Noodles that are made from rice
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A rice noodle dish in a pan
Rice noodles, or simply rice noodle, are noodles made with rice flour and water as the principal ingredients. Sometimes ingredients such as tapioca or corn starch are added in order to improve the transparency or increase the gelatinous and chewy texture of the noodles. Rice noodles are most common in the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia. They are available fresh, frozen, or dried, in various shapes, thicknesses and textures. Fresh noodles are also highly perishable; their shelf life may be just several days.
The origin of rice noodles dates back to China during the Qin dynasty when people from northern China invaded the south. Due to climatic conditions, the northern Chinese have traditionally preferred wheat and millet which grew in cold weather while the southern Chinese preferred rice which grew in hot weather. Noodles are traditionally made out of wheat and eaten throughout northern China so to adapt, northern cooks tried to prepare "noodles" using rice, thus inventing rice noodles. Over time rice noodles and their processing methods have been introduced around the world, becoming especially popular in Southeast Asia. In India, idi-appam, strings of cooked rice, was known in ancient Tamil country around 1st century AD, as per references in the Sangam literature, according to food historian K. T. Achaya.
The shelf life may be extended by drying and removing its moisture content. Studies of drying rice noodles were conducted by the International Food Research Journal.
Round thick varieties
- Bánh canh — thick Vietnamese noodles. The Vietnamese word bánh refers to items such as noodles or cakes that are made from flour, and canh means "soup."
- Lai fun — a short and thick variety of Chinese noodles, also referred to as bánh canh by Vietnamese
- Nan gyi — large thick round rice noodles used in Burma
- Nan lat — medium thick round rice noodles used in Burma
- Silver needle noodles — a variety of Chinese noodles. It is short, about 5 cm long and 5 mm in diameter. Similar to Lai Fun but has a tapering end resembling a rat's tail. More commonly known as silver needle noodle in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and rat noodle or "mouse tail noodles" in Malaysia and Singapore and Locupan in Indonesia. They are also known as pin noodles. In Thailand they are known as Giam Ee noodles.
Flat thick varieties
- Bánh phở — thick dried rice noodle used in popular Vietnamese beef noodle soups. Phở uses a common Chinese Rice noodle called "Ho Fun"
- Shahe fen/chao fen/chow fun — wide chinese noodles. Also known as shahe fen / he fen (Mandarin), ho fun, hofoen, hor fun, sar hor fun, etc (Cantonese), kway teow, (literally "ricecake strips" in Minnan Chinese) or Sen Yai
- Migan — type of rice noodle from the Dai people, a Tai cultural group from Yunnan Province, China. It is made from ordinary non-glutinous rice. It is primarily defined by its relatively broad and flat shape
- Juanfen — similar to Migan
- Sen lek — narrow flat rice noodle in Thailand Used in such dishes as pad thai, Sukhothai rice noodles and in noodle soups. Its full name would be kuaitiao sen lek
- Nan byar — flat rice noodles used in Burma byar/pyar means flat.
- San see — sticky flat rice noodles from Shan State of Burma
- Guay jub / kuay jab / kuai chap — Thai rolled rice chips or rice flake sheets
- Khanom chin — fresh, thin rice noodles in Thai cuisine which are made from rice sometimes fermented for three days, boiled, and then made into noodles by extruding the resulting dough through a sieve into boiling water. Burmese mont bat (မုန့်ဖတ်) or mont di (မုန့်တီ), are similar to this.
- Rice vermicelli — thin strips, sometimes referred to as rice sticks. Also known as bí-hún, bīfun, bíjon or bihon, bee hoon, bihun, num banh chok, bún, mee hoon, Sevai and Sen Mee
- Mixian — a type of rice noodle from the Yunnan Province, China, made from ordinary non-glutinous rice. In many areas there are at least two distinct thicknesses produced, a thinner form (roughly 1.5 mm or 0.059 inches in diameter) and a thicker form (roughly 3.5–4 mm or 0.14–0.16 inches in diameter).
Pasta made from brown rice flour is also available (in health food stores in Western nations) as an alternative to wheat flour-based noodles for individuals who react poorly to gluten.
Dishes made from rice noodles
Closeup of pad thai, a Thai dish made from rice noodles
Curry rice noodles served at a hotel in Kajang, Malaysia. The curry noodles contain fish balls, red chillies, mung bean sprouts, tofu, star anise, and cloves.
- Baik kut kyee kaik
- Kat kyi kaik
- Kyar san kyaw — ‘Kyar zan’/‘Kyar san’ means ’thin noodles’ in Burmese, and ’kyaw’ means fried. It is made with thin rice noodles, vermicelli and various vegetables, chicken, pork and seafood.
- Kyay oh
- Mont di
- Nan gyi thohk
- Nanbyagyi thoke
- Rakhine kyarzan thoke
- Shan khauk swè (similar to Yunnan mi xian) — a "soup version" of meeshay without gel, and fish sauce instead of soy sauce, with flat or round noodles, where the soup is part of the dish itself, rather than as consommé. Also known as Khaut sew or Shan style noodles, these are, thin noodles served with a peppery soup topped with either chicken or pork and pickled vegetables.
South Indian / Sri Lankan
- Bánh canh – Vietnamese soup with thick rice noodles
- Bánh cuốn – sheet of rice flour filled with spiced minced pork and mushroom
- Bánh hỏi
- Bún chả
- Bún bò Huế – rice vermicelli in soup with beef, lemon grass and other ingredients
- Bún kèn Bún kèn is a rich, fishy, crunchy, sweet and sour concoction that makes use of Phu Quoc island’s abundant seafood and tropical fruit. The fish-based broth also contains coconut milk and lemongrass, giving it a thicker consistency, an amber colour, and a distinctive tang.
- Bún mắm
- Bún ốc
- Bún riêu – rice vermicelli in soup with crab meat
- Bún thịt nướng
- Bún quậy – A seafood noodle soup native to Phu Quoc Island but with roots in the central coastal region of the mainland, bún quậy literally means ‘stirring noodles’.
- Cao lầu
- Gỏi cuốn / Summer roll
- Hủ tiếu – A version of kuay teow that became popular in the 1960s in Southern Vietnam, especially in Saigon. There are different types of noodles for Hu Tieu, such as soft rice noodles, egg noodles, or chewy tapioca noodles.
- Mì Quảng