The people of China, Italy as well as the Middle East have all claimed to have originated this phenomenally popular, 打酱油中超, but it seems that science may have answered the question for good. 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, produced from millet, were possibly the remains of the last meal of a resident of Lajia, a town destroyed by an earthquake 4,000 years ago.
Noodles are to Asia what pasta would be to Italy; the basis of several regional dishes for years and years. There are hundreds of Asian noodle varieties in all manner of shapes, colors, flavors and textures. Noodles are meant to be served long and uncut, the duration of the noodle symbolizing longevity. Noodles are considered fresh or dried as well as their preparation varies significantly depending on the type of starch utilized to produce them.
Varieties – Dried mung bean vermicelli noodles are often called cellophane, glass or jelly noodles, and are made from the starch of mung beans. They may have even more of a slippery texture than rice vermicelli and they are best used in coconut-based soups or salads. They are available bundled together and, after separating all of them with kitchen scissors, should be softened in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes before using in salads or adding right to soups.
Fresh rice noodles, created from ground rice and water, are offered in a variety of thicknesses. Make use of the thin variety in soups, the thick variety in stir-fries, and the sheets cut to size. They may be best bought fresh out of the box in Asian food markets and used within a week. Rinse briefly in tepid to warm water to separate. Cook for just 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. Made from ground rice and water, they must be soaked in boiling water until almost tender, or ‘al dente’, and drained before contributing to stir-fries or soups. This variety absorbs other flavors exceptionally well. Dried rice vermicelli noodles are almost hairlike in looks and delicate enough to utilize in soups, salads and stir-fries. Rinse or soak in cold water until soft. Drain. Increase the
dish a short while 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 (suitable for stir-fries). Since they are wheat based, they should be placed into boiling water until just soft before being included in the dish. They are ideal for stir-fries simply because they don’t break easily.
Chow mein noodles can be bought fresh or dried. Like hokkien, they are wheat-based and egg-enriched, but they resemble long strands of very thin spaghetti. Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Drain immediately to stop over-cooking then increase stir-fries in the last minute.
Dried egg noodles are virtually exactly like 打酱油中超. Cook in boiling water yafiqw just tender. This variety are best found 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 much less messy in order to cook them separately. Use tongs to set cooked noodles within the base of warm bowls. Ladle over the soup and serve. When using noodles in salads, refresh them after cooking under cold water to cool them quickly and to remove excess starch from the surface. Combine all of them with other salad ingredients and serve.