Rice noodle has a wide population in China. We get Shanxi Rice noodles (米皮)， Cantonese rice noodles (河粉) and Hunan rice noodles (米粉). They may be served in salad, soups and stir-fries. In this recipe, I will introduce how to make rice noodles at home very easy to find ingredients.
Caution first, homemade rice noodles, although quite unique in flavor can’t be same 100% with the machine made version. Store-bought machine made version is super soft with a small amount of additives.
The real Chinese version of rice noodles using a very special type of rice named “早稻米”, it is one type of the long grained rice. It is not liked as a steamed rice ingredient because of the shorter grown period and the environment, this type of rice contains less protein. But it is the best ingredients for rice noodles.
Soak the rice for 4 hours and then blend with water for ration between 1:1.5 or 1:2 (rice vs water). Settle the batter for 30 minutes and then steam. We get perfect rice noodles with the strongest rice aroma. However, this type of rice is hard to find in daily routine. I can only find it on online store but find it is almost impossible to get it outside China. So here is the substitution: store bought regular rice flour + starch.
Rice flour plays an important role to the texture and flavor while starch helps to strengthen the noodles, avoid breaking during boiling. I have tested with lots of batches and just find out the perfect balance and the best type of starch. Among cornstarch, potato starch, sweet potato starch and tapioca starch, sweet potato starch and tapioca starch works the best. If you want to achieve the success as soon as possible, read the instructions very carefully and follow to word.
- the mixture should be with the right ratio range, if you want to use it for cold dishes like salad, recommend using cold water + hot boiling water so the rice noodle can be softer. For stir-frying or noodle soup, use cold water only. For this batter, the want amount can change from 540ml to 580ml. More water make the noodle softer, smoother but easier to break. Lower amount of water creates relatively a stronger and chewier texture.
- Stir the batch every time when using to make sure it is even. Steam the noodles immediately after loaded with the mixture, otherwise the mixture will be layered.
- Use a larger pot so the steamed rice can have larger surfaces and there will be enough vapour coming up. Make sure the water is already boiling when placing the steaming pan.
- Don’t add oil in the batter. Oil can’t dissolve in the batter and consequently bring some small oil droplets, which will further influence the surface of the steamed noodles.
- I recommend you using a kitchen scale for the first 2 batches since the ratio is extremely important.
- You need to slightly adjust the steaming time, the amount of batter and the ratio based on the first steaming result. My pan is 26cm in diameter. Don’t make the wrapper too thick, otherwise it might be steamed completely.
Since this is a little bite complex, so I draft a work flow.
Mix the batter – Settle 30 minutes – Bring water to a boiling – Grease the pan – Re-stir the batter – Add batter to pan – Steam 3 to 4 minutes, covered with high fire – Place in cold water (brushing oil on surface) – Place the second pan to steam- Peel off the rice wrapper – Repeat the process – Cutting.
In a large bowl, add rice flour, starch and a very small pinch of salt . Add 400ml water and mix well. Then add another 150 ml hot boiling water. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes. Add hot boiling water can make the noodles even softer. If the rice noodle is planned to be served with soup or stir-frying dishes, 550ml cold water.
Bring a large pot of water to a boiling and set up the steamer. In winter cold days, steam the pans firstly.
Now stir the batter once again for a while for achieve an evenly texture.
Use a kitchen paper to grease the pan, then gently stir the batter and strain in around 1/3 cup to form a thin cover on the pan (depending on the size of the pan, make adjustment after the first steaming).
Make sure the water is already boiling!! Place the pan to steam for 3 to 4 minutes over high fire. The steamer should be well covered! Until there are large air bubbles (showing the rice noodle is well steamed). No worries about the air bubbles as they deflate after peeling. Transfer out and place in cold water for quick cooking and brush oil on surface. During the process, add the second pan to steam.
After 2 minutes, peel the rice noodle off from the thicker edges and fold up.
Re-peat the process until finish all of the batter. Should be 8-10 large rice noodle wrappers for this batch. Cut into strips, either thin or wide.
- 210 g regular rice flour , 2 cups
- 60 g tapioca flour , around 1/2 cup
- 400ml room temperature water
- 150ml hot boiling water
- oil for brushing
- 1 small piece cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 2 pieces sand ginger
- 1 small piece dried tangerine
- 1 Cao Guo
- 1 thumb ginger
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 star anise
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove
- 1 bottle black vinegar
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 garlic cloves (smashed) + 1 tbsp. water
- 2 tsp. Chinese chili oil , homemade version
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. spice infused vinegar
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- shredded cucumber
- blanched bean sprouts
Mix rice flour, salt and tapioca flour. Add 400ml cold water firstly and mix well. Strain to avoid any possible bumps. Then add 150ml hot boiling water. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boiling and setup the steamer, (steam the pans firstly in cold winter day).
Use a kitchen paper to grease the pan, then gently stir the batter and place in around 1/3 cup (depending on the size of the pan, mine is 26cm in diameter make adjustment after the first steaming), better via a fine strainer to form a thin cover. Don't let the wrapper too thick, otherwise can't be steamed well. Place the pan to steam for 3-4 minutes, covered and over high fire until there are large bubbles formed (showing the noodles are well steamed). Transfer out and place in cold water for cooling and brush oil on surface. During the process, stir the batter once again and pour in the second pan, add the second pan to steam.
Peel from the thicker edges, cool down. Re-peat the process until finish all of the batter. Remember to stir the batter evenly before using.
Fold the steamed sheets and cut into strips(either thin or wide).