I love noodles. I love Asian food. I am lucky enough to be able to travel for work and I have been to a few Asian countries now and can honestly say I would eat noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could. And don't even get me started with dim sum for breakfast... just. heaven.
Anyway, back to noodles. Writing this blog gives me a good excuse to explore noodles and all their different ingredients. Which ones are okay to eat on a yeast-free diet? And which ones are gluten free? Are some noodles 'better' than others? Let's delve in!
What is a noodle?
Wikipedia reliably informs us that noodles are "made from unleavened dough which is stretched, extruded, or rolled flat and cut into one of a variety of shapes." So what's in the dough?
What's in a noodle?
Noodles can be divided into these groups describing their main ingredient:
- 'Other' !
Wheat, as we know from my blog on grains, contains gluten. Wheat based noodles include 'Chinese noodles' typically used in ramen or yakisoba, spätzle and udon.
Buckwheat noodles include soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles) and the Korean equivalent naengmyeon which also contain arrowroot and sweet potato. All gluten free!
Rice noodles includes vermicelli and khanom chin, a Thai rice noodle.
Other - well, where to start?! Noodles these days can be made with such a variety of ingredients including the more well-known glass (cellophane) noodles made from mung-bean starch (sounds gross, tastes great), to black-beans, quinoa, yams (shirataki noodles) and seaweed e.g. kelp.
As with all carbs, noodles made with wheat, buckwheat or rice turn to sugar when digested and give you a 'sugar spike' so it's all about portion control when cooking with noodles.
I tend to find around 75g is an absolutely generous portion, particularly if you're serving up with lots of other goodies. Noodles made from veggies are completely different - I am always amazed when I spiralize just one courgette at the amount of 'courgetti' I get!
What noodles are your favourite? So far I've been having mainly buckwheat / soba noodles and rice noodles, but after writing this post, perhaps I should be experimenting a bit more! What would you recommend?