Foods A-Z: Noodles

One of Asia’s most essential traditional cuisines is noodles. Unleavened wheat dough is often used to make noodles. It’s then stretched, extruded, rolled, and finally cut into various forms to serve as food. About 30% to 40% of the wheat harvested in Asia is used for noodles. And the popularity of the dish has spread beyond the region’s borders. 

Fresh raw, frozen, dried, parboiled, and steamed are all the different forms in which you could find a pack of noodles. Noodles are a symbol of good health and longevity in Asian cultures. However, the most important considerations are the dish’s flavor and texture when it comes to noodle dishes. Spongy wheat noodles are the greatest, and there are numerous methods for getting them that way.

What Are the Culinary Uses of Noodles?

Cooked egg and wheat noodles are prevalent throughout Europe and Asia. They are differentiated from pasta by their long, ribbon-like shape. Adding noodles to broth soups is a frequent practice. Cooked in broth, sauce, or a casserole, they go well with various proteins and vegetables.

There are numerous ways to prepare noodles, and they’re all equally simple. Noodles have a way of finding their way into the bowls of people around the globe. That’s because they’re considered essential comfort food.

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What Are the Different Varieties of Noodles?

Many Asian specialty dishes are made using noodles, which come in various shapes, colors, and textures. About eight primary noodles are available, ranging from round to flat and even threaded. You can choose from several options in the market.

Choosing a suitable variety of noodles for your dish can be complicated. So, we’ve put together a list of the most common types. They are:

Ramen Noodles: The long and wavy ramen noodles originated in Japan. They’re prepared using egg and wheat and dried to form a brick-like shape. Until you’re ready to eat them, ramen noodles should be kept in the fridge. Furthermore, they should be consumed right after being boiled. Soups are a common place to find them, but they can also be used in stir-fries and other dishes.

Udon Noodles: Noodles made from white Japanese wheat flour are called udon noodles. They’re also sometimes known as South Japanese noodles and are an essential part of Japanese cuisine. They come in various shapes and thicknesses and are usually boiled when cooked. For the best results, udon noodles should be as fresh as possible and eaten shortly after boiling. 

Soba Noodles: Soba noodles, a brown form of Japanese buckwheat noodles, are popular in the North of the country. Additionally, pre-boiling these noodles is required. They can be used in hot and cold dishes and are commonly available in dried form.

Rice Noodles: Flat and translucent, rice stick noodles come in various widths and lengths. They’re easy to recognize, and they’re often packaged in bundles. The type you choose is determined by the thickness required for your recipe. Stir-fries, soups, and salads are the ideal uses for these noodles.

Hokkien Noodles: Egg and wheat flour are used to make these golden, thick noodles. These pre-cooked, lightly oiled noodles are commonly seen in various Asian specialties. Use them in stir-fry noodle meals, Asian curries, and soups to get the most out of Hokkien noodles.

Hokkien noodles

Shirataki Noodles: They’re thin and translucent since they’re made from Konjac root. It’s interesting to note that these noodles, another product of Japan, are low in calories and carbohydrates. This makes them an excellent choice for dieters trying to keep their intake in check.

Interesting Facts About Noodles

  • Noodles have been around for at least 4000 years. China’s Qinghai region discovered a 400-year-old bowl of noodles in 2002.
  • Although the noodle is thought to have originated in Asia, its name is most likely Germanic in origin. The German word “nudel”, which is derived from the word “knödel”, is thought to be the source of the English word “noodle”.
  • Instant noodles were created in an effort to alleviate world hunger.
  • Every day, people worldwide consume 270 million servings of instant noodles.

What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Noodles?

Salt, wheat flour, eggs, and water are the primary ingredients found in instant noodles. And varieties of instant noodles have different micronutrient levels. However, instant noodles are generally poor in calories, protein, fiber, mineral, and vitamin content.

That said, essential nutrients can be found in some types of quick noodles. The Vitamin B complex (thiamine and riboflavin) is included in some brands. Rice noodles are particularly low in carbohydrates and have a high glycemic index. This means that the body metabolizes it fast, making it a healthier option.