: Fresh: To cook fresh noodles add to boiling water and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Dried: Add to boiling water and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

Somen

A thin, round, white noodle made from wheat flour. It is similar to vermicelli. Strands of somen are generally found dried and often packaged in band tied bundles.

Cooking Time: Cook in boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes.

Taiwanese noodles

Very thin, long noodles made in Taiwan. They are generally made with whole-wheat but can be found flavored with yam, green tea, and blue-green algae.

Cooking Time: Cook for 4 to 6 minutes.

Tofu noodles


Round Strands


Flat Noodles


Dried Tofu Noodles

Tofu noodles are available in long spaghetti shaped strands and flat noodles that resemble a rubber band. They are made from compressed tofu, which provides them with a large amount of protein and nutrients. The have a chewing texture and are used in stir-fries, soups and salads. They are found fresh and frozen in Asian markets. Tofu noodles are also available dried.

To prepare:
Fresh: Rinse the tofu off and pat dry before adding to the dish in which it will be cooked.
Dried: Soak the tofu in water that contains baking soda until the noodles soften, approximately 15 minutes. Drain and rinse the noodles before adding to the dish in which it will be cooked.

Add to the dish in which it will be cooked and cook according to directions.

Udon

A thick, white noodle made from wheat flour and water. Udon noodles have a slippery texture and are most often served in soups or stews, but they also work well in braised dishes or served cold. Fresh noodles are generally thick and square in shape.

Dried noodles are available in flat and round shapes. There are also square shaped, precooked, instant noodles that are package in a square block wrapped in cellophane.

Cooking Time: Fresh: Add to boiling water and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Dried: Add to boiling water, allow water to come back to a boil and then add a cup of cold water. When it returns to a boil again, add another cup of cold water. Repeat this process 2 or 3 more times until the noodles are cooked to their "al dente" state, which is tender but still having a slightly firm bite. Instant: Place noodles in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them and carefully separate the noodles. When noodles are separated, rinse with cold water and drain.

Wonton noodles

Very thin egg noodles, which are available in various widths. Wonton noodles are generally used in soups. They were named after the stuffed wontons that were part of the soups in which the noodles were added. They are available fresh and dried. If adding fresh or dried wonton noodles to soup, it is better to undercook them to prevent them from becoming overcooked. Fresh: Add to boiling water and check for doneness in 30 seconds. Do not allow noodles to overcook.
Dried: Add to boiling water and cook for 4 to 6 minutes.

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