Guide to Shopping for Asian Noodles


Some people describe noodles as fast food but that is not the case for some Asian noodles. You’ve heard of Asian noodles or you’ve probably eaten some of it yourself but how well do you know Asian noodles and their textures? We’ll be taking a look at Asian noodles, types and guidelines to shopping for Asian noodles. So before you add that ramen to your cart, read this first to know if it’s really what you want. Let’s delve in!

Asian Noodles and Types

Asian noodles are of different types, texture and flavor depending on what it is made of. It can be made of wheat flour, rice flour, mung beans, yam etc. They are usually mixed with water and additives like; egg, tapioca, salt etc. Asian noodles can be sold fresh, dried, wet or cooked, it all depends on what the consumer wants, her health status, how the consumer can preserve it and how affordable it is. You can get the explanation better in the guidelines section of this article.

Rice Noodles

These are noodles made from rice flour and water, some people include additives like tapioca to make it more transparent. They cook faster and are quite softer than wheat noodles.

Rice noodles are of different types such as;

Shahe fen (flat rice noodles)

This is made from rice flour, water, salt and other additives. These noodles don’t freeze and are not totally dry. They feel slippery when touched. They are broad and whitish in color. They are mixed with beef sauce. Turns brown when cooked.

Udon (Thick rice noodles)

They are thick white noodles, highly versatile, usually cooked in sauce or soup. They can be fried. They can be obtained fresh, dried or frozen. Soft and chewy. Does not stick to work.

Rice Vermicelli Noodles

These are thin, fine noodles that don’t require much cooking. It can be dipped into hot water to soften then deep fried in hot oil. These fried vermicelli can be preserved and used to cook most Asian dishes. It can be eaten with soup or sauce without frying.

Rice Sticks

They are dried, flat noodles, they are of different sizes. When cooked, they become soft and slippery, firm and chewy. They can be cooked with chicken sauce.

Wheat Noodles

Wheat is the widest category of noodles. It is made from wheat-flour, water and additives like salt,egg, Iye-water etc. It can be flat, long or round. In Chinese, these noodles are generally referred to as ‘mien’ but other Asian countries have different names for it.

There are different types of wheat noodles and these includes;

Noodle Dish japan fast food roamilicious

Lo Mein Asian noodles

Lo means boiling in Chinese. This is a type of noodle obtained from the soft combination of wheat flour and egg. It is usually called Chinese egg noodles. It’s thicker than most noodles and it is boiled to retain its softness. It is rounded and needs to be fully cooked before it is mixed with sauce. It’s smooth and easy to chew. It goes well with vegetables and beef.

Yaka Mien

It is usually called dried wheat Chinese noodles or Chinese spaghetti. It is mostly found in New Orleans restaurants. It is more fatty, thicker and denser than lo mien. It can be fresh or dried and it has a rounded shape. It goes well with vegetables, beef and egg.

Chow Mein

Chow means frying in Chinese. These noodles are fried to retain their firmness. They are crunchy when fried. They are thicker than rice vermicelli but round. They are served with seasoned vegetable stew and mushrooms. It also goes with seafood.


Ramen can be thick, thin or curly. They are made from wheat-flour, water, salt and kansui (alkaline mineral). It is yellow when cooked, quite elastic and chewy.

tanaka ramen review
Tanaka Ramen dishes in Atlanta

Cellophane Noodles

These are thin noodles, whitish in color, semi-translucent and dried. They are made from mung bean starch, water and additives like tapioca. It has a glassy texture and absorbs sauce and broth well. They are usually sold dried. They can be used in spring rolls, soups or stir-fried dishes.


Gelatinous and translucent Japanese yam starch. It is round and thin but thicker than vermicelli. It can be cooked in Japanese soul or stir fries. It is plain, tastes starchy, soft and packaged in water. It is advisable to rinse thoroughly before use. It is chewy, firm and slightly rubbery. If you love asian noodles generally you will definitely love the bisquick dumpling recipe.

Guidelines on Shopping for Asian Noodles

Did you know that there are guidelines for the purchase of noodles? We all know that noodles are made from different recipes so a guideline is needed for both the consumer’s health and taste, etc

Health Status

Check the ingredient list before buying, as some are allergic to certain ingredients in Asian noodles.

Mode of Preservation

Asian noodles can be sold fresh, dried, cooked or wet. These should be purchased depending on the consumer’s ability to preserve these noodles. If you don’t have means of storing or preserving the fresh or cooked noodles, go for the dried ones which don’t require mush to stay fresh.

Affordability of Asian noodles

Like every other item, noodles are of different prices and qualities. Purchase noodles you can afford. Don’t go for expensive noodles if you cannot afford it. All noodles are nutritional so you’ll still get nutrients from the affordable ones.

Age of Asian Noodles

Most people don’t consider this important factor but age should be considered while shopping for both Asian and regular noodles. Some noodles are not advisable to be consumed after the date on the label as it loses its nutritional value.

There are varieties of Asian noodles but guidelines should be considered while shopping for Asian noodles. Know the method of preparation and the nutritional value of each type of noodle before purchasing.

About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!