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Who among you knows the secret about cooking dried noodles?

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by Duke of York, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    For the sake of clarity, I'm talking about the packs of noodles you'd keep in back the store cupboard for days when you fancy a stir fry and need to resort to when there's a flood or whatever taking over your life. The ones that come in tightly wrapped coils, like balls of wool.

    I can do dried pasta fit for an Italian banquet, I can do fresh noodles that a Chinaman would die for, but it's so far eluded me what needs to be done to these dried balls of noodles to stop them clumping together.

    When my cooking career began and I had to resort to reading recipes line by line, I tried every method of cooking rice I could find, but without success until I read one that said to shower the rice with boiling water after it was cooked, to prevent the grains sticking together and ever since that day, my rice has been as perfect as a bagful of perfect things.

    It's more out of interest than need, since I don't often cook dried noodles, but as I had no choice today, I thought it was time I asked the question of how others cope with them when the chips are down and you have to resort to them.
  2. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I find a little sesame oil on them as soon as they're drained helps .

    I don't tend to use noodles as they are though. They tend to go into a soup or stir fry, and I find they sort themselves out once in the pan or wok.

    I often use those ready cooked 'straight to wok' ones more these days, though. The ones that come in vacuum packed sachets. They're really good and really tasty and have a better texture than the dried ones, I think - they're more like fresh ones. And so much quicker. They never clump together, either. Maybe a bit of a cheat but it's worth it.
    emerald52 and primarycat like this.
  3. primarycat

    primarycat Star commenter

    I would have said something very similar to you, Nick. But you've said it for me!
  4. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I just bung them in boiling water then separate out with a fork while in the water. That way they neve clump together.
    sbkrobson likes this.
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Yes, the water needs to be at a "rolling" boil when you put them in.
    Put a little oil in the water rather than adding it afterwards, as then there is no chance of them sticking together when you drain them.
    I have a friend who s Chinese and if she makes noodles and happens to have some cooked chicken at the same time, she adds a bit of the cooked chicken skin to the water, functions the same,and gives a nice flavour too. She makes the interesting point that needing the function of oil in your food is too often over engineered, when we often chuck stuff away which is a useful source of it eg rendered fat from frying or roasting. Both of these can be used in noodles for the same non stick result,just miniscule amounts required.

    While I am here, seeing this thread sparked a surprising memory which I have never revisited until now, that I am sure that around the year 2000 there was a brief fad in school for bringing packets of ramen noodles to school and snacking on them dry and unhydrated. Does anybody else recall this? In our place only the hard kids did it.
    I guess hard kids eat sh%t food.
    primarycat likes this.
  6. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    I soak them in semi-hot water for about 30 mins and then throw them in a wok or frying pan (on full heat) on the hob, 3 dollops of oyster sauce and 5 dollops of dark soy sauce and keep stirring for about 3-4 mins until the noodles have completely browned from the sauce. You'll get chinese chippy style noodles with that recipe, works best with dry egg or rice noodles.

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