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Chinese noodles info Tips and Information

Chinese noodles info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.


chinese noodles info

All Chinese meals must be composed of two parts: the cai or meat fish poultry and vegetable dishes and the fan or staple. Both parts are important. As one Chinese sage put it Without the cai the meal is less tasteful but without the fan ones hunger cannot be satisfied. Most Westerners think that rice is the only Chinese staple food but in the northern parts of China where it is too cold to grow it wheat takes precedence and so noodles dumplings and pancakes are eaten more often than rice.

There has always been an argument about whether the Chinese invented noodles before the italians discovered spaghetti. Chinese noodles are more varied than italian ones. They come in all shapes and sizes and are made from a variety of flours. They are most commonly made from wheat or rice flour and water and in the south from wheat flour water and eggs. There is also a type which is made from mung beans although this is strictly speaking not a noodle but a vegetable.
To see an expert noodlemaker at work is a real treat. Handmade noodles are formed by an elaborate but rapid process of kneading pulling tossing and twisting of the dough into a cascade of fine long noodles. This spectacular skill takes four to five years to acquire and is a delight to watch.
Noodles play an important part in Chinese tradition since they are a symbol of longevity. For this reason they are often served at Chinese New Year and at birthday dinners and it is considered bad luck to cut them since this might shorten ones life! Noodles can be boiled and eaten plain instead of rice with sauces cold as salads or in soups. Alternatively fried with meat and vegetables they make a delicious and sustaining light meal. Here are some of the most common types of noodles.

Wheat noodles and egg noodles
These are made from hard or soft wheat flour and water. If egg has been added the noodles are usually labelled as egg noodles. They can be bought dried or fresh from Chinese grocers and many supermarkets and delicatessens also stock the dried variety. Flat noodles are usually used in soups and rounded noodles are best for Stir frying. If you cant get Chinese noodles you can use italian egg noodles (dried or fresh) instead.


To cook wheat and egg noodles
Noodles are very good boiled and served with main dishes instead of plain rice. I think dried wheat or fresh egg noodles are best for this.

80z 225g fresh or dried noodles

If you are using fresh noodles immerse them in a pot of boiling water and cook them for 35 minutes until they are soft. If you are using dried noodles either cook them according to the instructions on the packet or cook them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Then drain and serve.
If you are cooking noodles ahead of time before using them in another dish or before Stir frying them toss the cooked drained noodles in 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and put them into a bowl. Cover this with clingfilm and put it in the refrigerator. The cooked noodles will keep like this for about 2 hours.

Rice noodles
Rice noodles are popular in southern China especially with seafood. They are usually dried and can be found in Chinese grocers. They are white and come in a variety of shapes. One of the most common is rice stick noodles which are flat and about the length of a chopstick. Rice noodles are very easy to use. Simply soak them in warm water for 15 minutes until they are soft. Drain them in a colander or a sieve and they are then ready to be used in soups or to be stirfried.

Cellophane (bean thread) noodles
These noodles also called transparent noodles are made from ground mung beans and not from a grain. They are available dried and are very fine and white. Easy to recognise packed in their neat plasticwrapped bundles they are stocked by most Chinese grocers and some supermarkets. They are never served on their own but are added to soups or braised dishes or are deepfried as a garnish. They must be soaked in warm water for about 5 minutes before use. As they are rather long you might find it easier to cut them into shorter lengths after soaking.
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