This straightforward beginner’s guide to Asian noodle varieties offers an easy way to comprehend the differences between the most popular varieties, how to use each, and how to prepare them.

One of the best foods in the world, noodles are a cheap mainstay of many different cuisines and are available in almost every country. Spaetzle, orzo, pierogi, dumplings, fideos, spaghetti — everyone loves noodles!.

Noodles are the ideal foundation for so many dishes with sauces, they also make great additions to soups, and they are very kid friendly, so it’s not hard to understand why. Read how to teach kids to love international food.

However, Asian noodles can sometimes seem so similar (yet so different), making it difficult to know which to use when.

The information in the following simple breakdown will help you choose the best noodles for your recipe when you visit the grocery store.

Learn everything you need to know about the most common strands

What Are Asian Noodles?

What Are Asian Noodles?

If you’ve ever browsed the noodle section of an Asian grocery store, you know how diverse the selection can be for home cooks who aren’t familiar with the various kinds.

Following a recipe is one thing; just purchase and use the specific type of noodles it calls for. But what if you want to try something new and diversify a little? In that case, you’ll want to learn a little bit more about each kind of noodle.

There are three main categories of Asian noodles: glass or cellophane noodles, wheat noodles, and rice noodles. Discover more about each type below, complete with examples of each that are most popular, useful cooking advice, and recipes.

Each type of noodle can frequently be prepared in a variety of ways, including in broth, stir-fried, deep-fried, and either cold or hot.

What Are Asian Noodles?

The most common grain used to make noodles is wheat, and Asian noodles are no exception to this rule.

Like Italian pasta, Asian wheat noodles are typically made with wheat flour and eggs. However, one significant distinction is that many varieties of Asian egg noodles are made by pulling and stretching the noodles, as opposed to Italian pasta, which is made by rolling and then slicing the dough.

Similar to rolling, this works the dough’s glutens, but the resulting noodles have a different texture and consistency. Asian noodles tend to be more bouncy and springy than their Italian counterparts.

What Are Asian Noodles?

A guide for how to shop for, cook, and use the wide variety of Asian noodles available at large grocery stores and specialty markets.

What Are Asian Noodles?

What Are Asian Noodles?

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  • The world of Asian noodles is vast. You can find aisles of noodles in any Asian market, all with different shapes, lengths, and textures. In Asia, noodles are more than just a dish; they have a 4,000-year history as an integral component of culture. Even the length of the noodles has meaning; they are frequently used as symbols of longevity in celebratory meals.

    It can be confusing for a novice noodle shopper to sort through a grocery’s numerous noodle options. Similar types of noodles can be purchased packaged in both soft and dried form in Southeast Asia, China, and Taiwan. The sheer number of varieties is overwhelming, which is made worse by the lack of a recognized nomenclature, language, or even classification system for noodle varieties. Due to this, it is challenging to distinguish between different types of noodles and make a decision. The following guide will help you recognize some of the most popular noodles found in Asian markets in the US.

    Types of wheat based Asian noodles

    Italian noodles and Asian noodles have some similarities and some differences. Italian noodles are all made with durham wheat. Wheat flour, rice flour, yam flour, or mung bean flour can all be used to make Asian noodles. Italian noodles are made with the same ingredients and cooked in the same manner regardless of their shape, so they typically have the same texture. Because they can be made in so many different ways and cooked in so many different ways, Asian noodles frequently have a variety of textures (some are soft, some have a firm bite, some are chewy, some are springy).

    Most grocery stores carry the following varieties of Asian noodles, so unless you really want to, you shouldn’t need to visit your neighborhood Asian market.

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