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I quit! No more noodles in stir fry!


gfron1
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Use higher heat.

Don't overcook your noodles before you even add them to the pan (assuming you're using dried noodles).

When I make things like Cantonese-style chow mein, I don't even add the noodles to the pan. I fry them separately, put them on a plate, then put the other stuff on top. That helps prevent sogginess, too (good Chinese restaurants will box them separately for take out, too).

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One of the most important lessons I learned in the whole noodle stir fry scenario was to use very hand friendly tongues to toss the items in the wok. Some people can do it with chop sticks, but not me. The spatula style wok utensil just compacts the noodles.

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One of the most important lessons I learned in the whole noodle stir fry scenario was to use very hand friendly tongues to toss the items in the wok. Some people can do it with chop sticks, but not me. The spatula style wok utensil just compacts the noodles.

I sure hope you meant "tongs"! :shock::laugh:

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Tongs, high heat, lots of oil or water amazingly enough, try not to use too limp of noodles, cold or harder noodles work better, seperate the noodles from the rest of the stuff, add the sauce to both, add more sauce to the noodles AT THE END of stir-frying, stir fry shorter periods of time which will be easier with higher heat... see where I"m going? :P

I have grown up with woks and spatulas in a restaurant kitchen with lots of BTUs. I can not stir fry worth anything without tongs. :P

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I'm definitely not near as talented as you or any of our fellow posters are, but here's how I do it with rice noodles:

I fill up a big pot full of warm (not hot) water and soak them while I'm stir frying the rest of my ingredients. As soon as they are done, I add my noodles into the stir fry and they are perfect.

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I'm definitely not near as talented as you or any of our fellow posters are, but here's how I do it with rice noodles:

I fill up a big pot full of warm (not hot) water and soak them while I'm stir frying the rest of my ingredients.  As soon as they are done, I add my noodles into the stir fry and they are perfect.

Me too. I like the fresh rice noodles that you have to cut best.

And you gfron are not hopeless!

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While the Gfron sleeps, all of the stir fryers come out apparently!

On last night's recipe I used buckwheat soba. I've used a wide range of rice noodles (I own an international grocery so I have a good variety to play with, but its unfortunate that of the many cuisines we carry, the entire slew of Asian foods is our one culinary knowledge gap).

I do think these basics - overcooked noodles (I've never done dry noodles in stir fry), not high enough heat may be our culprits. I also just recently started soaking instead of boiling my noodles, and in conjunction with tips I picked up in the pad thai cook-off, I have had a few kinda successes.

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While the Gfron sleeps, all of the stir fryers come out apparently!

On last night's recipe I used buckwheat soba.  I've used a wide range of rice noodles (I own an international grocery so I have a good variety to play with, but its unfortunate that of the many cuisines we carry, the entire slew of Asian foods is our one culinary knowledge gap).

I do think these basics - overcooked noodles (I've never done dry noodles in stir fry), not high enough heat may be our culprits.  I also just recently started soaking instead of boiling my noodles, and in conjunction with tips I picked up in the pad thai cook-off, I have had a few kinda successes.

Are you trying to make yakisoba? Yakisoba uses a different type of noodle Hiroyuki or the Japan forum should be able to help with that one. Buckwheat soba noodles are used mostly in a broth or a cold noodle dish as far as I know. Also do you know the trick to cooking buckwheat soba noodles? Kristen taught me. See thread in Japan forum. Good luck. Happy stir frying (only one egullet :P). Um, if you are using DRY rice noodles then soaking in lukewarm water is recommended. The only thing I don't like is sometimes even I make it and it comes out glue-y. If it's fresh I love lad nha, using large rice noodles. Usually they are sold here in the State refrigerated so they are hard. Then I will make sure to have HIGH heat and seperate them a little in some lukewarm water before stir frying. The only problem then is that they are TOO wet. You have to be careful of that too. But only if using fresh IMHO. :)

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In addition to all the great tips mentioned upthread, one thing that I have to be careful about is not over-loading the wok (or pan). I usually divide the noodles into 2 batches and cook them separately. If your wok is super hot, your second batch should be done before the first batch gets cold.

Also, if I'm wokking particularly sticky noodles, I toss them with a bit of oil before adding them to the wok. Probably not an authentic technique, but it will definitely prevent your noodles from sticking together!

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In addition to all the great tips mentioned upthread, one thing that I have to be careful about is not over-loading the wok (or pan).  I usually divide the noodles into 2 batches and cook them separately.  If your wok is super hot, your second batch should be done before the first batch gets cold.

Also, if I'm wokking particularly sticky noodles, I toss them with a bit of oil before adding them to the wok.  Probably not an authentic technique, but it will definitely prevent your noodles from sticking together!

