Bethany’s Mom’s Fresh Homemade Rice Noodles/ My Mom’s Healthy Ramen

IMG_2971I pride myself on figuring out how to make all of the foods I like to eat at home.  That said, I maintain a short list of items that I have deemed too difficult to produce at home, and these are the things I order when eating out.

  1. French Fries (I don’t have a deep fryer)
  2. Really good steak (I don’t have a hanger to age my meat in)
  3. BBQ (I don’t have a smoker or time to slow smoke)
  4. South East Asian dishes involving wide rice noodles (Dry wide rice noodles turn out mushy or cook into one inedible lump)

Number four has just been removed from my list!  A few months ago, my friend Bethany came back to NYC from a trip home to Texas, bearing gifts for me from her mother.  Bethany’s mother had taught her how to make rice noodles from scratch during their visit and she had sent Bethany home with packages of Tapioca and Rice flours, so that she could teach me how to do it too! IMG_2804

I have spent so much time with Bethany over the last many years that she really feels like family.  The fact that Bethany’s mom wanted Bethany to teach me how to make these noodles solidifies this feeling even farther.  When I first met Bethany 10 (!?) year’s ago, she was still a teenager.  She was working backstage on a show that we had brought from NYC to perform at The Hip Pocket Theater in Fort Worth,  Texas.   Bethany’s mom offered to make the cast a delicious Laotian meal.  If your teenage daughter starts to hang out with a bunch of rowdy puppeteers from New York while they do their puppet show in your town, you should totally offer to make them a delicious Laotian meal.  Bethany’s mother fed us the most wonderful meal, and told us amazing stories about her family and childhood in Laos and Thailand.  She also had the chance to check us out and make sure that we were good people.

These noodles are simple to make,  although the process is a bit time-consuming.  This recipe makes enough for eight large bowls of noodle soup.  The noodles keep well raw in the fridge, so with a bit of prep work you can make quick noodle soup for dinner all week.  We rolled the noodles  out in several batches, and the last batch were definitely the thinnest…we ate those right away.  The ones pictured here are pretty thick, but still delicious in my opinion.  Bethany assured me that her mother would be very disappointed with the thickness of our noodles.  The process does not require any special tools.  In fac,t Bethany’s mom sent specific directions that Asian people used chopsticks not whisks and pestles not rolling pins!  In other words, use what you have!
I am looking forward to making Pad See Yew, which is one of my favourite Thai dishes to order when I eat out.  Also, Bethany’s mom uses this same dough to make dumplings!  I am hoping that I can use this dough to recreate the steamed Tainan style shrimp dumplings (I did it!  Click here for a dumpling recipe) that I was obsessed with eating on my recent trip to Taiwan.
So far though,  I have made three batches of noodles and all 24 portions got eaten in very healthy and simple vegetable noodle soup.  This is the sort of dish my own mother excelled in making when I was a child.  She would throw away the package of unhealthy salty seasoning that came with ramen noodles and use the noodles with vegetable broth, toasted sesame oil, fresh ginger, soy sauce (I used fish sauce), scallion (I used chives), vegetables and an egg dropped in.   I also add some chili sauce to mine.   So, basically this is my mom’s healthy vegetable ramen, made with my sister’s experimental economical style vegetable broth, and Bethany’s Mom’s noodles.
IMG_2979BETHANY’S MOM’S FRESH RICE NOODLES

makes 8 servings

If you can get yourself to a South East Asian grocery store, I recommend buying your flours there.  For one thing, it will be cheaper, and for another the rice flour in particular is ground much finer than the white rice flour from the health food store.

  • 14 oz tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch)
  • 16 oz white rice flour (not glutinous rice flour…although that may work as well?)
  • 4 or 5 cups boiling water (it must be boiling!)
  • Extra tapioca flour for rolling out
  1. Combine the flours in a large bowl.
  2. Add 2 cups of the boiling water to the flours and gradually add more a cup at a time until the dough is pliable and easy to work with.    You can stir it with a tool of some kind (Bethany’s mom uses chopsticks) until it cools down enough to knead with your hands.  It is important that you work with it while it is still hot.  Bethany and I noticed that in order to make nice thin noodles you needed to add a little more water once it reaches that perfect easy to work with smooth elastic feel.  It should be just a tad sticky.  Divide the dough into four lumps.  IMG_2809
  3. Generously dust a large surface with tapioca starch.  Roll the dough out with a rolling-pin, bottle or pestle that has been dusted with tapioca starch.  Get it as thin as you can.  It should be translucent.IMG_2827
  4. Slice the noodles as thin as you like with a sharp knife.  Repeat the process with the remaining lumps of dough.
  5. The noodles can be cooked right away or portioned out into clean, dry containers and stored in the fridge until you are ready to cook them up.

