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Monday, July 19, 2010

Oodles of Noodles

Is pasta a noodle or is noodle pasta?!!

Until recently, the FDA required a noodle to contain flour, water and eggs to be rightly called a noodle.
Since most Asian noodles aren’t made with eggs, this left them with alternatives like “imitation noodles”.
Asian noodle producers (from the birthplace of the noodle no less) could not use the n-word. The government finally relented, and we can now see “Asian noodles” on packages.
So, if farfalle (bow-tie pasta) contains eggs, it is rightfully a noodle but ramen that does not have egg in it is not entitled to the n-word.
A noodle, to me, is anything elongated, extruded from dough and cooked in boiling water.
Next to rice, noodles are our staple and we do have an inexhaustive list of noodle types and styles in which they are cooked.

Noodle Trivia

1. Traditionally, the Chinese serve noodles for a birthday celebration. These customary noodles are usually long, yellow coloured noodles made from wheat flour. They symbolize long life in the years to come and should not be cut while cooking or eating them.

Lum Meen or Birthday Noodles

2. How long would all the noodles in one packet stretch?
51 metres! Yes, that’s more then two times the length of a tennis court.

Ramen - A Japanese noodle dish that originated in China

3. The Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.

Wonton Noodles (Malaysian style)

Wonton Noodles (Hong Kong style)

4.The word Noodle derives from the German Nudel (noodle) and may be related to the Latin word nodus (knot).

5. Spätzle is a Swabian type of noodle made of wheat and eggs. Swabia is both a historic and linguistic region in Germany.


6. Tészta refers to various types of Hungarian noodles.

7. Erişte is a flat, yellow or reddish brown Turkish wheat noodle.

8. Laksa - A spicy noodle dish native to Malaysia and Singapore. Basically, there are 2 types - Assam Laksa and Curry Laksa.

Assam Laksa - Thick rice noodles in a sour fish broth

Curry Laksa - Yellow noodles in a coconut milk curry

9.Idiyappam - String hoppers made from rice noodles curled into flat spirals - a culinary specialty in Kerala and Tamilnadu.

10. Pancit is the term for noodles in Filipino cuisine


11. Tagliatelle - Legend has it that tagliatelle was created by a talented court chef, who was inspired by Lucrezia d'Este's hairdo on the occasion of her marriage to Annibale II Bentivoglio, in 1487.


Here's a recipe to share

Stir Fried Spaghetti Malaysian Style


* 1 (8 ounce) package spaghetti
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/2 onion, chopped
* 1 egg (optional)
* 3 1/2 ounces ground pork
* salt and pepper to taste
* white sugar to taste
* 1/2 tablespoon chili sauce
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon tomato puree
* 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion in the oil until the onion is a bit brownish. Stir in the egg. Add the ground pork and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Mix in the cooked pasta, salt, sugar, pepper, chile sauce, soy sauce and tomato puree. Stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Add red pepper and stir-fry for another 2 minutes; pour in a bit of water if it is too dry.


  1. No matter what it's called, I sure do love eating it! You have featured some delicious examples here too!

  2. And once again you have made me hungry! As an Italian American who loves Asian food, I am all about the noodles...and the pasta. : ) Thanks for an intersting read!

  3. I love noodles and cheese together. YUM!!! I will have to give that recipe a try. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Yummy~! :) The only thing I probably would eat is the lobster staring at me LOL....

  5. OMG! I love photos of food. Beautiful! Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you have a wonderful evening.

  6. I didn't know about the technical definition of noodle! Now I feel like a big liar haha.

    You've got me drooling again. You know what I've been craving...Lobster Lo Mein. I haven't had it in ages, since I went to Vancouver. Yummy.

    Thanks for sharing! Drool.

  7. I read so much about laksa noodles. They always look so yummy. Too bad we do not have any restaurants in SF that serve this dish or at least none that I'm aware of.

    I didn't know the Chinese ate noodles 5000 years ago. That's really impressive.

  8. Give me a bowl or a plate of noodles and we can sit down to a hearty meal:)

  9. You always ave such good info. Stuff I don't even think about. My son asked me the other day was spaghetti pasta? I told him all noodle were pasta. I had no clue. lol

  10. MMMMM... Now Im hungry... I loved the recipe...!!!!