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Chinese Egg Noodles in Soup: What should I have done differently?

I just made some fabulous stock that I was looking forward to having in some light noodle soup this week. I added some veggies, turkey and thought I would put in the package of "fresh" packaged Chinese egg noodles that I had purchased. I haven't used them in soup before, but figured they would be tasty. After initial cooking of the noodles, I turned off the stove to let all cool before placing in refrigerator. Unfortunately, an hour later, the egg noodles continued and continued and continued to absorb the stock, so that by the time it had cooled enough to put into the refrigerator, there was no longer broth...only long and very plump noodles. That has never happened before when I used dried noodles. Is it the fact that the noodles were fresh? What other Asian style noodle should I have used that wouldn't continue to absorb the stock?

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  1. Noodles of any type will continue to absorb liquid. When warming up the soup, some of the broth will separate again, but this is why I never store noodles in a sauce/broth. I have had my greatest success when I cook the noodles separately, and then add them back in just before serving.

    I have never used ramen-style noodles, so perhaps they behave differently.

    1. Unfortunately, you have to keep them separate 'til before serving, or else this happens. We almost always have a container of stock and a container of noodles (w/a little sesame oil on them so they don't stick together too much) in the fridge - then heat broth, throw in noodles (and veg/meat/tofu) if you want and serve. I haven't found any fresh noodles that don't continue to absorb broth, and I've never used dried. Otherwise, your soup sounds delicious!


      1. OK, here is a little trick I use to make noodles with a really rich stock. I do not cook the in my the stock I will serve the finish dish. Fresh noodles will absorb more stock.

        I cooked the noodles in stock made with a bullion (either chicken, seafood or beef base depending my finishing stock) this allow for the noodles to get some flavor in basic stock. Then when the noodles are done and have absorb all the "flavored" water.

        Then place the noodles, cooked meat and vegetable in the bowl and then add really hot best stock to fill the bowl. Believe me, you only taste the best stock since the best tasting stock will stand out.

        1. Cook separately.

          When ready to serve, combine and bring to a quick boil, and plate.

          1. try soaking egg noodles in cold water for at least half an hour if they're going into a hot broth.

            1. All the "fresh" Chinese noodles I use are precooked. You just add at the last minute, no initial cooking. They're made so you can just cook the dish to order.

              5 Replies
              1. re: coll

                All the "fresh" Chinese noodles I use are precooked.
                Most of the fresh Chinese egg noodles I use, e.g., Shanghai Noodle, Lo Mein are not pre-cooked, however, companies such as Twin Marquis Brands offer both versions in my area.


                I agree with keeping the noodles separate from stock or broth when holding.

                1. re: fourunder

                  Twin Marquis are what I use. The don't make a big announcement about it on the package, so if you didn't know, you'd probably think you have to pre cook.

                  1. re: coll

                    Twin Marquis makes nine types of noodles according o their products list.....three of which are not pre-cooked.


                    1. re: fourunder

                      I buy wholesale and there are 6 noodles available there (5# vs 1# but otherwise identical I believe). I use soba, udon, cooked lo mein, whole wheat and spinach, which covers all my bases. If I hadn't been told not to cook, I probably wouldn't have known better (because previously I used Italian noodles as sub). I use their dumplings and siu mei extensively too, which are also pre cooked, and just need a few minutes in a steam basket. And their wrappers are the best I've found. PS off topic: Their curry samosa is my favorite item, I can make a meal of it.

                      http://www.twinmarquis.com/tangs/tg_f... http://www.twinmarquis.com/tm/product...
                      That's my shopping list.

                      1. re: coll

                        The noodles that I purchased don't have an obvious brand name anyplace. I don't see the word tangs, or twin marquis. I purchased them at a predominantly Vietnamese area/market in San Francisco. The package has a lot of Chinese symbols...and then in English, it is written, "Chinese Egg Noodles." Very long, thin, and folded into clear plastic bag. They definitely did not taste pre-cooked, as I sampled every 30 sec-minute of cooking, (as I didn't want to overcook...hah!), and tasted chewy dough in the process.

              2. this happens with all noodles, not just Chinese egg noodles. I'll make a traditional chicken soup,use veggies, broth and egg noodles. What's not eaten goes into the fridge, the next day, it's a casserole.
                Try freezing the soup right away, that will help (even if you want to eat it the next day) otherwise get ready for icky noodles. I use to put a few thinnish noodles in my Matzo Ball soup, and I quit doing it for exactly this reason, the noodles get weird.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chef chicklet

                  I use to put a few thinnish noodles in my Matzo Ball soup, and I quit doing it for exactly this reason, the noodles get weird.
                  I always find the soup becomes somewhat sour when refrigerated with noodles or pasta in the broth.......and after reading suggestions here on this site, I no longer cook the pasta or noodles in the soup....unless I plan on freezing immediately after the soup cools down. Now, I always cook the noodles just before serving the soup and always keep the soup/stock separate.

                2. I really appreciate all of your info! It seems pretty clear that I should definitely keep the noodles entirely separate, next time I want "noodle soup." I also realize during reading these replies that a couple of my favorite take-out Vietnamese and Chinese soups come with the noodles in a separate container from the broth. Of course! I suspect that the American version of Chicken noodle soup may be the same, its just that I usually put very few dried noodles in it (of bow tie, or thin and short egg noodle variety) where I may not have noticed the continued absorption. Yes, unfortunately, all of that delicious stock I made is now trapped into mushy noodles....learning experience for next time! :) Thanks Chowhounds!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sfcitygal

                    Hey you're welcome! And by the way, I find the problem even worse with rice or barley. I usually just add a bunch more broth if I'm desperate, or eat it like it was supposed to be that way in the first place.