It’s pretty common to find noodles in your bowl when ordering an Asian dish. This food makes the perfect accompaniment to many different meals, mainly because there’s such a wide variety of it. You might not have realized it, but there’s more to this ingredient that meets the eye, with some variations naturally standing out far more than others.
Flat rice noodles
If a type of noodle is considered popular, there’s usually a good reason for that. In the case of flat rice noodles, it’s because the taste and feel of it are simply magnificent. It doesn’t take much to make these; you simply grind rice and water together, roll it into a thin sheet, steam it, then cut it out. You can expect to find it in dishes like pad Thai, fried beef ho fun, and char kway teow.
Rice stick noodles
For noodles, it’s not always the taste that matters most. In some cases, the texture and fragrance are what catch people’s attention. That’s certainly how it is with rice stick noodles, a food that’s made with fermented rice to give them a hint of sourness. They’re typically used for soup dishes, although in Vietnam, they usually go great with grilled meat. There’s something about their slippery texture and slight fragrance that make them the perfect accompaniment.
Noodles as a dessert may sound strange to anyone who’s never had sevai. However, those in the know are well aware that this version of rice vermicelli makes for an excellent sweet treat. Made with extra salt and oil, it’s a beloved component in seviyan kheer. This is a milk and sugar pudding that’s commonly found on menus in India and Pakistan, and rightfully so.
Plain wheat noodles
Sometimes simplicity is all that matters. That’s certainly the case with plain wheat noodles, perhaps the most popular variety of this food around the world. Easy to make and best when consumed shortly after production, these noodles help make dishes like cold somen and Janchi-Guksu really pop.
Ramen is something that the Japanese apparently consider soul food, which is perhaps why it’s so commonly associated with the country. Crafted from wheat, wheat water, and lye water, the unique taste of the ramen lies in the aging process. The type of noodles used in a dish typically depends on what it’s combined with to help create the best taste sensation. For instance, thicker ramen works best with richer broths, while thinner ramen tends to elevate lighter broths.
If you’re in Japan and you eat sushi, there’s a good chance you’ll dine on udon noodles either before or after your meal. That’s because these noodles are considered the perfect accompaniment for such food as they warm your stomach. All it takes is some wheat flour, water, and salt to create udon, although stories of where the noodles first originated from is a topic of debate in Japan.
Noodles might rarely be the main event in a dish, but now we know that they’re more than just an afterthought – they’re an essential ingredient.