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Needless to say, noodles are synonymous with great Japanese, Chinese and Cantonese cuisine; their soft and tender texture is an unforgettable jewel in the treasure chest of Far Eastern food. But that isn’t the half of it. Countless food lovers now regularly enjoy chow-mein, stir fries and an endless medley of mixed-up dishes. So noodles are easily one of the most versatile and downright delicious plate fillers the world has ever seen! Here we’ve gathered a tidy collection of the very best natural and organic noodles in the UK, Europe and most likely anywhere. Read on for more info, tips and recipes…
A guide to different types of noodles
Like pasta, noodles can be made with a broad mix of key ingredients. Each type of noodles brings its own levels of softness or crunch factor, saltiness, umami flavour, individuality and of course colour. As with all things culinary and artistic, there are no fixed rules. It’s entirely up to you what colours, tastes and textures you wish to use in any given noodle recipe, but here are some broad guidelines.
Soba noodles are made with a mix of wholewheat and buckwheat, these noodles are tasty and super-flexible. Wheat noodles are considered more ‘mein’ in noodle lingo, this type of umami noodle is well suited to a wide range of traditional recipes.
Skinny Soba Somen, the skinny version of the classic soba noodles is, as you might expect, lighter both on calories and taste.
Buckwheat soba noodles. As you may well know,Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free. So it’s one of the best options if you want to make any delicious umami-rich and gluten-free noodle recipe.
Brown rice noodles. Far from being another gluten-free option, brown rice noodles are quite a different animal (vegetable) to wheat-based varieties. It’s a very comforting and quite nutty taste that works so well in stir fries.
Udon has a very soft and springy texture, somewhat similar to calamari, but more yielding. As well as being a tempting attribute in itself, this also means that it doesn’t cling to sauces quite so much. So it’s less likely to stick to your pan in a stir fry or noodle medley.
Wide Udon is also soft,springy and succulent, but its width is great if you want to make noodles a really prominent element in your dish. It’s often paired with seafood and used in heart-warming udon soups too (like this one).
Konjac-based. These super-handy noodle packs are about as close as we get to selling microwave food! But don’t be fooled. They may be really quick and easy to make with a nice versatile texture – but they’re also organic and incredibly low in calories. This is thanks to the unique root vegetable, konjac, with which they’re made.
Tasty natural noodle recipes
Here we’ve picked our most heavily adored resources for making amazing noodly recipes:
Just look at this wok-load of exciting and colourful noodle recipes! Jamie has a real passion not just for pleasing peoples’ taste buds, but helping us to improve the way we eat. If you haven’t seen programmes like Jamie’s Super Food or Eat To Save Your Life then the vibrant colours and sheer variation on this page should speak volumes.
This is a great page, with tip top noodle recipes neatly sorted into categories for easier reference. Fancy making a rice noodle recipe, soup or soba treat? Just go to your desired area and lap up the goodness. And if you’re spoilt for choice, the top rated noodle recipes look irresistible. In fact, our staff know that lots of them almost literally are!
These 2 sources should more than get you started. And were confident that even the most well-established noodle fan will be able to gather more inspiration here!
- Try not to overcook your noodles! Most types of noodles do not need any more than 3-5 minutes’ cooking time. And if you’re whipping up a stir fry, or otherwise cooking your veg and noodle mix in oil, factor this in. Have a little nibble from time to time to check the texture as (as if you needed encouragement!)
- If you’re cooking your noodles into a new recipe for the first time, use the suggested noodle type listed. This seems simple, but given that cooking times can vary quite widely, substituting is not recommended unless you’re quite familiar with your chosen noodle.
- If you want to put a different slant on a recipe you’ve made before, we have some good general tips. Do a little research to see where the recipe originates. Any noodles that come from the same area are more likely to work well than others. Regions aside, if you are familiar with the texture of both the original and substitute noodle, a like-for-like switch-up is usually wise.
- Rice noodles tend to cook faster than wheat ones, softening quickly in boiling water.