Chinese noodles will be a perfect dinner menu during winter. Either dining in at the Chinese restaurant, bring it home, or had the food delivered right to your doorstep, the best way to enjoy those Asian dishes is by making it yourself. And when the Chinese cooking is still sizzling hot, you know it’s the perfect time to finish it off.
So what about learning this absolutely delicious noodles recipe and you can easily make your own at home anytime you’re craving for it?
A brief history of this Chinese cuisine
Just like Italian pasta, classic Chinese noodles come in three different types.
The first one is flour noodle. Some are made with eggs while others are made simply made eggless. A variation of this noodle is the wheat flour noodles that came from north China, where the wheat is a staple crop. Unlike basic flour noodles, the one from wheat are usually in white or yellow. Wheat flour noodles may be thin in shape and looks like spaghetti, but some are made thick and look like fettucine.
The second type in the family is rice noodles. They’re made from mixture of rice flour, salt, and water. This noodle type are either really thick or extremely thin. Rice noodles have a variation called rice sticks—the only difference is in its stiff texture.
The last fresh noodles originated from China is Cellophane noodles. This one is made from paste of ground mung bean. Unlike its siblings, it got such clear skin and a more chewy texture.
Chinese people believe that the tastiest noodles is the hand-pulled noodles. And that’s what makes Cellophane noodles both unique and special; the making method. Hand-pulled noodles ain’t just a making method, you may as well call it as an art. The noodle maker will hold the paste that’s stretched out using both hands then whirl the paste around for a few times.
Then, the paste will be laid out over the board before the maker fold it repeatedly. Finally, the paste will transform into long and thin noodles. Even so, many noodles nowadays are made by machine.
There are assorted easy recipes to enjoy Chinese noodles. Chinese people enjoy noodles that are cold, hot, steamed, deep-fried, stir-fried, boiled, and served in soup. Hot noodles aren’t only there to perfect your winter, but it helps make you healthier with their high dose of protein inside.
The Chinese noodles family
Looks like the types of Chinese noodles aren’t only the ones mentioned above. To kick it off, there’s this wonton noodles that are divided into thin wonton and wide wontons. If it’s the first time you try Wonton noodles, you better have seafood as the companion!
But frankly said, nothing beats the taste of Wonton noodles meeting the delicate chicken broth. It’s just over the top! Though, if you don’t feel like having them for the moment, you can switch to cook the noodles with pork, chicken, or whatever you want. As for the cooking process, Chinese people used to cook those noodles by boiling them, draining them, followed by some drizzling using sizzling oil, then put simple sauce on top.
Next famous type is called Chow Mein noodles or Hong Kong Styled Pan Fried Noodle. Phew. What a long name, right?
Though Chow Mein looks like wonton, they have some differences. Unlike the first one, these noodles must be boiled in boiling water. This method will make the noodle ready for the next step: stir-fry.
Still, the best way to cook Chow Mein noodles is by dry stir-frying it with assorted vegetables. Leo Mein noodles are the next type of Chinese noodles. This kind of noodles is the thickest one and is designed to make dishes with rich or heavy sauce.
If Chow Mein’s best friend is vegetables, broccoli and beef are the perfect companion for Lo Mein. Compared to Chow Mein and wonton noodles, Lo Mein is denser and thicker but less springy.
This means there will be less of quality loss when you wait too long before eating your noodle and when you reheat your Lo Mein. That’s why, Lo Mein is suitable to accompany you during travelling. However, since Lo Mien is thicker, you will need to boil this for three to five minutes. Even so, both Lo Mien and Wonton require you to rinse them under the cold water if you won’t serve the noodles immediately.
So, which Mein noodles you will try making at home first?
Most Common Dishes to Make
We’ve talked about the types of Chinese noodles based on the ingredients used to make them. Now let us show you the best way to serve noodle dish with assorted Chinese recipes. There are at least four different ways we can use to cook various noodles from China.
