Guide to Asian noodles

Just like Italian pasta, there are many varieties of Asian noodles. Some are long and thin, others short and fat. It's important to understand the ways to cook each if you plan on using them in your cooking. 

Rice stick noodles
With the major trend of Asian noodle soups, many individuals are giving banh pho a try. This delicious Vietnamese soup often uses rice noodles. They can be found dried or fresh and are available in many grocery stores.

Udon noodles
Udon noodles are Japanese. They are white and flat and made with wheat flour. They are sold fresh or dried and work well in soups or with toppings such as peanut sauce.

Hokkien noodles
This type of noodle is Chinese. It is commonly used in stir fry dishes. The noodles come in vacuum-sealed containers or loose. The noodles in the vacuum-sealed version are more likely to break apart and lose their integrity. They can, however, be useful in soups, as you can simply remove all the noodles from the package at once and toss them in broth. If you are making stir fry, however, you may want to seek out the loosely-packaged version so the noodles do not break apart when you remove them from the package.

Hong Kong noodles
If you have ever eaten Cantonese chow mein​, you likely had this type of noodle. They are round and thin, firm and chewy. The noodles are cooked al dente in boiling water and then added to stir fry and pan cooked or finished another way. If you are using these noodles in your culinary academy career, you will want to be careful not to overcook them when in the boiling stage. They can become soggy if overdone. Hokkien noodles are made with wheat flour and egg. When you go to purchase them, be sure to look at the ingredients to see if they were made with food coloring to give them a more yellow hue. Naturally colored noodles are slightly yellow because of the egg.

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