Friday, October 26, 2012

Vegan MoFo 20- What are Bean Noodles? Soba? Udon?

What are Bean Noodles? Soba Noodles? Udon?
Bean Noodles, Chinese vermicelli, bean thread noodles, crystal noodles, cellophane noodles or glass noodles are are noodles made from alternative starches like (green) mung beans, yam or potato and water. They're thin translucent noodles when cooked. You simply need to rehydrate them in hot water or soup before eating. These noodles are often used in spring, rice paper rolls, hot pots, soups, stir fries etc.
Rice noodles are available in white (clear and red wai wai packet above) and brown- personally I think they taste the same so go with brown or bean but my other half prefers the plain white ones. These are opaque and white when cooked unlike bean noodles.

Soba noodles are noodles made from buckwheat- they're darker in colour, dense and are not stretchy like wheat based noodles. You will usually find them dried in a range of strengths of buckwheat and wheat combination to give them a better texture. They also come in other flavours like green tea. They're a thin noodle used hot or cold in soups, salads and stir fries- they taste great cold with a dipping sauce. 
If you're looking for gluten free options the Asian grocer has an array of dried rice noodles and pastas such as macaroni, spirals and shells (which are much cheaper than the health food store). 
There are also fresh rice noodles in the fridge section that come in a range of thickness's.
Udon are wheat based noodles that are usually thicker and white. You can eat them hot or cooled and their hearty texture is a lovely addition to soups and stir fries. There are many variations of fresh noodles on offer, ranging in size, thickness, colour and ingredients. 
These thin yellow noodles (check there's no egg in them) are my husband's favourites- he uses them mainly in stir fries with tofu and veggies and prefers the udon in soups.
Here are some yummy noodle recipes to get you started breaking out of the norm...
I hope you try some different noodles now! There are so many (and lots of Gluten Free options) that everyone's catered for.
All the best,

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1 comment:

  1. Claire, I LOVE bean noodles! Beautiful post. Adding you to my blog roll!

    Vegan Fazool


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