In Praise of Rice Noodles

What is it about noodles? Almost every culture has them; that must mean something, that they have universal appeal. If I have a choice between steamed rice and rice noodles, I’ll take the noodles every time. Why? They are both made with rice and water. But somehow I find noodles more appealing, tastier even. Go figure!

Mostly I use the flat noodles for Pad Thai, usually dried because the fresh ones are not easily available. I have also used rice macaroni and fusilli, although I guess strictly they are not noodles. Are they? Lately, though, I have been using rice vermicelli in this, my new favourite recipe: Cold Rice Noodle Salad with Chicken and Peanut Sauce . I’ve made it 3 times in the past 2 weeks: doubled it once for a potluck, and halved it once for a dinner for one. This is the photo from the recipe in the New York Times:


Isn’t is beautiful? Mine did not look like that but I can’t imagine that it didn’t taste as good. The recipe says that it takes 45 minutes, but that doesn’t take into account prep time, like making the sauces and marinating the chicken. But if you do that ahead of time (earlier in the day, say) it comes together pretty quickly. I think that it also lends itself to using shrimp or a non- meat alternative like firm tofu. As long as it has rice noodles!