Rice Noodles and Wrappers

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Like starch noodles, rice noodles are held together by amylose, not gluten; but because they contain protein and cell-wall particles that scatter light, they’re opaque rather than translucent. Rice noodles are made by soaking high-amylose rice in water, grinding it into a paste, cooking the paste so that much but not all of the starch is gelated, kneading the paste into a dough and extruding it to form noodles, steaming the noodles to finish the gelation process, cooling and holding for 12 hours or more, and drying with hot air or by frying them in oil. Again, the holding and drying cause starch retrogradation and the formation of a structure that stands up to rehydration in hot water. Fresh rice noodles, chow fun, need no rehydration before being stir-fried.