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Asian Wheat Noodles


Asian wheat noodles  Notes:   These are made with wheat flour, salt, water, and sometimes eggs and flavorings.   Always cook wheat noodles in plenty of boiling water.  Some Asian cooks recommend cooking them until they're al dente (cooked through, but still firm), while others suggest cooking them a bit longer to make them softer.  Rinse the noodles in cold water after they're done and let them drain.  Toss them about to prevent them from sticking together, then fry them, or add them to your stir-fry or soup.  Supermarkets often carry several varieties of dried Asian noodles, which can be stored indefinitely.  Asian markets often carry fresh noodles, which can be kept for two or three days in your refrigerator.  Substitutes:  pasta (especially ribbons or rods.) OR rice noodles


Chinese egg noodles = dan mien   Notes:  These wheat noodles are made with eggs, which adds flavor, color, and body.   They're often used to make chow mein (in which the cooked noodles are formed into a pancake and fried on both sides) and lo mein (in which the noodles are stir-fried along with the other ingredients).   Chow mein noodles are usually cut a bit thinner than lo mein noodles, but the two can be used interchangeably.  Chinese egg noodles are available both fresh and dried; and some are flavored with shrimp.  Cook fresh noodles in boiling water for about 3 minutes, dried for about 5 minutes.  Don't confuse these with fried chow mein noodles, which are used in Americanized Chinese dishes, particularly Chinese chicken salad.  Some brands are labeled "imitation noodles"; these aren't made with eggs, but have yellow food coloring added.   Substitutes:  egg roll wrappers (slices into noodles) OR Chinese wheat noodles (more delicate) OR crispy chow mein noodles (Americans often use these to make chow mein.) OR fettucine OR linguine OR spaghetti (round, not square) OR rice


Chinese wheat noodles = Chinese wheat starch noodles = ganmien    Notes:   These delicate noodles are mostly used in soups.   They're available fresh, dried, or frozen, and they come in various sizes, some as thin as vermicelli, others as thick and wide as fettuccine.  Before using, the Chinese boil the noodles (about 3-4 minutes for fresh, 5-10 for dried) and then rinse them in cold water.   Substitutes: Chinese egg noodles (not as delicate) OR Japanese noodles (These usually cook faster than Chinese noodles.  Don't stir-fry udon noodles--they're too soft.) OR crispy chow mein noodles (Americans often use these to make chow mein.) OR pasta rods (starchier) OR pasta ribbons (starchier) OR wonton noodles OR ramen OR rice

chow mein noodles  Notes:  These egg and wheat flour noodles are used to make chow mein, in which the cooked noodles are formed into a pancake and fried on both sides.  Substitutes:  Hong Kong noodles OR Chinese egg noodles OR Chinese wheat noodles


crispy chow mein noodles = crunchy chow mein noodles = fried chow mein noodles  Notes:  These fried noodles add crunch to Chinese chicken salad.  They're also used, improbably enough, to make chocolate haystack cookies.  Don't confuse this with Chinese wheat noodles, which are also sometimes called chow mein noodles.  Substitutes:  rice vermicelli (Deep fry these until crunchy.  These are often used in Chinese chicken salad.) OR Cook spaghetti, then deep-fry a few noodles at a time until golden.


chuka soba noodles  Notes:   These are Japanese ramen noodles that are dyed yellow and usually lower in fat.   Substitutes: ramen OR soba OR saimin

e-fu noodles = yee-fu noodles = yi noodles = yifu noodles = yi mien   Notes:  These are flat Chinese egg noodles that are formed into round 8"-diameter patties, fried and then dried.  Before using, cook them in boiling water briefly, then drain.  The noodles can then be added to stir-fries, soups, or salads.   Substitutes:  pancit Canton OR Chinese egg noodles OR Chinese wheat noodles  


gook soo = gougsou = kooksoo   Notes:   A staple of Korea, these flat wheat noodles resemble fettuccine.  They're usually served in a soup.   Substitutes:  somen OR vermicelli

hiyamugi    Pronunciation:  hee-yah-MOO-ghee  Notes:  These slender Japanese noodles are often served cold.   They're made of wheat flour.  Substitutes:   somen noodles (Thinner than hiyamugi, and made from buckwheat.) OR udon noodles (Thicker than hiyamugi)

Hokkien noodles  Notes:   These egg and wheat-flour noodles are popular in Malaysia and Singapore.  They look like thick yellow spaghetti.

