What to eat with rice noodles: from the best rice noodle recipes from around the world to easy side dishes to go with!
You can also make vermicelli out of rice flour. There are several types of rice noodles: thin rice noodles, thick and round rice noodles, wide and flat rice noodles (rice stick noodles) etc. They can be found in both dried and fresh rice noodles, with dried being more common.
Tip: if you prefer chewy rice noodles, choose the wide or thick ones. If you prefer more tender rice noodles, choose the thin ones.
Types of Rice Noodles Dishes
Stir-fried Rice Noodles is a very versatile dish: by switching up the ingredients and sauces used, you can easily create many different types of noodles. For example, you can choose any of the following delicious options to whip up an easy family dinner:
- vegetables: chinese broccoli, snow peas, red bell peppers, carrots, bean sprouts etc
- seafood: shrimp vs fishcake etc
- meat: chicken vs char siu pork belly, porkballs vs pork patties etc
- sauces: fish sauce vs light soy sauce vs dark soy sauce vs kicap manis vs tamari (if on a gluten-free diet), oyster sauce vs hoisin sauce
- if you like spicy: chili paste vs sambal oelek vs sriracha chili garlic sauce etc
Note: if adding fresh shiitake mushrooms when cooking rice noodles, be careful as they release a lot of water!
Tip: Chicken breast is more popular in the West but Asians prefer chicken thighs as it has more fat and flavor!
Pad Kee Mao
Shrimp Mei Fun
Shrimp cooks quickly and its lighter flavor complements the delicate texture of rice noodles.
Thus, it is a popular choice when it comes to adding protein to noodle dishes, whether it be as a side dish or as an ingredient in the noodle dish itself (e.g. shrimp Mei Fun, which is also known as Singapore Rice Noodles.)
Moreover, as a seafood, shrimp is also lower in calories and fat compared to meat protein, making it a healthy choice.
Dry Mee Siam
This is a beloved Singapore street food. Despite its name, it is common in Singapore and Malaysia, not Thailand! You can make a stir-fried version (more common in Malaysia) or one with gravy (see section below.)
Singapore Economic Noodles
This Thai-inspired recipe is a quick and easy weeknight recipe. My only tip would be to switch out the white vinegar for lime juice or tamarind juice when making the tangy sauce, if you want a more authentic Pad Thai.
Pad See Ew
Although Pad Thai is more famous, I actually eat Pad See Ew more often when in Thailand (20 times and counting, since I had family there.) The name is literally "Stir Fry Soy Sauce" so you can tell what's important when making this dish!
Tip: to make a great Pad See Ew, you really need a hot fire to get a smoky charred flavor. This can be difficult to replicate at home as compared to what the street vendors can achieve!
Char Kuey Teow
This Singaporean classic dish is made using similar noodles to the Thai noodles above. However, the Thai one uses a chili vinegar sauce, whilst Char Kueh Teow has a sweet and savory flavor.
Drunken noodles or pad kee mao, consist of wide rice noodles stir-fried with Thai basil, chili, garlic, and vegetables.
Chicken Mei Fun
Mei Fun, sometimes spelt Mai Fun, is a classic Chinese takeaway recipe that is very easy to re-create at home!
Mee Siam Soup
Rice noodles are combined with a light but aromatic broth, fresh herbs (such as mint cilantro and Thai basil), and protein such as chicken (Pho Ga) or beef (Pho Bo.)
Note: There is a very similar dish, Khao Suey, from Burma.
Prawn Mee Soup
Prawn Mee Soup is a delicious noodle served with prawn stock. (Save the prawn heads in the freezer till you have enough to make the seafood broth!) The Singaporean version is traditionally served with yellow noodles- though increasingly people like to mix it with thin rice vermicelli- but this Penang version comes with rice noodles instead.
Note: I know dried shrimp is difficult to find but please do not substitute it with fresh shrimp or the noodle soup will be taste so flat! Instead, here are some good dried shrimp substitutes that you can use.
Grilled Pork Noodle Salad
Also known as bun thit nuong, this Vietnamese dish combines vermicelli noodles, grilled marinated pork, fresh herbs, and a tangy dipping sauce called nuoc cham.
Rice vermicelli is also used as a filling in Vietnamese summer rolls. These Asian rolls are made with soft rice paper wrappers and can be customized with an array of ingredients such as fresh herbs, thinly-sliced vegetables, and protein such as shrimp or tofu, served alongside a dipping sauce for a fun and interactive meal.
Note: Rice noodles add a pleasant texture to soups. If you're in a rush, instead of cooking a rice noodle dish and a soup dish, simply add the blanched rice noodles to the soups bellow!
Lemongrass Coconut Soup
Fish Sauce Wings
Stir-fried vegetables, such as bok choy, are a healthy option for serving with rice noodles.
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