Noodles, chinese

Noodles, chinese

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

In China, noodles are the mein in chow mein, and differ from other noodles in that the strands are ‘thrown’ by hand to form the customary long, thin strands or ‘strings’; these vary in diameter from that of Italian spaghetti to that of the finest vermicelli. Many large Chinese restaurants throughout the world are beginning to put on displays of noodle-throwing for their delighted clientele. It is fascinating to see how readily a ball of dough becomes an armful of fine threads in the hands of a true craftsman.

The Chinese have always regarded noodles as a symbol of longevity because of their great length, and therefore they never cut them. However, like all noodles, the Chinese types come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some being small, and often as fine as thread.

Chinese noodles can be served in a sauce of meat or vegetables, in soup, or fried. Chinese fried noodles are given different treatments in different places. Some restaurants (and recipes) call for the noodles to be parboiled, rinsed in cold water, formed into a nest and then fried until crisp; they are then often topped with a savoury dish of meat or vegetables in a sauce. In China, the noodles are boiled, rinsed, then shallow-fried with meat, vegetables and seasonings or served as a complete dish.

Rice stick noodles, or cellophane noodles: These are also found in Chinese cooking. They are thread-like and clear in colour, and are about the same length as chopsticks. They are found in Chinese food stores and are used more in southern China.

Commercially made noodles: These are sold packaged in fine, medium or wide widths. Some are cut into squares and some fine noodles are shaped into nests. There are also dried soup noodles from Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, etc., and packaged noodle dinners. The method for cooking all of these is usually printed on the packet.

To cook: Allow 1 bundle Chinese egg noodles for each person. Soak noodles in hot water for about 10 minutes. The strands will separate and enable the noodles to cook evenly. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add a spoonful of peanut oil. Drain the soaked noodles and drop them into the boiling water. When water returns to the boil, cook fine noodles for 2–3 minutes, wide noodles for 3–4 minutes. Do not overcook. Like properly cooked pasta, noodles should be tender but still firm to the bite.

At end of cooking time, drain noodles in a large colander, then run cold water through the noodles to rinse off excess starch and to cool them so they don’t continue to cook in their own heat. Drain thoroughly. Use in soups or braised noodle dishes – spread the noodles out on a damp (not wet) dish towel, spreading them apart with chopsticks so they dry out a little before using as directed in recipe.

Soft-fried Chinese noodles: Cook noodles as described above and spread out to dry. A little peanut oil may be sprinkled over them to prevent them from sticking.

Heat 2 tablespoons each of peanut oil and sesame oil in a wok or frying pan, and when very hot add a handful of noodles. When golden on one side, turn and fry other side. Repeat with remaining noodles, draining on paper towels before serving at once. It may be necessary to add more oil to the pan if a large quantity of noodles is being fried, but make sure the fresh oil is very hot before adding noodles.

Serve them with beef, pork, poultry or vegetable dishes, or combine with stir-fried ingredients for Chow Mein

Crisp-fried Chinese noodles: These crisp noodles are used mainly as a garnish. Rice vermicelli and cellophane noodles may be fried in deep hot oil straight from the packet. Egg noodles need to be cooked first as for Soft-fried Noodles. Use a larger amount of peanut oil and deep-fry in handfuls until crisp and golden-brown. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

Tags:
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again