Asian noodles come in different shapes, sizes, textures and nutritional values. Preferences vary amongst chefs and indulgers; it all comes down to the eater’s habits and textural preferences for meals.
One of the coveted benefits of Asian noodles is the dense nutritional value which comes from the different types of grains (as opposed to flours) used to make the noodles.
Check out the noodle varieties, their nutritional benefits, textures, benefits, common recipes and more.
Different Types of Asian Noodles:
Bean thread noodles come from bean starch and take about one minute to cook. The rubbery noodle is slippery, making it super tricky to handle with chopsticks, but exceptionally scrumptious in summer roles and alongside veggies or mint. Although the noodle hails from a bean, the protein content is lower than other Asian noodles, so be sure to add a protein to your bean thread noodle dish.
Ramen noodles are the easiest to identify, thanks to the famed instant ramen noodles most of us ate as children (and adults). The thin, crinkly noodle is made from wheat and given an elastic-like buoyancy by adding kansui, an alkaline mineral solution. Fresh ramen makes for a scrumptious dinner, but be wary of instant ramen noodles. The preparation methods for the dried noodle have a high fat (and saturated fat) and sodium content.
Rice flour noodles vary in their thickness and are used in an assortment of dishes, hot or cold. Their most popular leading role is in pad thai, and that famously soft, gooey texture add protein, calcium, magnesium, since and selenium to dishes.
Shirataki are the epitome of a noodle: see-through, rubbery and thick. The konjac yam derived noodles are a healthy choice and aid many in weight loss – shirataki are three percent fiber and 97 percent water, adding close to zero calories to a meal. These low-calorie noodles have other health benefits, too: heart and digestive health, lower cholesterol, lower triglycerides, lower blood sugar, constipation relief and more. Common uses: pasta substitute, stir-fry, soups, and stews.
Soba noodles are long, brown and thin noodles from Japan. Whole grain buckwheat is the primary constituent in soba noodles, which provides their nutty taste and an incredibly dense nutrition panel. So long as your noodles are 100% buckwheat (or close to it), they are wheat free and loaded with the following: fiber, potassium, protein, iron, and flavonoids (amongst others). Soba noodles are served hot in soup dishes or chilled alongside dipping sauces.
Udon noodles aren’t quite as healthy as soba noodles, but what they lack in nutrition, udon makes up for in texture and complement. Made from a stripped wheat flour, these neutral tasting noodles are chewy, thick and ready to be doused in soups or sauces. Udon is served hot or cold. If you prefer the udon noodle, but want more nutrition, search for whole-wheat udon noodles.
The variety of Asian noodles at Japanese restaurants in Phoenix varies, but you can usually find the list above on menus. As for dining at home, opt for the noodles that best suit your nutritional and taste preferences.
Coming for food in downtown Phoenix? Dine with us at Noodle Bar PHX and explore the many types of Asian Noodles we have to offer. It might take you more than one visit, but that will be a delight after you experience our delicious dishes on your first stop in.