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???
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!
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..
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.
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.
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.