The first question most of us might have while exploring all about rice noodles is, what exactly are they? So let’s start by decoding what these delectable noodles are. If you are curious about where these noodles came from, I have another blog post about “The Origin of Rice Noodles: From Ancient Asia to Modern Cuisine”, you must check that out.
What are Rice Noodles?
To begin, Dried Rice Noodles are all made from ground rice and contain no additional seasonings. They are merely extruded or simply cut into different shapes for a variety of purposes.
On the other hand, Fresh Rice noodles have some varieties. They generally contain other starches and often include preservatives to prevent them from being too delicate. These Fresh noodles have extremely low shelf life (around 24hrs in most cases), so they are mostly available in countries where they can be locally produced on a daily basis.
Explore the Different Types of Dried Rice Noodles
Starting with the smallest, we have Rice vermicelli, also known as “Mì Gạo” in Vietnam. These are thin, delicate rice noodles which can be used in a variety of dishes with sauces, soups and salads. Now, there are similar thin noodles from Thai origin which are called “Sen mee”, but these are slightly more thinner than Vietnamese rice noodles and you won’t usually find them in Indian markets because even the Thai Rice Vermicelli in India is of the same thickness as Vietnamese ones.
Moving on, we have the regular sized rice noodles, known as “Bún Gạo” in Vietnam. These are just the perfect bit thinner than your regular maida noodles and are not readily available in the Indian market. We are yet to find a Thai variety of these noodles, but it looks like Thailand might not be very fond of these round type noodles like us Indians.
If you are here reading this blog, you might have most likely tried or at least heard about Pad Thai noodle dishes, these dishes are made from flat type rice noodles, also known as “Pho” in Vietnam and “Sen Pad Thai” in Thailand.
These flat noodles commonly come in 3 different sizes, i.e. 3mm, 5mm and 10mm. However the most popular size is the 5mm, which goes perfectly with stir fry dishes such as Pad Thai. For noodle soups like Pho, 3mm feels more suitable to me but you can switch them up or use any size you want because these noodles go well with almost everything.
The 10mm flat rice noodles mostly serve as a replacement for fresh wide noodles, which are not found here in India because of their 24hr lifespan. This makes them a shelf-stable convenient alternative to fresh noodles.
A little to know about Fresh Noodles
As mentioned earlier, fresh noodles have a shorter lifespan and are therefore not available in Indian markets or any global market for that matter, unless there is someone producing and supplying them locally on a day to day basis.
If you ask why these noodles are highly perishable, it’s simply as the name goes, these noodles are freshly made and ready to use. You can add them directly to your stir fries and soups in the final seconds of cooking.
So there you have it, folks! Rice noodles are a culinary delight with endless possibilities.
Remember, rice noodles are not just a substitute for traditional wheat-based noodles; they bring their own distinct qualities to the table. With our guide to the different types of dried rice noodles, you can now navigate the culinary landscape with confidence. From delicate rice vermicelli to flavorful flat noodles, each type has its own charm and purpose in the world of noodle dishes.
A special thanks to “Hot Thai Kitchen” for always being a source of inspiration and knowledge for Thai rice noodles and authentic recipes. We’ve learned a lot from their knowledge and used it as inspiration for this blog post. Check out their incredible content for a deeper dive into the world of Thai cuisine!
Keep exploring the world of rice noodles with us and discover new flavors and recipes. Please leave a comment below if you have any queries or would like to share your own noodle experiences. We’re here to make your culinary adventure even more delicious and enjoyable. Stay tuned for more tasty updates and delicious recipes!