Fresh rice noodles can be found in a wide range of traditional cuisines spanning from the north of China to the tip of Southeastern Asia. The beauty is in the simplicity of the fresh noodles and they are made with just 2 ingredients: rice flour, and water. When made fresh, these sticky noodles are usually ¼ of an inch to an inch thick and are around a foot long.
Delicious either hot or cold, fresh rice noodles are a staple for many Southeast Asian dishes and are often stir-fried with vegetables, meat, and sauces, or served cold in a salad or even in a tasty soup. They lend themselves well to accompany every flavor, from sweet, spicy, sour and tangy, to savory and salty.
Pad See Ew
Pad See Ew hails from the streets of Thailand and literally translates to “stir-fried soy sauce noodles”. It’s easily recognized as one of the most popular and tasty rice noodle dishes in Asia and you’ll find it sold on street corners all over Thailand.
This dish is made using fresh rice noodles or between ½ an inch to an inch thick, and uses a delicate balance of savory, sweet, and sour flavors, making this a favorite the world over.
All of the ingredients you’ll need to make Pad See Ew are typically available in any local grocery store and no special cooking equipment is required, just a large wok or even a frying pan, a large wooden spoon, some large cooking chopsticks and you’re good to go.
For the base ingredients, you’ll need to make some fresh rice noodles, some good quality dark soy and light soy sauces, some oyster sauce, vinegar, and some brown sugar.
The dish can be made with stir fry vegetables, or if you want to boost some protein into the dish, add some egg, tofu, or chicken breast. You can also add some chili flakes or garlic to create even more enticing aromas and flavors in this super easy-to-make dish.
Stir-Fried Ho Fan/Ho Fun
Stir-Fried Ho Fun (or Ho Fan as it’s also known) is a savory rice noodle dish that hails from China. Ho Fun has become a popular dish all over Asia and the rest of the world due to its distinctive combination of sweet, sour, and savory flavors and the use of thick rice noodles of about an inch thick.
In China, Ho Fun is usually served with shredded or minced beef although it also works well with sliced chicken breast, as a vegetarian dish, with tofu, or even seafood. This recipe is super easy to prepare and takes only around 15-25 minutes to make if you have the fresh rice noodles already prepared or have bought fresh rice noodles in a packet.
The large chewy rice noodles will usually break into smaller pieces during the preparation of this dish, giving it a unique look. It’s best when mixed with a selection of fresh stir-fried vegetables and beef, and topped with some chopped chives or spring onion.
Another way to add some interesting flavor combinations to this classic stir-fry dish is to add some spice. Either use some fried chili oil during the frying of the rice noodles or sprinkle some crushed chili flakes on top when you’re ready to serve.
Chicken Pad Thai
Hailing from the bustling street food vendors of Thailand is the undisputed king of rice noodle dishes: the ever-popular Pad Thai. The secret to the success of this dish is its sweet-savory flavor combinations and is usually served with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts and a few wedges of fresh lime on the side.
Pad Thai is super versatile (depending on if you want a vegetarian, meat, or seafood version). This Chicken Pad Thai recipe packs a fresh and flavorsome punch and includes fresh rice noodles, lime, eggs, cilantro, combined with the delicious crunch of peanuts and green onions to boot.
The sauce is not your typical Pad Thai sauce and includes some twists to make an exotic flavor explosion such as ketchup and peanut butter!
Best of all this Pad Thai recipe is incredibly easy to make and if you’ve ever visited Thailand, you’ll have noticed street food vendors making this dish in around 5 minutes flat! Back home in your own kitchen, it will take a little longer, but you can whip this recipe up in 30 minutes.
Aromatic Pork And Noodle Soup (Pho)
This delicious and highly fragrant dish hails from the famous Pho kitchens of Vietnam and is usually made using a long-simmered and aromatic stock that’s infused with ginger, onion, spices, and fish sauce and is mixed with other ingredients to create a delicious and visually stunning hot soup broth.
Pho dishes use a wide variety of sizes of fresh rice noodles, from thin rice stick noodles to thicker flat rice noodles of around an inch thick. Vietnamese Pho with pork is a wonderful Pho dish that allows you to be totally versatile, adding pork, tofu, egg, or even some bok choy or baby spinach as you please.
This particular recipe includes an added twist on the traditional version. The recipe creators use the technique of toasting the spices and charring the onion to make it a quick weekday-friendly pho. You can make this recipe in 1 hour and there are just 4 steps involved with 30 minutes of active prep or cooking time.
The recipe calls for 12 main ingredients but you have plenty of optional extras to make it your own. The creators suggest serving it alongside fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, thinly sliced scallions, Mung bean sprouts, chopped unsalted, lime wedges, and roasted peanuts.
The Greenest Coconut Curry with Clams and Rice Noodles
Hailing from Thailand, this stunning dish rehashes the key elements of the famous velvety-rich flavors of Thai green curry with thin rice noodles and combines it with delicious clams. Not only does this dish taste and smell incredible, but it’s also easy to prepare and is visually impressive when served topped with steamed clams, some cilantro or spring onion, and chili flakes.
