Are you a fan of learning how to cook rice? I’m not talking about learning how to cook the lentil that my mom used to make when she was young. I am talking about learning how to cook rice noodles correctly. It used to be the first step in every Asian meal, but now most people simply go out and buy the packetned variety from the supermarket, unless of course you happen to be a diehard spice junkie. The only difference between then and now is that back then it was always just tradition to cook rice with noodles.
Now that everyone’s cooking style has changed to accommodate the quickie lifestyle, how to cook rice noodles is no longer as simple as knowing how to separate the dry rices from the water and mix them with the rice. It used to be that you could spot coconut oil and stick it in a pan to cook, but now you have to be more precise about whether or not you will steam or boil the coconut oil. Also, how to cook rice noodles correctly means using the right kind of cooking liquid.
Rice noodles are made of long strands of starch, so to make them more pleasant to taste and softer to your finger, you want to remove as much of the starch as possible. That means that in order to cook rice noodles correctly you want to start with cold water. Most people prefer to use saltwater as they believe it to be a more authentic Asian method of cooking, but if you want to try something different try using ice water. Cold water will kill any bacteria and help to remove the rough texture of the starch.
Once you have removed as much of the starch as possible, add the water. The idea is to get the noodles moving as quickly as possible through the boiling process, so once you have boiled your noodles add your seasonings. Season to your liking, but try to stay away from strong flavored seasonings like chili sauce and soy sauce. Instead go with more delicate flavors like toasted cumin seeds, chilies, or garlic.
The next step in learning how to cook rice noodles correctly is to cut them into small pieces. You can either use a large or small bowl depending on how you feel most comfortable. With a large bowl I would use a strainer, and with a smaller bowl a cut in plastic wrap will work great. Once all the chunks are chopped up, you can pour them into the serving bowl you have prepared and stir until evenly coated.
Now that everything is sorted, you are ready to start the actual cooking! While your noodles are cooking, you will want to keep an eye on them to make sure that they do not boil over. If they do, you will need to drain them briefly and then continue with your cooking. To cook rice noodles using a stove top is quite simple, just add water, bring to a boil and cover for about 2 minutes. After that you just add your starch (such as cornstarch) and toss into your noodles along with your cooked noodles.
Now for the fun part, cooking the noodles together. Usually I just throw a few in with my Pad Thai noodles, but today I want to show how to cook rice noodles with a stick together bite. While your noodles are cooking, be sure to serve your Pad Thai with some rice and your preferred dipping sauce.
To make your stick together bite simply take a cookie cutter or knife, and slice the noodles as thin as possible with utmost precision. Then take your rolled up piece of bread and cut it into little pieces. Lay the pieces of bread flat on a lined surface, and then slice them again in the same fashion. Now your noodles are ready to enjoy!