Rice noodles, predominantly made from rice flour and water, are a staple in various Asian cuisines. Their versatility is showcased in numerous dishes, ranging from delicate vermicelli to robust, thick noodles. Preparing thin rice noodles is straightforward: simply immerse them in boiling water. For cooking rice noodles, it’s essential to follow package directions, paying attention to portion sizes, especially for those on a low-carb diet.
Thick vermicelli rice noodles can be prepared by boiling before adding oil or water. A versatile sauce, blending ingredients like soy sauce, water, oil, honey, sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, peppers, hoisin, and peanut butter, can elevate any noodle dish. One popular recipe is Singapore chow mei fun, involving stir-fried rice noodles with shrimp and bean sprouts.
Rice noodles also feature in dishes like Thai red curry, where they are mixed with a blend of curry paste, water, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. The noodles’ names vary across Southeast Asia, known as kway teow, kwetiau, or kuetiau. They’re used in a myriad of dishes, like a savory and spicy combination of shrimp, fish sauce, and cilantro, or in a stir-fry with chicken, noodles, and broth.
Whole grain rice noodles offer a healthful alternative, being gluten-free, chemical-free, vegan, and free of artificial colors. They are more delicate than wheat noodles, requiring careful handling. Whether fresh or dried, rice noodles are available in various sizes, each lending itself to specific types of dishes. For instance, thick and chewy rice noodles, like those used in Laksa or Pad Thai, provide a satisfying texture contrast in every bite.