The Pantry


Cupboard starts: noodles


All of us have a bunch of items in our cupboard that buy and often never use. In this new series of posts, I will simply explain some items that we have came across and may bought but don’t often know how to use or understand the differences.

Being in Asia for some years now, I have always though that noodles despite coming in a variety of shapes could be used for the same purpose. Basically, I was so wrong. The variety is simply incredible accros Asia. The fact that you have to use the right noodle to make a pad thai or Chow Mei simply stuns me as. An other interesting point is the variety of raw ingredients ranging from wheat to buckwheat or simply rice.

The Artisan Noodle maker

Udon Noodles:

One of Japan’s favorite. These thick and chewy noodles, made of wheat flour, are perfect to eat in stir fries, soups or simply served cold with a nice dressing. My favorite way of eating them is in a very light broth made out of dashi, mirin and soy sauce.Udon Noodles

Soba Noodles:

Another Japanese favorite made from ground buckwheat therefore gluten free have a nutty taste and a chewy texture. Traditionally, they are served cold with a number of dipping sauce. I love the green tea powder variety that give just this little extra flavour. I, often, cook soba noodles as a side dish for a great salmon teriyaki.

Soba NoodlesRamen Noodles:

This is definitely the favorite Japanese noodle.  Originally from China, they are made from wheat, salt, and kansui ( a special alkaline mineral water) giving the ramen this unique pale color. A bit chewy, they work wonderfully well with ramen ball soup like those you can have at Ippudo.

Ramen Noodles

Vietnamese Rice Noodles:

Probably, these are the tiniest forms of noodles and the most widely available globally. They are so easy to use as you just need to soften them in very hot water for a minute or two. They work perfectly with summer rolls. But they also works well with a variety of other dishes as they are so porous that they soak up all the flavours


Chinese Egg Noodles:

Probably Hong Kong’s most popular noodle. They work great in stir fries like Chow Mein or in soups. These egg noodles are widely available in Hong Kong, pop by your local supermarket or wet market and I can guarantee you that you will find them. They are often sold dried in thick or thin sizes.Egg Noodle

Rice Stick Noodles:

Similar in taste to the vermicelli but they are much fatter. These are the one you will be using for making pad thai or vietnamese pho, see my hanoi post. If you stir fry them, simply soak them in lukewarm water until they are a bit softer and finish them in the wok. Otherwise, leave it to soak in hot water for the pho.

Rice noodles