Refreshing Rice Noodles

By / Food / August 12th, 2011 / 3

Rice noodles have become my new favourite food. They’re light, versatile and taste great. I’ve used the wide rice noodles to make Vietnamese vegetable rolls, but I prefer long, thin vermicelli over all the other cuts. I love how they sound when a fork is run through them. Sometimes it’s suggested on packages of rice noodles that any sauce can be used. I have to disagree. I’m not a fan of rice noodles of any kind covered in tomato sauce. But, any light, flavourful sauce stirred into them is magic. My quick, go-to trick is to cook them in chicken broth. They take on that wonderful, satisfying flavour, and then I can add stir-fried vegetables, meat or shrimp to the noodles — or just enjoy them as is. The broth isn’t wasted, either. I pour it through a piece of cheesecloth and freeze it so it’s ready for another use.

Package directions vary, so pay careful attention to them. I’ve found one method that seems to work with all of the brands I’ve tried.

1. Bring water or broth to a boil.
2. Turn off heat; add noodles. Stir gently with a fork, ensuring that all noodles are submersed in the liquid.
3. After two minutes, noodles should be al dente. Leave them longer if you prefer softer textured noodles.

Eat them like that, or toss them into a wok and stir-fry. Eat them hot or cold, as part of an elaborate dinner or at a picnic. See what I mean? They’re perfect.

Rice vermicelli are typically made from a mixture of rice flour and water. So, it makes a perfect meal for those on gluten-free diets.Finding a recipe you like is pretty easy. Here’s one that will keep you cool on those hot, summer days.

Chilled Lemon Vermicelli
Serves 2

6 oz rice vermicelli
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar (optional)

Bring 4 litres of water to a boil. Add noodles; cook, uncovered, until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse noodles until cool. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients. When noodles are cool, pour dressing over them. Cover, chill then serve.

Enjoy with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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