It’s important to take your time when making this coconut curry with clams and rice noodles and special attention and care should go into making the creamy rich green curry sauce, as this is the key ingredient that sets this dish apart.
Make some fresh thick rice stick noodles in advance and store them in the fridge on a plate until you are ready to add them to the curry sauce or follow the instructions on your fresh rice noodle packet.
You’ll need a few key ingredients to make the sauce, including ginger, cilantro leaves, basil leaves, lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, and coconut milk. All ingredients are easy to find from your local Asian supermarket.
Once you’ve made the sauce and herb puree, you’ll set this aside. Then you’ll heat some oil and add your clams. Remove the clams and then add the curry base to the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat until you have a simmer and cook for 10 minutes which will allow the flavors to combine.
To serve, you will add the clams to noodle bowls, then add the noodles, and ladle the curry over the top. Garnish with sliced chili and basil leaves and enjoy the greenest coconut curry around!
Much as the name suggests, Summer rolls are delicious cold and perfect to enjoy in the shade of a warm summer’s day. It’s a common street food dish in Thailand, Vietnam, and other areas of Southeast Asia. They’re a great midday snack or can be easily boosted into a meal by adding some extra fillings.
Summer rolls are incredibly easy to make and virtually anything goes when adding fillings. Traditional summer rolls found all over Thailand in street food markets are usually made with freshly cooked shrimps, thin rice noodles, grated carrot, cucumber, and some mint, basil, or spring onions.
These summer rolls combine thin rice noodles, crunchy fresh vegetables, and salad ingredients all wrapped up in a soft rice paper roll. You can also add some protein by adding some sliced cooked chicken breast, cooked shrimps, tofu, or egg but the creators of this recipe warn not to overstuff the rolls because they will split!
The combination of ingredients in this recipe is both fresh and flavorsome and when combined with the special dipping sauce in this recipe it really is next level. The sauce includes sugar, lime juice, mirin, soy sauce, and vinegar.
It also calls for red chili, cilantro leaves, and mint leaves so it really can be as flavorsome as you like. One of the great things about this recipe is that you can make it in advance, although you can’t leave them too long. You can make them 1 hour in advance and then cover them with a damp kitchen towel and put them in the fridge.
Coconut Rice Noodles With Ginger And Turmeric
This easy-to-make curry boasts the aromatic flavors of Thai-styled curry and adds thin vermicelli rice noodles with an added kick of ginger and turmeric. Best of all it’s super fast to prepare, making it an ideal midweek dinner option or one for those looking for a quick and tasty meal when in a rush.
The ingredients in this recipe include 5 oz. rice vermicelli, 2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil (or vegetable oil), 1 small red onion, 4 garlic cloves, 1-inch piece of ginger, 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper, 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk, 1 ½ tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, and shredded coconut. A powerful combination!
There are just 3 steps to get this show on the road: 1) Cook and drain the noodles, 2) cook all of the ingredients in a large saucepan, 3) add the fish sauce and noodles to the broth.
Adding some simple garnish such as shredded coconut and pepper really complements the gorgeous color of the turmeric-infused curry sauce. Now you can sit back and enjoy your creation. If you’re cooking for friends you can “wow” them and tell them you’ve been preparing it all day because it tastes that good!
Cold Rice Noodle Salad With Lime Dressing
This delicious and tangy salad is the perfect meal for cooling off after a warm summer’s day and is super quick and easy to make. Its bold and colorful ingredients not only look great but taste fantastic. It also feels light to eat so won’t weigh you down for the day.
This recipe has a unique flavor combination of cold rice noodles, crunchy coleslaw, fried tofu, fresh cilantro, and all topped with a tangy lime dressing and a sprig of mint and peanuts to your liking.
All of the ingredients needed for this salad are super easy to find at your local grocery store and cold rice noodle salad only takes around 30 minutes to prepare. If you feel like adding some extra protein to your salad, it works well with a roasted salmon fillet on top, some shrimp, or a sliced chicken breast, or even some fried tofu.
The recipe states you can use any width rice noodles for this dish so choose your favorite! The lime dressing is what really makes this dish and includes just 5 ingredients: water, fish sauce, freshly squeezed lime juice, rice vinegar, and brown sugar.
If you’re looking to make this ahead of time or want to save leftovers store the dressing, noodles, and slaw separately in the fridge and then toss it all together just before eating. You will thank yourself later!
As you can see, rice noodle recipes are incredibly varied and diverse, catering to all tastes from the sweetness of a Pad Thai, the crisp and tangy flavors of the cold rice noodle salad, to the rich and creamy flavors of coconut rice noodles infused with ginger and turmeric.
Rice noodles are also gluten-free and are a great addition to many Asian dishes. Once you’ve tried these recipes, we’re sure they’ll be a new favorite in your home in no time! They are some of the freshest around and you’ll love how you feel afterward (and enjoy the great flavors as you eat your new favorite dish).