Hong Kong noodles = Hong Kong-style noodles  Notes:  These egg and wheat-flour noodles are used to make chow mein.  Cook them first in boiling water, drain, and then fry. Substitutes:  chow mein noodles

kishimen   Pronunciation:  KEE-she-men  Notes:  These are flat and slippery Japanese wheat noodles.  They're served both hot and cold.  Substitutes:  udon (thinner)

lo mein noodles = Cantonese noodles = Cantonese-style noodles  Notes:  These popular Chinese egg noodles are often used to make lo mein, in which the noodles are stir-fried along with the other ingredients.  They come in various sizes; use the flat ones for stir-fries and the round ones for soups.  They're available fresh, dried, and frozen in Asian markets.  Substitutes:  Chinese egg noodles OR fettuccine OR Chinese wheat noodles

mi chay = mě chay  Notes:  These are Vietnamese wheat noodles.

miswa = misua  Notes:  These Filipino wheat noodles are very slender.   The dried noodles can be deep-fried to make a crunchy nest, or boiled for 2-3 minutes to make a salad, or added directly to soup. Substitutes:  angel's hair pasta OR vermicelli

pancit Canton = flour sticks = pancit mian    Notes:   These dried yellow Filipino noodles are used to make a dish called pancit.  They're made with wheat flour, coconut oil, and yellow food coloring.  Substitutes:   e-fu noodles (very similar) OR rice sticks

ramen   Pronunciation:  RAH-min OR RAH-mane   Notes:    A staple of Japanese salarymen and American college students, these Japanese noodles can be used in soups or salads.  You can find bricks of instant ramen in many supermarkets, packaged in cellophane along with seasoning packets which you can use or discard.   These noodles are usually fried in oil before they're dried, so they tend to be high in fat.  They cook in about 2 to 3 minutes.  Asian stores also carry fresh or frozen ramen noodles.   Substitutes:  lo mein noodles ("Ramen" is thought to be a corruption of the Chinese "lo mein.") OR saimin (lower in fat) OR soba (lower in fat) OR rice sticks

saimin    Pronunciation:  sigh-MIN  Notes:    These noodles are so popular in Hawaii that a soup based on them has been served at McDonald's restaurants there.  They're similar to ramen noodles, only they're made with eggs and not deep-fried.   Substitutes:  ramen OR chuka soba 

Shanghai noodles = Shanghai-style noodles = pancit Miki = mi xau    Notes:   These thick noodles are often used in stir-fries or soups.   Substitutes:  perciatelli OR spaghetti

somen   Pronunciation:  soh-mane  Notes:  These very thin Japanese wheat noodles are almost always served cold.   There are different colors, including cha somen, which is colored with green tea, and tomago somen, which is flavored with egg yolks.  Cook them for about 2 or 3 minutes.  Substitutes:  hiyamugi (thicker) OR angel hair pasta OR vermicelli OR rice sticks OR soba OR ramen OR lo mein



udon  = Japanese thick noodles = U-Dong (Korean) = kal guksu (Korean)  Pronunciation:  oo-DOAN  Notes:   These slippery Japanese wheat noodles are popular in southern Japan, where they're often served in soups or stews.  They're roughly as thick as spaghetti, but they come in different widths.   Dried udon noodles are available in Asian markets and health food stores.  Cook them for about 11 minutes.  Fresh udon noodles are called nama udon, and should be cooked for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Substitutes:  soba noodles (thinner) OR linguine (whole wheat if possible) OR spaghetti (whole wheat if possible)

wonton noodles = won ton noodles = noodles for soup = Chinese soup noodles  Notes:  These are thin Chinese egg noodles of various widths.  They're usually served in soups.  They're available both fresh and dried in Asian markets.  Substitutes:  Chinese egg noodles OR angel hair pasta


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