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Jan 29, 2011 05:36 PM

singapore rice noodles and rice noodles in general

i'm going to try to make some singapore style rice noodles. the rice noodles package says to cover them in hot water for 10 min. then rinse in cold but several sites i've seen say to soak them in cold water. any advice?

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  1. I don't think it will make a difference.
    I normally soak them in cold water for 25 minutes.

    7 Replies
    1. re: monku

      Agreed. OP is over thinking things. Just soak until they are pliable.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        i'm not over thinking anything. the DIRECTIONS on the back of the package say to cook in hot water and the DIRECTIONS in another recipe say to soak in cold water. i was asking for clarity on technique.

        1. re: redgirl

          In your original post you didn't say "cook in hot water".
          In the original post it sounded as if you could place them in hot water (thinking of hot water from the sink) and let them soak for 10 minutes, no mention of "cooking".

          Just curious if it said "cook" or place in hot water?

          1. re: monku

            sorry i was unclear ... nights do that to me. one package said cook for 10 min and then rinse under cold. one package said soak in hot water. and one online said soak in cold.

            1. re: redgirl

              Are you using it for fried rice noodle or soup noodle? I think cooking in boiling water for 10 min is a bit long for even soup noodle and way too long for fried rice noodle. Good luck.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                thank you chemicalkinetics. i had a feeling that the directions on the package wouldn't yield what i needed as i am frying them in the wok for singapore noodles.

          2. re: redgirl

            No need to get in a tissy.

            If the directions on the package of your noodles say cook in hot water, then why doubt it?

            Most likely the directions in your recipe are contemplating the cook using a different kind or brand of rice noodles. There are as many types of rice noodles as dried pastas.

            Again, you're over thinking things.

            If you're going to follow directions, then just follow them.

            Asking us, when you already have a ready-set of directions in front of you, simply confounds matters for you.

            Now you have (1) directions on package (2) directions in recipe (3) multiple suggestions from Chowhounds.

            Listen to Occam. If the package says cook, then cook.

            Good luck.

      2. Are we talking about singapore *fried* rice noodle. For any fried rice noodle, I think you just want to noodle goes in the wok at semi-soft texture -- with water absorbed into the noodle but not yet fully cooked. If you are not in a hurry, you can just soak it in room temperature water until the noodle is semi-tender/semi-soft. If you want to get to it quicker, then soak it in hot water for a shorter duration.

        1. Funny you should ask. Today, I tried my hand at pad thai. I used banh pho noodles. I soaked them in cold water for one and half hours. They were quite pliable. Unfortunately, they just never got fully cooked, and the finished dish was ruined. I suppose I could have added water at the end and allowed it to steam the noodles.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sushigirlie


            Been there done that sushiegirlie LOL.

            I've done the cold soak, hot soak and even the light boil like standard pasta to get rice noodles cooked through.

            I've personally found time varies from noodle to noodle brand due to thickness and recipe, and the older the noodles are, the longer they take to reconstitute,.

            No matter the process, I always look for a noodle that is 95% of where I want ti done and then pull from teh water source and cool. Considering in dishes like pad thai or even pho where final cooking time is short, they need to be very close to the finished point.

            I too screwed up a nice pad thai dish once and vowed never to let it happen again.

            If cold does not soften, move to warm tap water. If still no go move to hot tap water. Boil on stove as final measure if hot tap does not work. Once you move to warm and up, you do have to keep an eye on them to make sure they do not soften too much. It works for me.


            1. re: jjjrfoodie

              The pad thai recipe I use calls for soaking the chantaboon rice sticks (about 1/8" wide when dry) in warm water, which I do for an hour. Comes out the right texture in the finished dish. One time after seeing a TV chef doing a cold water soak I did that, and found the noodles remained far too al dente. Went back to using warm tap water.

          2. I grew up learning to make this by watching my mother make a dish very similar to this (the main difference was the curry), and she always soaked in room temperature water until the noodles have absorbed almost as much water as they needed to (eg. they are soft and floppy without turning pasty). I've cooked mai fun more than 20 years and sometimes use water that's warm to touch because I'm more impatient than my mother. It always comes out ok. Different brands sometimes require different soaking times, so you just need to check the noodles until they are about the texture you want them. Then fry. If they aren't moist enough when you fry them, simply add a little liquid (either water or chicken stock) to the frying pan/wok so that the noodles can absorb more.
            For an example of method, you can check -- it's not my blog, but she cooks the rice noodles pretty much the way I do.

            3 Replies
            1. re: 8itall

              ok. tonite was the first time and everyone agreed (husband and teenage daughter) that they came out pretty nice. husband felt that the noodles were a teeny touch al dente - i soaked them in warm water for 10 min. and then rinsed them in cold and let them sit out a while. i think the one think i would do different is to add more wet to them. the curry was well distributed - i even curried the scrambled eggs ...but i thought they should have more wet and, as you pointed out, with more moisture, the noodles would have cooked a bit more.
              the one wacky thing was that the noodles were extra extra long. so long it was hard to serve them. (and we eat these out all the time...never this long). maybe I needed to crack them in half before soaking...has anyone done this?
              thanks for all the help. here's a photo.

              1. re: redgirl

                The photos look great. I am glad it works out for you.

                1. re: redgirl

                  Your pix make me hungry. If you have clean kitchen scissors, you can cut the noodles after they have soaked but before you fry them. But don't cut them on new year's eve (Feb. 2 this year; the new year is Feb. 3) because the long noodles are supposed to represent long life.