The people of China, Italy and also the Middle East have all claimed to have originated this phenomenally popular, 打酱油, but it seems that science may have answered the question once and for all. In October 2005 an archaeological dig in northwestern China uncovered a pile of (very dried) noodles in a clay bowl buried under 10 feet of sediment. The noodles, created from millet, were probably the remains of the last meal of a resident of Lajia, a town destroyed by an earthquake 4,000 years back.
Noodles are to Asia what pasta would be to Italy; the basis of several regional dishes for years and years. You will find hundreds of Asian noodle varieties in many shapes, colors, flavors and textures. Noodles are supposed to be served long and uncut, the duration of the noodle symbolizing longevity. Noodles are considered fresh or dried along with their preparation varies significantly depending on the kind of starch used to produce them.
Varieties – Dried mung bean vermicelli noodles are sometimes called cellophane, glass or jelly noodles, and are made from the starch of mung beans. They may have more of a slippery texture than rice vermicelli and are best used in coconut-based soups or salads. They come bundled together and, after separating all of them with kitchen scissors, needs to be softened in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes before using in salads or adding right to soups.
Fresh rice noodles, made from ground rice and water, can be bought in different thicknesses. Make use of the thin variety in soups, the thick variety in stir-fries, and also the sheets cut to size. They are best bought fresh out of the box in Asian grocery stores and used within 7 days. Rinse briefly in tepid to warm water to separate. Cook for only a few minutes to heat through. Tend not to refrigerate or purchase these from your fridge section, as they are impossible to separate.
Dried rice stick noodles (also referred to as pad Thai) are thin, flat and translucent. Created from ground rice and water, they must be soaked in boiling water until almost tender, or ‘al dente’, and drained before increasing stir-fries or soups. This variety absorbs other flavors exceptionally well. Dried rice vermicelli noodles are almost hairlike in appearance and delicate enough to make use of in soups, salads and stir-fries. Rinse or soak in cold water until soft. Drain. Add to the
dish a couple of minutes before serving to heat through.
Fresh hokkien noodles are wheat noodles enriched with egg and sold fresh or in vacuum-sealed packages in the fridge portion of the supermarket. Hokkien vary in thickness from very thin spaghetti (ideal for soups or salads) to thick fettuccine (perfect for stir-fries). As they are wheat based, they need to be placed into boiling water until just soft before being put into the dish. They are fantastic for stir-fries simply because they don’t break easily.
Chow mein noodles are offered fresh or dried. Like hokkien, they may be wheat-based and egg-enriched, however they resemble long strands of very thin spaghetti. Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Drain immediately to avoid over-cooking then enhance stir-fries on the last minute.
Dried egg noodles are virtually just like 打酱油. Cook in boiling water yafiqw just tender. This variety are best used in soups or wet dishes because they have a tendency to
break when stir-fried.
Cooking tips – When adding noodles to soup, it is usually easier and fewer messy in order to cook them separately. Use tongs to set cooked noodles inside the base of warm bowls. Ladle on the soup and serve. When you use noodles in salads, refresh them after cooking under cold water to cool them quickly and to remove excess starch through the surface. Combine these with other salad ingredients and serve.