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SamIAm's avatar

What do you know about rice noodles (best/favorite way to cook, recipes, tips, etc...)

Asked by SamIAm (8630 points ) March 20th, 2011

I love rice noodles! My local Chinese restaurant makes a kind of Lomein but with rice noodles (it’s much lighter than regular Lomein) and veggies. I would love to duplicate this but don’t know how.

Would love any recipes, tips, tricks, or methods on how to cook them so they’re delicious!

I don’t eat anything from the ocean, so feel free to share those recipes but if you know of ways around using fish or clam based oils/sauces, that would be awesome :)

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19 Answers

creative1's avatar

Below is a recipe you can make with chicken tofu or I have also used shrimp. The big trick is soaking the noodles and not cooking them as in the recipe.

Thai Fried Rice Noodles with Chicken or Tofu
8 oz. very thin dried rice noodles (“vermicelli” OR “vermicelli rice stick”)
1 to 1.5 cup fresh chicken pieces/strips for stir-frying, OR equivalent of cubed tofu
2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp. soy sauce (marinade for chicken or tofu)
3 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, sliced thinly or cut into matchstick-like pieces
1 cup or more fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2–3 cups fresh bean sprouts
½ cup chicken stock (or simulated chicken stock for vegetarians)
handful of fresh coriander
wedges of lime for garnish, and Thai Chili Sauce served on the side
2½ Tbsp. oil
STIR-FRY SAUCE:
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (or wheat-free soy sauce)
1 tsp. dark soy sauce (gluten-free diets substitute 1 Tbsp. wheat-free soy sauce)
1 Tbsp. fish sauce (vegetarians substitute 1.5 Tbsp. soy sauce)
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. lime juice
¼ cup chicken stock (or simulated chicken stock)
1–2 tsp. chili sauce, OR ½ to ¾ tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)
Preparation:
Marinate the chicken or tofu by pouring the cornstarch/soy sauce mixture over and stirring well. Set aside.
Soak rice noodles in a pot of hot water for 5–12 minutes, or just until noodles are soft enough to eat, but still firm and a little bit ‘crunchy’ (they will finish cooking later, so try not to over-soften them now). Drain and briefly rinse noodles with cold water to keep them from sticking. Set aside.
Combine all stir-fry sauce ingredients, mixing them together in a cup. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add the garlic, ginger, chicken or tofu (together with the marinade), mushrooms, and a few tablespoons of stock. Stir-fry 5 minutes, or until chicken or mushrooms are cooked. When pan becomes dry, add a little more chicken stock, 1–2 Tbsp. at a time – enough to keep the ingredients sizzling.
Add the red pepper. Stir-fry another 1–2 minutes. The red pepper should still retain some of its crispness. Now add the noodles plus the stir-fry sauce. Using two utensils, lift and turn the noodles or use a tossing motion, like tossing a salad. Stir-fry in this way until the sauce is well distributed throughout the noodles (1–2 minutes).
Finally, add the bean sprouts, continuing to stir-fry another minute. Remove from heat and taste-test for salt/flavor, adding 1 Tbsp. more fish sauce or soy sauce if not salty enough. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice.
To serve, lift noodles out of the wok or frying pan and mound on a serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and garnish with wedges of fresh-cut limes. For those who like it spicy, serve with Thai Chili Sauce on the side, and ENJOY!

SamIAm's avatar

@creative1: funny – I was JUST looking at that one online. Thanks!

creative1's avatar

I have actually used it and once you have made the noodles you can substitute them in other recipes. I love them and use them all the time.

The_Idler's avatar

I eat them every day.
I fell in love with Pho Bo, when I was in Vietnam.

My staple meal, which I have eaten almost every day since starting university this year, consists of the following.

all in a wok:

Fry a few bits of chopped onion and a some slices of serrano pepper in olive oil with ground black pepper, until onions caramelised.

add water to suit size of meal (I generally use about 0.75–1.0L)

Add half a stock cube, a small amount of fennel seed, some more finely chopped onion, soy sauce, a couple of drops of lemon juice, and little ground ginger, and perhaps a small amount of gravy granules, chinese 5 spice (cant remember whats in it) and/or chilli powder. (I use all of the above)

let simmer for a couple of mins, mixing.

add noodles, after a min, add some basil or other chopped herb. I like a tiny bit of fresh mint.

bring to a boil

when noodles are done (3–8 mins, depending on the noodles, be careful), bring off the heat, and quickly add larger bits of onion, beansprouts, chopped pak choi, and sliced raw rump steak.

