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Mar 31, 2008 10:12 AM

Tried to make rice noodles...

Ended up with a sticky pile of mess.

Following a recipe from a Vietnamese cookbook, I tried to make my own favorite noodles (as from NYC's Saigon Grill), thick and a little slippery flat sheets of noodles, on my own. You are supposed to put a pot of water to boil on the stove, then cover the top with cheesecloth and secure it with string (not a rubber band, as I did, which of course melted and pinged away), then ladle a rice flour/water batter onto the stop, covering it and steaming for 2 to 3 minutes. When I tried to remove the finished noodle, I just got a clumpy, semi-hardened in spots, clump of stuff. I tried cooking longer to no avail. Has anyone else done this successfully???

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  1. I did it at a Vietnamese cookery class in Hoi An a few weeks ago. I found it a little tricky but this didn't happen to me - but I was using a batter that had already been made. The only thing I can think of is that the batter wasn't right, or that you cooked it for too long... Anyway, I'm sure someone with a lot more experience in these matters will be along soon!

    6 Replies
    1. re: greedygirl

      Why not just buy ready made rice noodles? The taste and texture can't be that different, and they are available fresh in many Asian markets.

      1. re: mberli

        Because sometimes people want to cook things themselves? The whole "cooking" thing?

        I, for one, will be watching for the replies, because I've tried this myself, and it didn't work out so well either.

        1. re: mberli

          I went shopping at Berkeley Bowl out here in CA, and they still didn't have the big, wide, shiny rice noodles I love. They have the thinner pad thai-ish noodle or the very thin spring roll wrappers, but no big gooey rice noodle. I was hoping I could get them by making them myself!

          1. re: mberli

            for me it is mostly controlling what is in my food I have a long list of food allergy top of the list are MSG, potatoes and gluten there in every thing so unless i wish to be sick all the time i have to avoid them.

            1. re: karm2865

              poor you... allergic to mushrooms, of all things!

            2. re: mberli

              because some of us aren't lucky enough to have an Asian market nearby.

          2. NO! My homemade rice noodles never turn out correctly. The recipes I have tried use water and rice flour. However, when I make them, they just fall apart. After researching a little, it has been suggested that adding a touch of boric acid powder to the batter will produce more elastic and shiny results but so far I have been wary of putting any chemicals into my noodles. I just buy them now..

            1 Reply
            1. re: bw2082

              I ended up wondering if there is just a totally different technique, and should I just go to Vietnam, home of my favorite food, once and for all to try to learn how to cook it myself?

            2. i believe the cheesecloth is used to allow the batter to drip a very thin layer into the pan where it is steamed. so there should be a pan (with no water) placed in a pot of boiling water. here's a method that recommends putting a thin layer of batter in a pan which is then covered w/ a towel (to catch condensation) and then put into a steamer.


              also, this was a tutorial that someone posted a while back where the noodles are made in a crepe-like fashion with a nonstick pan. the method of creating the thin layer is to add batter, swirl it around the pan and then pour the excess off.


              1. I used to make chow fun noodles with a recipe like this (omitting boric acid) --
                I wouldn't have tried it, but the "rice" noodles I purchased listed only wheat flour, and no rice flour at all. They came out very good. The hardest part was keeping the pie pan absolutely level so the noodles wouldn't have thick and thin spots.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bakergal

                  The recipe you listed has no rice flour in it though...

                2. There is a recipe in Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table for making rice paper/noodles which is very similar to how we did it in Hoi An. She also gives instructions for making it in a pan, rather like a crepe.