All noodles are not created equal. Even when it comes to Asian noodles, you will find many differences between them. How much do you really know about noodles? Luckily, we have created this handy guide to understanding Asian noodles. This guide contains information about the different types of noodles you can find offered at grocery stores and supermarkets, especially Asian markets, here in the United States. What sets noodles apart from their Italian cousin, pasta? How can you find a specific variety of Asian noodle? How do you keep them fresh? And perhaps most importantly of all, how in the world do you cook them properly?
How Asian Noodles and Italian Pasta Are Different
You might think that because they look similar, Asian noodles and Italian pasta are all the same. But there are some key differences between them. For instance, Italian pasta must be cooked until it reaches that lovely al dente stage – but there is no one standard for preparing Asian noodles. After all, certain types are softer than others, while others are firmer.
There’s a wide range of possible ingredients, too. Noodles can be made with rice, yams, and even mung beans in addition to the standard wheat. But you should also know that the wheat used in Asian noodles is not the same type of wheat that is used in Italian pasta – so switching one out for the other in a recipe probably won’t work out.
How to Find Them
When you go to look for your favorite Asian noodles, how do you find them? Just remember, Asian markets will usually stock the different types of Asian noodle based on their country of origin. So when in the store, look for the country you want, and you’ll probably find the noodle you need. That said, many types of noodles are used for a variety of dishes, so these noodles might be called something different depending on the country and the type of cuisine.
Keeping Them Fresh
How do you keep your Asian noodles at their freshest? Most of the time, Asian noodles you can get at the store are dry when you buy them. Keeping them cool and dry will keep them fresh, but don’t let them sit too long because they can grow stale too. When you get freshly made noodles, you should leave them in the packages you found them in, and don’t keep them in the refrigerator for longer than a week. If you eat them the same day they’re made, they’ll taste the best, too.
Proper Cooking Methods
Last but not least, how do you cook Asian noodles properly? As with their Italian counterparts, don’t cook the noodles for too long. Even the thickest wheat noodles won’t take any longer than five minutes. But some types of noodles only needed to be reheated to cook properly. When it comes to cooking times, the ingredients matter too. For instance, rice noodles will only need about a minute to finish cooking after you’ve dropped them into some freshly boiling water.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than ten locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to better serve our customers. Open since 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at lotteplaza.com.