Mix and pour into a bowl. The steak will gently cook in the heat of the soup

Obviously you can chop and change anything in there to suit, and the quantities to taste.

Good with thin rice noodles or flat (I use either depending on my mood)

I also occasionally do a similar thing, but all as a stir fry, which is also delicious.

SamIAm's avatar

@The_Idler: do you soak the rice noodles first??

The_Idler's avatar

only if I’m going to fry them

and in that case I actually just boil them very briefly (water from the kettle, into the wok) and then drain off the water, and add oil.

SamIAm's avatar

@The_Idler: so if you’re putting them in soup, for example, you don’t soak them first?

The_Idler's avatar

no, that would turn them into a squidgy mass….

They cook from raw, in boiling water, in maybe 4 or 5 minutes

The_Idler's avatar

Though it depends where I get them, some take a bit longer.

But you definitely never soak them before making soup.

gailcalled's avatar

I had some for lunch today because I was hungry and in a hurry. I brought two quarts of cold water to a boil, threw in the rice noodles and simmered for 5 minutes. Drained and poured some organic tomato, basil and garlic sauce over the noodles.. Then grated a nub of authentic Parmesan cheese on top. Fresh basil would have been nice.

crisw's avatar

I love thin rice noodles with salad in rice paper rolls or in a vermicelli bowl with salad veggies and egg rolls, or stir-fried with curry powder. The thicker noodles are great with black bean sauce!

Aster's avatar

I have ramen often but have rarely had rice noodles because they cook too fast. All I do, since I’m always in a hurry to get out of the kitchen, is after boiling water I add a handful of shredded broccoli/cabbage (bought in a little bag). I boil them together, drain, then add fish sauce (which I’m not crazy about) and some ginger flavored teryijaki sauce. slurp.
If I wanted to take more time, I’d saute some sliced mushrooms in butter first in a little frypan and add those after draining.

incendiary_dan's avatar

If you want to make pho, the best way is to make your own stock out of beef bones and oxtail. You can usually find those in markets, at least the beef marrow bones. I actually like to make the stock out of deer bones, but unless you hunt or know a hunter, that’s unlikely a possibility. Chicken or turkey bones are good for the stock too, though obviously difference. Simmer/stock pot for hours. Then add cinnamon bark, star anise, ginger, and a bit of sugar (I prefer palm sugar) for the last few minutes of simmering, after which you remove the herb bits. Throw in your noodles for a bit so they absorb the broth, maybe throw in some thinly sliced brisket (traditionally the beef is cut super thin and left raw, then the boiling broth is poured over it to cook it), some combination of bean sprouts, cilantro, basil leaves, and pepper rings, and serve with sriracha sauce and plum sauce.

Kardamom's avatar

Here’s a link to a quick primer on how to properly cook rice noodles for various dishes.

Here’s a recipe for a vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup with rice noodles. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds delicious.

Here’s a vegetable lo mein recipe using rice noodles that might work.

And something similar called Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables

Let me know if you end up making any of these, because I haven’t tried them yet.

The_Idler's avatar

@incendiary_dan Yeah, doing it the proper way is great, I couldn’t do it every day, but I would definitely recommend anyone to try it. basically because its the favourite dish of my life so far…

SamIAm's avatar

Update: totally messed up the veggies BUT successfully cooked the rice noodles! I soaked them for 10–15 minutes then put them in a little toasted sesame oil in a pan and let them cook for a few minutes. Added soy sauce, red pepper flakes, ponzu sauce, and a little rice vinegar. And the veggies. Stirred frequently and I’m obsessed. Thanks for all the advice guys :)

Kardamom's avatar

@SamIAm Now I’m hungry again! What happened to the veggies?

SamIAm's avatar

Overcooked :(

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