The first one is making stir-fried noodles. Most popular Asian inspired food made with stir-fry method is Shanghai Noodles with Chicken. Logically, you should’ve used Shanghai styled noodles for this Asian dish. However, you can always replace the thick La Mian noodle with Italian pasta like tagliatelle or Japanese udon for a more Asian look.
The second delicious recipe in queue is pan-fried noodles. You are free to use either dried egg noodles or fresh noodles. Whichever you choose, you gotta make sure that your noodles must have crispy texture outside, but tender inside. Don’t worry, though! You can always practice making this Chow Mein recipe every day to nail your version.
Third Mein recipe you don’t want to skip is this quick and easy noodle soup. And believe me, this dish isn’t just good-looking and tasty inside, but a noodle soup can never go wrong! What’s better is; it is suwper easy to make with aromatic broth nobody can resist.
Well, unless you want to do the hand-pulled noodles, the total time needed to get this done is just ten minutes. The first ingredient is of course the Lo Mein, then you’d need oyster sauce, bok choy, soy sauces, and green onions along the way.
Finally, there is hot dry noodle that looks amazing you absolutely have to try! The perfect noodle for this dish is the one made from wheat and has yellow color. This kind of noodle has high calories—excellent for those who need to gain more energy. Also, you’re free to use either thin noodles or thick noodles. But always remember to cook thicker noodles longer than cooking the thin ones.
Which Chinese noodles is the healthiest?
Now here’s the question: Among those noodles we’ve talked about, which one is the healthiest?
This is can be a crucial matter especially if you are consuming these noodles with your kids. Let us start with Chow Mein. Each serving of Chow Mein contains 237 calories, 3.8 grams of protein, 25.9 grams of total carbohydrates, and 13.8 grams of total fat with 2 grams saturated fat.
But what about the other types?
Lo Mein has 320 calories per serving, 12 grams of protein, 42 grams of total carbohydrates, and 7 grams of fat with 1 gram saturated fat. Fats-wise, Lo Mein beats Chow Mein thanks to its lower nutrients in fat.
Please take note that those numbers are average nutrition contained by the noodles only.
If you are adding chicken, shrimp or the other meats and vegetables to your noodles, the numbers will definitely increase. Both types of Chinese noodles above are perfect for vegans and excellent substitute for rice. When looking for favorite recipes of chicken noodles, make sure you check the ingredients and the nutrition comes with the meals before deciding to try anything in the recipe books.
Homemade Spicy Shrimp Noodle
Speaking about Mein recipes, we have one that you will absolutely love! This recipe is called Spicy Shrimp Noodle. All you need is 20 minutes of cooking process and the mouth-watering dish is ready to serve!
First of all, you need to prepare these ingredients first:
- Lo Mein noodles for four servings
- 5 liter of chicken broth
- 1 pound of peeled and deveined raw shrimp in medium size
- ¼ cup of spicy Szechuan sauce
- 2 cups of shredded cabbage
- 1 cup of fresh snow peas
- ¾ cup of shredded carrots
- ¼ cup of fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 green onions, slice them thinly
Now, you must follow these steps thoroughly in order to serve the best version of your homemade Chinese noodle for the family:
- First of all, boil the noodles.
- Then, quickly drain them before they become overcook
- Now you can boil the chicken broth and later season it with salt, pepper, as well as other seasonings you desire.
- And add the shrimps while continue cooking for the next three minutes.
- Pour in the Szechuan sauce, cabbage, snow peas, and carrots and cook for another two minutes.
- Finally, bring back the noodles along with cilantro and green onions.
If you have no idea what seasoning you will use to perfect this Chinese food, you may want to get instant Asian noodle and use the instant seasoning contained by the package.
Or you just need to keep practicing in combining assorted seasonings in your kitchen so as time goes the Chinese dishes you make will taste much better than the ones provided by Chinese restaurants.
Who knows, right?