MY MOM’S HEALTHY RAMEN BROTH

  1. Thaw the rrrreee stock if it is frozen.
  2. Add the ginger and bring the stock to a near boil.  Simmer the stock until it takes on a nice ginger flavour.
  3. Season the broth with sesame oil, chili paste, tamari or fish sauce, sugar and vinegar.

ADDITIONS AND TOPPINGS

Use any or all of the following.

  • 1 egg per serving
  • carrots, sliced on a diagonal
  • asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
  • snow peas or sugar snap peas
  • shredded Napa cabbage
  • Furikaki (Japanese seasoning salt with sesame and nori.  Look for a brand with no MSG)
  • snipped scallions or chives
  1. Bring the broth to a boil.  Crack the eggs into the boiling broth.  When they set, take them out of the broth with a ladle and put one in each bowl.   It is good if there is a bit of hot broth in the bowl so that the egg continues to cook.
  2. Drop the carrots, peas, asparagus and or cabbage into the boiling broth.
  3. When the broth comes back to a boil, drop in the noodles.
  4.  When the noodles float, ladle the broth, noodles and vegetables into the bowls.
  5. Garnish with chives and furikake and serve.

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About Big Sis Little Dish

This is a blog run by two sisters. Erin is the big sister who lives in New York, and Silvi is the little sister who lives in Vancouver. They both love to cook! They created this blog to share and store recipes for the food they make.

15 comments

  1. I actually just remembered this part. When my mom and I made these noodles, she put a bunch in a zip top bag and stuck them in the trunk of my car. I then drove from Texas to NYC without stopping or refrigerating or chilling these noodles in any way. They were still delicious after the abuse, in case any of your readers question how well these noodles last raw in the fridge.

  2. I love the idea of making your own rice noodles. If I can get the flour I am so having a go at this.

  3. Glenda

    True comfort food!!

  4. Brad

    I have been looking and looking for how to make noodles like this. Not nearly as easy to find as I thought. Thanks for posting this. I cannot wait to try your approach.

  5. maria mccall

    Iv got celiac and always buy rice noodles but sometimes find it hard to buy the width i want so i am defo going to have a try at these cause i have the flours in the cupboard all time so will defo try this cant wait

  6. Pingback: Happy Lunar New Year!/ Gluten-Free Shrimp and Pork Dumplings (inspired by travels in Taiwan) | Big Sis Little Dish

  7. I’d love some advice! I’ve combined the flours and the boiling water and am trying to roll out the dough. As I start to get it thin (not even 1/4 inch) it is just breaking up on me! It’s holding together fine in balls and is slightly sticky as you specified. Any tips?

    • Did you dust your surface and roller lightly with tapioca flour? Did you seek out an asian brand of rice flour (the health food brands have a much coarser grind)? If you did both of those things you may have either too little or too much water. Is it breaking because it is gummy? If so, knead in a bit more flour. Is it breaking because it is crumbly? If so, add a bit more boiling water. The dryness of flours vary wildly, depending on how long and how they have been stored. Good luck!
      Erin

      • Thanks for the reply! I ended up adding considerably more flour (I’m not using Asian rice or Asian tapioca flour, both of mine were Bob’s Red Mill brand) and it got to a more workable consistency, after kneading it for a while (about 10 additional minutes). I was able to roll out the noodles and cut them with out them breaking under their own weight. I only used 3.5 cups of water so yeah, different flours will act much differently. Bad news is that I tried to cook a few test noodles and they just fell apart in a gummy mess. So looks like this is a total loss for me! Oh well. I have some spare dry noodles in the pantry. Live and learn.

        • I am so sorry! I hope that you will try it again with asian flours. I love Bob’s Red Mill products but it is true that they do not work for this (the tapioca is actually okay. It’s the pesky rice flour that is the trouble). The good news is that, if you can find them, the asian brands are very, very affordable!

  8. Altie

    Could you use a pasta roller to roll them out?

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