Eat, Drink & Explore – Noodles
By Nmami Agarwal
Noodles, as we know, is a versatile food item used in various cuisines and places, sometimes as a snack and at other times as the main course. The world of noodles is gargantuan with twists of different lengths, texture, and shapes. Being one of the most favoured food items in Asia, noodles pop up in soups, salads, deep fries, stir fries, stuffed breads, spring rolls – the list is endless. Other than assaulting taste buds with mouth-filling chewy deliciousness, noodles provide an array of nutrients too. Made with seeds of different plants and with divergent methods of making, one can choose the right one for themselves. Here is a guide to call out Asian noodles which are easily available and can be cooked in an unorthodox way.
When looking for a quick and comforting meal, dive into a bowl of egg noodles. Egg noodles are not only limited to those packed with instant noodles, but dried noodles made with three simple ingredients: eggs, water, and wheat. Egg noodles are made by boiling the unleavened dough in water. These noodles are available in many shapes and sizes but are typically wide and flat long strips of dough. Other than being scrumptious and chewy these noodles are rich in carbohydrates, protein, and magnesium and contain no trans-fat which is one of the best perks about egg noodles. Egg noodles are traditionally coupled with chicken or fish but a bowl of egg noodles with vegetable broth base is a mouth-watering which fulfills
the desire of hunger.
Rice noodles are an exemplary gluten-free option in the vast list of Asian noodles. Rice noodles and rice vermicelli, as the name suggests are made of rice flour with the vermicelli being longer and thinner. It can be made from both white and brown rice. Fresh summer rolls, noodle salads, or homemade pad thai are some great dishes made with incorporating rice noodles in them. Rice noodles tend to sponge up flavour and taste which is ideal for all kinds of meals, especially gluten-free. Being versatile, it can be used in both, hot and cold dishes depending on its consistency as it is sensitive towards soaking up water. Rice noodles are highly suitable low-fat carb choice with an abundance of phosphorus and sodium and are a waterfall of fibre, zinc and iron.
Traditionally made with buck wheat, Soba noodles are a foodie’s delight. Despite that markets adulterate buckwheat flour with wheat flour. Soba noodles are strictly gluten- free. Soba noodles are inclined to have a rather distinct and fervent taste which adds a warm earthy flavour to the recipe. These noodles are a healthy source of calories and provide a substantial amount of fibres and high-quality proteins. Not only that, Soba noodles provide iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and potassium which makes it an impeccable package of nutrition and taste. These noodles can be used in both, hot and cold dishes, which is perfect for noodle soup or a bowl of noodles for lunch. Here is a guide on how to make soba noodles from scratch: Combine two generous cups of buckwheat flour and one cup of all-purpose flour. Add 3/4 cup of water and start kneading until a crumbly dough is formed. Massage the dough even further until smooth and shape the dough into a disk of the required thickness. Start slicing the soba with the width equal to 1/8 inch. Apply a little starch to prevent it from sticking. For cooking soba, salt the water with the unsparing amount of salt and boil it exactly for one minute. Immediately dunk the soba into ice cold water and consume afterward.
Somen noodles are also wheat-based noodles which can be easily distinguished by its lack of thickness as it is quite thin. Somen has a mild flavour naturally – tastes best with a nice saporous sauce. However, these noodles are traditionally served cold as a refreshing summer dish but can also be cooked as lunch with sautéed vegetables and various sauces. Somen are rich in healthy calories, sodium and selenium and provide a boost of carbohydrates without the guilt of having fats making it a light and healthy meal.
Udon noodles are another category of wheat noodles and one of the most uncomplicated category. It’s either chunky or could be manoeuvred in hot or cold dishes. These noodles are best consumed fresh but dried works just fine too. Being low on calories, it is a waistline-friendly food item. Having a mild wheat flavour it goes well with a variety of sauce bases. It can be used as the base for many dishes such as stir-fries, lunch bowls with raw vegetables and sauce.
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