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How to Cook Rice Noodles - 5 Tips That Work!

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How do we get rice noodles to not stick together while cooking? How to avoid “gummy starchy rice noodles”? How to cook rice noodles properly? If you’re new to asian cuisine and haven’t experimented with rice noodles before, here are 5 basic things you need to know.

Recently, I've been into cooking rice noodle recipes. I've been obsessed with their delicate texture and their flavourful taste. Most times I'll say the whole cooking process is a bit tricky at first but it isn't that hard. It's definitely worth it! 

Rice noodles as I mentioned are quite nutritious having only 0.15 grams of healthy unsaturated fat, and 96 calories per half a cup -- lower calories compared to typical noodles or pasta. Their delicate texture makes cooking them faster. What's more! They make a tasty base for lots of recipes or ingredients. You can use them in soups, and in any asian cuisine you love like Thai pads, spring rolls or any Vietnamese dishes and more. 

Cooking with Rice Noodles - Tips and Tricks

#1 Boiling rice noodles is a no-no! 

I kept on mentioning this but rice noodles are more delicate so don't boil them same with what you would do with typical noodles or pasta. Through boiling, you're gonna overcook the rice noodles and overcooking will make them starchy, gummy or mushy. To avoid this, it's recommended you just soak the rice noodles in a room temperature water for minutes.

On the other hand, when cooking rice noodles for soup. It's recommended you cook the noodles directly in the broth. That way, we can let the flavor of the broth to be fully absorbed by the rice noodles while not overcooking the noodles.

#2 Loosen the noodles

While soaked in the water, get a fork to break up and untangle the noodles or stir the noodles every one minute or two to keep them from sticking together. Soak the noodles until tender. How long this process will take depends on the noodles’ thickness. This process will be faster if you’re going to use vermicelli noodles. For flat noodles, it’s going to take you at least 10 minutes to cook it through.

#3 Rinse rice noodles with cold water and add in sesame oil

After soaking the noodles and once they are tender, it’s recommended to rinse them with cold water. A TIP - it’s quite helpful if you toss them with a bit of sesame oil to keep the noodles from sticking together, especially if you’re not going to use them right away.

#4 Stirring trick when cooking rice noodles in a wok for stir frying

You don’t want to turn your dish into a mushy rice noodle ball, all stuck together while stir-frying so be sure to spread them evenly and separated in the wok. Here’s a stirring trick - Take two spatulas and lift the noodles up as you stir instead of just stirring them in normal motion; turning the noodles into a ball. It will also help if you add in oil.

#5 Quickly cook the rice noodles over high heat 

This is quite surprising but cooking the rice noodles quickly over high heat is ideal, and the higher the heat the better! To do this, just soak your noodles in the sauce, turn the heat, let the noodles get a bit of that smoky flavour and remove them quickly. Once done, taste one to see if you got the flavour you’re looking for.