Rice noodles are a type of pasta made from rice flour and water. They originated during the Qin dynasty and have been consumed for more than 2,000 years in China. Today, rice noodles are popular in many Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese, and can be used in a variety of dishes such as stir-fries, soups, and salads.
Rice noodles are typically thin and translucent, and are available in various shapes and sizes. They are also gluten-free, making them a suitable option for people with gluten intolerance. Here are five different ways to cook with rice noodles.
Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup that consists of a clear broth, rice noodles, and various cuts of beef (or chicken). The broth is made by simmering beef bones, spices, and aromatic herbs for hours, creating a rich and flavorful base. The cooked noodles and beef are then placed in a bowl and the hot broth is poured over the top. The soup is typically served with a plate of fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and chili peppers, which are added to the bowl according to individual taste.
Pho is a popular street food staple of Vietnamese cuisine and is considered the national dish of Vietnam. The name pho might have French origins due to the colonization of Vietnam in the late 19th century. Feu means fire in French, and pot au feu is the name of a warming beef stew in French cuisine. The alikeness of pho and feu shows that this rice noodle dish was likely directly inspired by the French.
Pad Thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish that originated in Thailand and is now a popular classic throughout the world. It typically consists of rice noodles and a mix of ingredients such as tofu, shrimp, peanuts, eggs, and bean sprouts, along with a sauce made with tamarind paste, fish sauce, sugar, and chili peppers. The dish is typically garnished with lime wedges, coriander, and crushed peanuts.
Pad Thai is known for its balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors, and is quick and easy to make. There are many delicious variations of this dish; try this easy chicken and prawn pad thai recipe to get started.
Noodle salads consist of cooked rice noodles mixed with a variety of ingredients, including vegetables, herbs, meats, and a dressing. It can be served cold or at room temperature and is a popular dish in many Asian cuisines, including Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese. Noodle salads can be a light and refreshing dish, perfect for a summer day, or a filling and hearty meal, depending on the ingredients used.
Spring rolls are a type of Asian snack or appetizers that typically consist of a thin wrapper filled with a mixture of meat, vegetables, and sometimes rice noodles. The filling ingredients are typically chopped and stir-fried, then wrapped in a spring roll wrapper and deep fried until crispy. Crunchy spring rolls can be enjoyed with a variety of dipping sauces.
Rice noodles have a sweet nutty flavor that pairs well with many different dishes. While the above are all savory dishes, rice noodles can also be the main ingredient in sweet desserts like vermicelli pudding and mango pudding. However you choose to experiment with this versatile ingredient, rice noodles are a great low calorie ingredient to work into your meal rotation.