There are a lot of different options when it comes to cooking Asian noodles – rice noodles, wheat noodles, egg noodles, glass noodles just to name a few! Here’s what they are and how to cook them.
Rice noodles are made with rice flour and can be somewhat transparent and chewy or soft depending on how long you cook it (as is with a lot of noodles). They are usually gluten free, so if you are looking for a gluten free noodle option, check the ingredients to confirm.
There are different types of rice noodles depending on their shape – some are thin and skinny, some are thick and flat, and some of them are made in to sheets to wrap things in.
If you are going to use rice noodles, you will need to presoak them in water before you cook with them. Other noodles usually require boiling them first, but if you do that with rice noodles they will become too mushy.
Some noodle dishes that use rice noodles include:
This is your most basic noodles made with wheat, and it’s the most common of Asian noodles. Wheat noodles can also have different shapes and sizes.
I usually already have DragonMall Wu-Mu – Dry Noodle at my house because I also use it for noodle soups, so this is what I’m cooking with today.
Here are some dishes that use Wheat noodles:
Egg noodles are made with wheat flour and eggs. For the most part you can use them interchangeably with wheat noodle recipes.
There is a slight different in texture where the egg noodles are a little more firm and chewy than regular wheat noodles made without eggs.
As for flavor, egg noodles tend to have a slightly richer and savory taste, but in my opinion that depends on the brand.
Here are some recipes that use egg noodles:
Glass noodles are also known as cellophane noodles. It’s a transparent clear noodle that is made from starch – this can be mung bean, potato, sweet potato, or tapioca, which makes it naturally gluten free.
They are sold as dried noodles, and has to be soaked in water and softened prior to cooking. Once softened, you can cook them in soups, stir fries, spring rolls or more! We always include it as an ingredient in our hot pot!
When you purchase them, they are usually in pack of 8 bundles (example on amazon). I use one bundle to make this dish.
Recipes that use glass noodles:
Buckwheat noodles, aka soba noodles, are made with, you guessed it, buckwheat. Buckwheat noodles are eaten in Japan, Korean, China, and more Asian countries. There is also an Italian buckwheat noodle/paste called Pizzoccheri.
These noodles are thin, and usually darker in color than other wheat noodles. It may have a slight nutty and earthy flavor.
Recipes that use Buckwheat Noodles:
Shirataki noodles are translucent Japanese noodles that are made from konjac plant. These noodles are perfect for people that are allergic to wheat, gluten or eggs!
Shirataki noodles are high in fiber and low in calories too, which makes them a pretty healthy option for noodles.
Kelp noodles are made from, you guessed it, kelp. They are semi transparent, and have a crunchy texture. They’re pretty low in calories and can be eaten raw (in salads, or cooked.
Instant noodles, which in Western countries are referred to as Ramen, is actually very different than traditional ramen in terms of quality. You can still get it in different forms of Asian noodles (udon, ramen, glass noodles, etc.).
I wanted to add them to list in case you are referring to this post to cook some noodles at home because if you can’t find any of the noodles I mentioned above you can use instant noodles from the package, and discard the flavor packets in many recipes.
Asian Noodle Soups
I also have an entire round up of Asian Noodle Soup Recipes! If you’re interested in checking it out, here it is: