Many countries around the world have a type of noodle at the heart of their cuisine. From Japanese ramen to pad Thai or even German spätzle. Noodles are usually simple to make, and quick to prepare – plus they are the perfect backdrop to a huge breadth of flavours and seasonings.
If you always have a bag of dried noodles in the store cupboard you can whip up anything from an authentic ramen noodle recipe or a classic chicken noodle soup, to a classic Pad Thai or udon noodle soup.Whether they’re thick, thin, flat, round, curled or in nests; it’s worth knowing your noodles!
MORE: Buy noodles here
Chinese chicken and shirataki noodle soup recipe
Chicken and mushrooms are the hero ingredients in this soup, but there are also many other beautiful flavours in play, which build up into a rich, satisfying and colourful recipe. The Chinkiang rice vinegar chilli, garlic and fish sauce make a complex dish, full of interest. Click through for Chinese Chicken and Shirataki Noodle Soup recipe.
Korean cold noodle soup recipe
This dish doesn’t have some of the punchiness often associated with Korean cooking - with no chilli, kimchi or soy sauce. The mild, delicate flavours of the soy milk combined with fresh cucumber and sesame seeds is a wonderful and subtle dish. Use fine noodles for the signature delicate base. Serve with ice cubes for the full chilled effect, perfect for cooling down on those hot summer days. See full recipe for Korean cold noodle soup here.
Vietnamese pho with shirataki noodle nests
Diving into a bowl of pho should reveal spoon after spoon of little treats and bursts of flavour. The Vietnamese dish is a bowl of noodles, fresh herbs, lean meat, spices and ginger – garnished with chilli, lime and cubes of tofu. Full recipe for Vietnamese pho and shirataki noodle nests is available here.
Use shirataki noodle nests for a particularly light lunch. The noodles also have a slightly chewy texture which works very well with the broth. Tied into small knots they’re also easier to pick up with chopsticks.
Korean sweet potato noodle recipe
This Korean recipe uses sweet potato noodles along with julienned vegetables – you can use any you like, depending on what is available. It is lightly seasoned with soy sauce, minced garlic and sesame oil and takes no time at all to make. It is known in Korea as Japchae, and is commonly seen in night markets across the country. Click through for full Korean sweet potato noodle soup recipe.
Quick dan dan noodles
Dan dan noodles hail from the Sichuan area of China, and the recipe includes the region’s cooling Sichuan peppercorns alongside Shaoxing wine and Chinkiang vinegar. The Sichuan chilli oil adds a kick – the dish should be fiery, aromatic and slightly sharp. It’s a quick recipe to make, you can put it together in 10 minutes. Quick dan dan noodle recipe is available here.
Thai Panang shirataki noodle recipe
This Thai noodle recipe is made with low calorie shirataki noodles and flavoured with Mae Sri Thai Panag curry paste and coconut milk. The garnish of chilli, lime and coriander is a familiar trio in southeast Asia, and really brings the dish to life. Try out the Thai Panang Shirataki Noodle recipe for yourself here.
Fuchsia Dunlop’s Sichuan soup noodles with minced pork topping
Milder than many Sichuan recipes, these soup noodles are often eaten as a breakfast dish. The broth is seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil and chicken stock, and layered with leafy greens, minced pork and noodles. Try the full recipe here.
Perfect Pad Thai
Pad Thai is a common dish served in restaurants, or eaten as street food across Thailand. It is a precise balance of sweet, tart, salty and fiery flavours – made with tamarind, fish sauce, palm sugar and chilli. Try the recipe out for yourself here, and be sure to use Thai rice stick noodles for the authentic pad Thai.
What are the different types of noodles?
There are many different types of ramen noodles in Japan, all of which have slightly different characteristics. But in general, ramen noodles have a slightly chewy texture and are a medium thickness. These Clearspring ramen noodles are made with a mixture of semi-whole wheat and brown rice flour.
How to use shirataki noodles
Shirataki noodles are made from konjac flour – a root that’s very similar to a yam. The mild and neutral flavour means these noodles are versatile and can be used in a breadth of dishes.
Used in many of the recipes above, shirataki noodles are famed for their incredibly low calorie content. Instead of wheat or rice flour, they are made with starch from a root vegetable called konjac. They are slightly gelatinous and almost totally clear in colour. Use them to replace wheat-based noodles in any dish, for a reduction in calories.
Soba noodles are made with buckwheat, which has an earth, nutty flavour and gives the noodles a darker colour than other plain wheat varieties. Soba noodles are fairly thin, and are used in broths or served in stir fries. Top them with grilled chicken or fried tofu with wilted greens and a fried egg.
Udon noodles are thick and soft – and these ones are ready to use immediately in a variety of recipes. Serve them in broths topped with prawns and seafood, or finish with grilled chicken, tofu or pork. Make a simple udon noodle soup by pairing them with red miso paste.
These Vietnamese noodles are specifically enjoyed as part of the national dish, pho. The wide and flat noodles are perfect for layering with stock, chilli, ginger, garlic, spring onions and topped with handfuls of fresh herbs and thinly sliced beef. You can also serve these noodles in stir fries with beaten egg and fried vegetables or meat.
These noodles are pre-flavoured with prawn roe and are a slightly pink flavour. The fine wheat noodle nests are ready to drop into broth and miso soups, or cook simply on their own and serve with wilted greens and fried seafood. A quick way to add even more flavour to your recipes!