The Asian noodle is an ancient food. In 2002, archaeologists found some well-preserved noodles in an earthenware pot along China’s Yellow River. How old were these Asian noodles? They figured about 4,000 years. Wow.
So noodles have been integral in Asian cooking for a long, long time. And while none of us are cooking with 4,000-year-old noodles, we do have a variety of Asian noodles available at general grocery stores and Asian food markets. But which noodle is the best for your dish? Here’s an Asian noodle primer to help you out:
Egg noodles. These Chinese noodles are made of wheat and eggs. They are used most commonly in lo mein and chow mein. Egg noodles are also used in soups and other dishes and can be found in various shapes, both dried and fresh.
Soba noodles. Soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat and that’s the type of flour these noodles are made from. Soba have an earthy, nutty taste and are dark in color, compared to wheat noodles. They can eaten hot in soups, or cold in salads dressed most commonly with a peanut sauce.
Cellophane noodles. Sometimes called bean threads or glass noodles, these noodles don’t require cooking but just a soak in warm water to make them soft. When ready to eat, they become translucent. They are often used in soups and in fresh Vietnamese springrolls. Cellophane noodles are made from starch from yams, potatoes, cassavas or mung beans.
Udon noodles. Udon is a thick Japanee noodle made from wheat flour. It is chewy and usually better when you can find it fresh rather than dry. Udon is mildly flavored and a lot about the texture. It’s good in soups and stir-fries.
Rice noodles. These noodles are used most often in Vietnamese and Thai dishes. They are made from rice flour, and are flat when cooked. Use them in the brothy Vietnamese dish called Pho, and in restaurant favorite Pad Thai.
Ramen noodles. You know the name from the packages of dried noodles with flavoring packets. You might have even existed on this inexpensive food in college. But ramen is a type of noodle made of wheat. This noodle is thin and long, and just a bit chewy when cooked. What distinguishes ramen from other Asian noodles is that it is made with “kansui,” an alkaline mineral water. The kansui doesn’t affect flavor but contributes to the noodle’s firmness.
This week, the Sunday Supper tastemakers cooked with a variety of Asian noodles and other ingredients for our celebration of Far East cuisine. They’ve developed appetizers and main dishes, and a few surprises along way. Cosmopolitan Cornbread made Beef Lo Mein and soba noodles are featured in a salad from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner. Want to make your own ramen mixture? Check out Miso Ramen from the Crumby Cupcake.
Join us tonight at 7 p.m. ET for our Twitter chat, this week focused on Asian cuisine. Amy from kimchi Mom leads the discussion, lending her expertise about Asian cooking. Her expertise is Korean cooking but her knowledge about Asian ingredients is broad. Tonight’s chat will be a combination cooking lesson and good time.
Here are this week’s recipes. We know they will inspire you to try something new.
- Baked Turkey Lumpia – Filipino Eggroll by Food Done Light
- Crab Ragoon by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Fried Rice by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Homemade Sushi by The Freshman Cook
- Mango Pudding by Brunch with Joy
- Shrimp Rangoon Egg Rolls with Honey-Soy Dipping Sauce by The Weekend Gourmet
- Thai Style Sliders by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Venison Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Asam Laksa by Caroline’s Cooking
- Bacon Miso Ramen by The Crumby Cupcake
- Bok Choy Gai See Tong (Bok Choy and Shredded Chicken Soup) by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pork Prawn Wonton Soup by Food Lust People Love
- Asian Beef and Green Bean Stir-Fry by Family Foodie
- Banh Mi Hot Dog by Life Tastes Good
- Beef Lo Mein by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Cheese Korokke by Manu’s Menu
- Chicken Zoodle “Lo Mein” by Casa de Crews
- Easy Chow Mein by Momma’s Meals
- Ginger-Citrus Grilled Salmon by Palatable Pastime
- Grilled Pork Báhn Mì by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Grilled Tandoori Chicken by Cooking Chat
- Hoisin Burgers with Peanut Slaw by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Ojingeo Bokkeum (Korean Spicy Stir-fried Squid) by kimchi MOM
- Oven Simmered Asian BBQ Chicken by What Smells So Good?
- Pad Thai by Curious Cuisiniere
- Seven Flavor Precious Chicken by Nosh My Way
- Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry by Panning The Globe
- Thai Chicken by Feeding Big
- Vietnamese Flank Steak by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
On the Lighter Side
- Copy Cat: CPK Thai Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Crispy Asian Noodle Salad by Ruffles & Truffles
- Nam Sod (Thai Pork Salad) by Magnolia Days
- Soba Noodle Salad by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Best Wines To Pair with Asian Cuisine by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Oodles of Noodles
- Asian Noodle Types and 34 Best Asian Recipes by SundaySupper
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Janet K. Keeler
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