Hello, food fans! Noodles are one of the most popular food items in the world. Let’s talk about one very special subset of noodles: the Asian variety. There are three main types of Asian noodles: wheat, rice, and glass. You can put them in broth, stir-fry them, deep-fry them, or serve them hot or cold. Let’s find out more!
Wheat is the most popular grain used for making noodles, no matter which part of the world you are traveling or talking about. Wheat flour and egg are the two most commonly used ingredients just like pasta from Italy. In fact, Asian and European noodles are cousins. The main difference is that Italian pasta is rolled and sliced but Asian noodles are pulled and stretched, both techniques are used to activate the glutens in the dough. That’s something that rolling does, but there is a different texture involved. Chinese wheat noodles are wildly popular in both their homeland and in Americanized versions such as lo mein and chow mein.
- Ramen noodles: originating from Japan, you might automatically think that they are only available in instant varieties. The fresh varieties are so much tastier, though!
- Udon noodles: Udon noodles also come from Japan. They’re usually paired with broth; fresh udon has a much better texture compared to their dried and frozen cousins.
- Soba noodles: Soba noodles are made from buckwheat as well as wheat. The other main difference is that soba is usually served cold.
Rice noodles are not made from the familiar grains of rice you might expect. Instead, they are made of rice starch and are commonly found throughout the cuisine of Mainland Asia and Southeast Asia. Two examples of rice noodle dishes are Pad Thai from Thailand and pho from Vietnam.
These are also called cellophane noodles. They are made from starches that aren’t rice or wheat. Common variants are mung bean, tapioca starch, and sweet potato starch. They’re very thin, and after they are boiled, they look like glass, which is how they got their name. You need to soak them before you can cook them. Glass noodles tend to take on the flavor of the liquid they are cooked in, so at the very least, you will want to salt the water you cook them in.
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 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, please email us at LottePlaza.com.