Home-Made Chinese Fresh ‘Fun’ Rice Noodles

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    450 g

    Fresh ‘fun’ Rice Noodles

Appears in

As a young apprentice working in my uncle’s restaurant kitchen, I was always fascinated by his skill in making fresh rice noodles. He would make up the batter in the evening and then come in very early the next morning before the restaurant opened to steam the batter into noodles, using five enormous woks. I have never forgotten being impressed by the way he managed to keep all the woks going at once, skipping quickly from one to the other. Freshly made rice noodles are very tasty, with a smooth, soft texture and a velvety surface that combines well with a light coating of sauce, as pasta should.

You should try making your own noodles a few times, if only to see if the freshly made ones really are superior to the packaged version. The rice flour and wheat starch (not the same thing as wheat flour) are readily available at Chinese grocers. The steaming technique assures a moist rice sheet that is easily rolled to be cut into noodles. Be sure to oil the steaming tin each time you add new batter, to prevent sticking. Once rolled and tightly wrapped, the sheets will keep in the fridge for at least 2 days, so you can cut the noodles just before you need to use them. Having mastered the technique and tasted the fresh noodles, I am sure you will make them often. Some Chinese grocers carry ready-made fresh ‘fun’ noodles.

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Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) rice flour
  • 6 tablespoons wheat starch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) water
  • about 2 tablespoons oil, preferably groundnut
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Method

In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, wheat starch, salt and water. Stir the batter until smooth and strain it through a fine sieve. Stir in the oil and sesame oil. Leave the batter to rest for 30 minutes.

Set up a steamer by adding 5 cm (2 in) water to a wok or deep pan and bring to simmering point. Lightly oil a round baking tin which fits easily into the wok or pan.

Give the batter a good stir and add 5 or 6 tablespoons of the mixture to the baking tin. Gently tip it so that the batter coats the surface of the tin. Place the tin into the wok or pan so that it sits uncovered floating above the simmering water. Cover the wok tightly. Steam gently for 3–4 minutes or until the batter is cooked. Remove the baking tin and allow it to cool slightly. Gently roll up the rice sheet and repeat the process until all the batter is used up.

Cover the rolled up rice sheets with cling film and chill for at least 1 hour before cutting. Cut the sheets into 1 cm (½ in) wide noodles and use immediately. The ‘fun’ noodles can be steamed and then topped with a sauce or stir-fried.

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