(Asian) Noodles

Some people consider noodles a staple to their diet and for many others, noodles make a convenient meal. Originally derived from the German word Nudel, this favorite has its roots in Asia. In 2002, archeologists in Lajia, China found a bowl of millet noodles that date back to over 4000 years! Rice and wheat noodles are two of the most widely recognized noodle varieties. However, noodles like soba and pancit are varieties that many people may not easily recognize. Noodles are used in dishes that play a significant role in the local cuisine of many Asian countries.

Regions (and Varieties):

Lo Mein noodles had their humble beginnings in the Canton region of China. Lo Mein noodles are made of wheat and eggs and are available in flat or round varieties. They are mainly used in stir-fries and do not take more than 7-14 minutes to cook in boiling water. If you’re looking for these noodles, they are available in fresh and dried varieties in Asian grocery stores. (Be sure to check the freezers too!)

Seaweed or Kelp noodles have a unique green color and are made of kelp, a sea vegetable. Kelp or Seaweed noodles are fat-free, gluten-free and do not need to be cooked! All you have to do is rinse the noodles and mix it in with your favorite condiments.

Sen mee (pronounced “sun me”) is the Thai version of rice vermicelli noodles. These noodles are used all throughout Asia and are used in spring rolls, soups, stir fries and salads. These noodles are the most accessible of Asian noodles available in North American markets. All you have to do to prepare these noodles is soak them in boiling water until they’re soft.
Ramen is a Chinese invention that the people of Japan and groggy university students around the world have quickly adopted. These noodles contain wheat and eggs and generally come packaged with seasonings. Ramen noodles are easy to prepare and take approximately 2 minutes to cook in boiling water.

Soba noodles are named after the Japanese word for buckwheat and are also made of buckwheat flour. Soba noodles are thin and have a distinctive brown colour. Traditionally, soba noodles are served cold with a variety of sauces or in hot broths.

Korean Sweet potato noodles are chewy vermicelli noodles that can be used in stir-fries with a variety of meats or vegetables. These noodles have a dull orange hue due to their sweet potato base. To prepare these noodles all you have to do is cook them in a pot of water until they become soft.
Kway chap or Rice flake noodles are triangle or square shaped noodles that have a rice base. These noodles are commonly used in soups and stir-fries. Rice flake noodles are incredible easy to prepare and take no more than 2 minutes to cook in boiling water. If you cannot find these noodles in your neighborhood Asian grocery store, you can substitute it with wide rice noodles.
Pancit noodles were first introduced to the Philippines by the Chinese a long time ago. These noodles are primarily used in Pancit, a Filipino stir-fry noodle dish. Pancit noodles are yellow in colour and have a wheat and coconut oil base. Like most other noodles, Pancit can be cooked in a pot of boiling water until they’re soft.

Nutrition per 250mL rice noodles, cooked (186 g):

Nutrient Value
Calories 203
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 46 g
Total Fat (traces)
Saturated Fat (traces)
Cholesterol 0 mg
Iron 0.3 mg
Sodium 35 mg
Potassium 7 mg
Phosphorus 37 mcg

Provided by Health Canada