What Are The 8 Types Of Noodles – This simple beginner’s guide to types of Asian noodles is a clear and simple way to understand the differences between the most common forms of Asian noodles, how to use each one, and how to cook them.
Noodles are one of the best foods in the world, and one that can be found in almost every country! This is an inexpensive staple for so many kitchens. Spaetzle, Orzo, Pierogi, Dumplings, Fidios, Spaghetti – everyone loves noodles!
What Are The 8 Types Of Noodles
And it’s not hard to see why – noodles are the perfect backbone for so many dishes with sauces and also make great additions to soups and are so kid-friendly! Read how to teach children to love international food.
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However, when it comes to Asian noodles, they can look so similar (and yet so different), that it’s often hard to know which to use when!
The following guide is a simple breakdown of what you need to know before your trip to the grocery store so you can pick up the best noodles for your recipe!
Asian noodles have some similarities and some differences with Italian noodles. Italian noodles are all made from dram wheat. Asian noodles can be made from wheat flour, rice flour, sweet potato flour or mung bean flour. Italian noodles tend to have the same texture no matter what form they are in because they are made from the same ingredients and cooked the same. Asian noodles tend to have different textures (some soft, some firm bite, some chewy, some springy) because they can be prepared in so many different ways and cooked differently.
The following types of Asian noodles can be found at most grocery stores, so you won’t need to make a trip to your local Asian market unless you really want to.
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These types of noodles will cook similarly to Italian pasta, as they are roughly the same size and shape and have similar ingredients. However, they will generally require less cooking time. You want to make sure you don’t overcook them. You want them to still have bite. Be sure to read and follow the package instructions! They usually only need between 6-8 minutes of cooking time.
Lo mein is a popular Chinese noodle made from wheat and egg and similar to spaghetti in shape, appearance and texture. They have a good chew to their bite.
How to use: Lo Mein noodles are almost foolproof. They work great in dishes with heavy sauces and chunky ingredients, like stir-fries.
Ramen noodles are Japanese noodles that actually originated in China! They’re like thin spaghetti, but treated with an alkaline solution to help give them their yellowish color and springy, chewy texture.
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How to use: These noodles were made for soups! Cook them separately and add them right before serving. Try them in this Slow Cooker Pork Ramen.
Substitutes: If you can’t find good quality ramen noodles, you can substitute the cheap packets from college. Just throw away the seasoning packet and use noodles! You can also use spaghetti noodles, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the water before adding your pasta (add it slowly, or you’ll create a volcano on your stove).
These Japanese noodles are thick, fatty and chewy with a neutral flavor, making them a great addition to many meals. Don’t overcook them or you’ll lose that great chewy texture.
How to use: These noodles hold up well in heavier sauces and meat broth. Udon noodles are usually served hot and work great in soups and stir-fries. You can also serve them cold. Try them in this recipe for Udon Noodles with Asian Vegetables and Peanut Sauce.
Different Types Of Noodles Explained
These Japanese noodles are a fun type of noodle to try because they have so many different ways to enjoy them. They are made with buckwheat and a small amount of wheat, which gives them a richer, darker color, a nutty flavor, a special earthiness and a great chewy texture.
How to use: These noodles are usually served cold with a sauce on the side to dip in. They can also be added to salads, soups or stir-fries.
Some noodles are similar in size and shape to soba but are made from wheat instead of buckwheat. Because of their differences in flour, some are whiter in color and have a milder taste.
How to use: served cold with dipping sauce. Can be used both in soups based on hot soup and in stir-fries.
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Rice noodles are a great alternative to wheat-based noodles. They come in a variety of thicknesses and textures, but the main thing that sets them apart from other types of noodles is that they have a very neutral taste. They really don’t taste good at all, which makes them a good option to bulk up a recipe without adding any extra flavor to it.
Rice noodles are super delicate. They actually don’t need cooking as much as they need a quick soak in a hot water bath. Put them in a bowl with hot water and leave for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are soft. This can take anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes, depending on the pasta, so check the package instructions. If you are adding them to a stir fry, cook them slightly as they will continue to cook in the pan. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.
These super thin and delicate rice noodles. Longer and thinner than rice sticks. Before cooking, they look very similar to cellophane noodles, however they remain white after cooking where cellophane noodles turn white.
Substitutes: The best substitute is cellophane noodles. You can substitute angel hair paste, but it won’t be right.
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These flat rice noodles originated in China but quickly spread to most Asian cuisines. They are the most common type of rice noodles and come in many thicknesses, textures and lengths. You can find them fresh, frozen or dried. Sometimes they are also called Pad Thai noodles.
How to use: used in soups and chips. Try them in a Thai stir fry with pork and broccolini!
Also called bean threads, these super thin noodles are actually made from starch (the most common is mung bean starch, but it can also be made from sweet potato or potato starch). They are sometimes called glass noodles because they have an almost glass-like transparency when cooked. They are very versatile and have a neutral taste. Before cooking, they can look similar to rice vermicelli, but you can easily tell the difference when cooked, as cellophane noodles become transparent after cooking and rice vermicelli remains white.
How to use: These noodles work well in soups and stir-fries and spring rolls. These delicate noodles absorb the flavor of the foods they are cooked with, so they really act more as a fun vehicle for the flavor than the flavor itself. You can fry them and they will swell and be crispy.
Japchae (korean Sweet Potato Noodles)
Looking for more information about Asian cuisine and how to easily incorporate it into your family’s meal plan? Head over to the Beginner’s Guide to Kid-Friendly Asian Food for all the resources you need! There is something so appetizing about their long, dangling shape and the ability to combine with countless sauces, soups and different ingredients. We are talking about noodles of course! While the Italians own pasta and its various renditions, the vast cuisine of the Asian continent is your source for an endless selection of noodles. Indeed, according to National Geographic, the earliest example of noodles has been discovered in China, dating back 4,000 years. So you could say this goofy dish has a long history as a popular starchy ingredient in people’s diets.
If you’re used to treating noodles as one single category, prepare to be surprised by the vast options available. Different compositions, shapes, lengths and textures make each type of noodle unique and best suited for several purposes. It’s easy to pick up a package of dry noodles and call it dinner, but the craft of pulling the noodles is steeped in tradition and worth discovering.
The variety of techniques and styles included in the vast array of noodle dishes is seemingly endless, and you could do worse than trying to eat your way through this list. If you like your food long, slippery and able to swirl, then you better stock up on the many versions of this delicious food.
Both lo mein and chow mein are made from the same type of wheat flour and egg noodles – the difference lies in the rest of the preparation (via the Taste Atlas).
Ways To Cook Noodles
Quite popular in the take-out game, lo mein, meaning stir-fried noodles, is a popular noodle dish from China’s Guangdong province, according to Taste Atlas. First cook noodles, then mix in sauce and other ingredients. You will find toppings such as cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, meat and seafood. as per
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