Shhhh! That's kinda a restaurant trick! Don't tell the world. Um.. well ok they toss it a lot of oil in the wok really really really quickly. You'd be surprised how much oil a "authentic" asian restaurant goes thru. I used to have to tell my dad to watch out or if I did myself in the kitchen (at age 5 so yes I had a lot of supervision usually one of the other cooks) I would almost always get splattered. Ouch!

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In addition to all the great tips mentioned upthread, one thing that I have to be careful about is not over-loading the wok (or pan).  I usually divide the noodles into 2 batches and cook them separately.  If your wok is super hot, your second batch should be done before the first batch gets cold.

Also, if I'm wokking particularly sticky noodles, I toss them with a bit of oil before adding them to the wok.  Probably not an authentic technique, but it will definitely prevent your noodles from sticking together!

Shhhh! That's kinda a restaurant trick! Don't tell the world. Um.. well ok they toss it a lot of oil in the wok really really really quickly. You'd be surprised how much oil a "authentic" asian restaurant goes thru. I used to have to tell my dad to watch out or if I did myself in the kitchen (at age 5 so yes I had a lot of supervision usually one of the other cooks) I would almost always get splattered. Ouch!

Yup, I do the bit of oil thing, too, which seems to prevent the glop factor.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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afaik, soba is rarely stir-fried, if at all, in Japan.  Yakisoba, for example, isn't even made with soba noodles, so perhaps it's your noodles that are horrible and worthless.  I'm certainly sure it can't be you!

Oddly enough, the Yakisoba I used to eat in Okinawa was made with the same noodles as their version of Soba soup. I think it was buckwheat noodles.

as a side note i just found this blog on Okinawan Food.

Edited by RAHiggins1 (log)
Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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Shhhh! That's kinda a restaurant trick! Don't tell the world. Um.. well ok they toss it a lot of oil in the wok really really really quickly. You'd be surprised how much oil a "authentic" asian restaurant goes thru. I used to have to tell my dad to watch out or if I did myself in the kitchen (at age 5 so yes I had a lot of supervision usually one of the other cooks) I would almost always get splattered. Ouch!

Geez, and I was afraid to mention that "tip" because I thought that the real cooks here would blast me for "cheating"! :laugh:

I started adding a bit of oil to the noodles before putting them in the wok because otherwise, I had to add so much oil to them in the wok that I was swapping gloppy noodles for greasy noodles. :angry: I find that I use much less oil overall if I add some oil to the noodles and toss before adding to the wok.

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Shhhh! That's kinda a restaurant trick! Don't tell the world. Um.. well ok they toss it a lot of oil in the wok really really really quickly. You'd be surprised how much oil a "authentic" asian restaurant goes thru. I used to have to tell my dad to watch out or if I did myself in the kitchen (at age 5 so yes I had a lot of supervision usually one of the other cooks) I would almost always get splattered. Ouch!

Geez, and I was afraid to mention that "tip" because I thought that the real cooks here would blast me for "cheating"! :laugh:

I started adding a bit of oil to the noodles before putting them in the wok because otherwise, I had to add so much oil to them in the wok that I was swapping gloppy noodles for greasy noodles. :angry: I find that I use much less oil overall if I add some oil to the noodles and toss before adding to the wok.

hahahhahah my dad would shoot me for giving away a trade secret! Um.. hrm I'll have to try that trick cause I use too much oil from growing up in a restaurant and it doesnt agree with the tum tum after gallbladder surgery in April. :rolleyes::huh::blink:

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If it's fresh I love lad nha, using large rice noodles. Usually they are sold here in the State refrigerated so they are hard. Then I will make sure to have HIGH heat and seperate them a little in some lukewarm water before stir frying. The only problem then is that they are TOO wet. You have to be careful of that too. But only if using fresh IMHO. :)

ETA my response!

Whether using fresh/refridgerated rice noodles - hor fun - I presume, bring the package out of the fridge a couple of hours before you cook them. Unwrap the package then cover the noodles loosely. Letting the noodles come to room temp will separate and soften them - making stir-frying easier. If you forget to take them out early, open the package, warm them for a short period of time ( 1 minute?) in the microwave.

I like to separate the noodles before toss them into the wok.

If you rinse them with water, you will rinse off the oil that already coats the noodles. Then you must drain them really well so they would cook up "dry" and not gloopy.

With egg noodles, I really watch to avoid over-cooking. Then, I rinse them quickly under cold running water, drain and chill before frying. This cooling firms them up and keeps them separate rather than goopy, even when I add sauce to them

Edited by Dejah (log)

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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One of the most important lessons I learned in the whole noodle stir fry scenario was to use very hand friendly tongues to toss the items in the wok. Some people can do it with chop sticks, but not me. The spatula style wok utensil just compacts the noodles.

I sure hope you meant "tongs"! :shock::laugh:

Oops!

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Also, if I'm wokking particularly sticky noodles, I toss them with a bit of oil before adding them to the wok.  Probably not an authentic technique, but it will definitely prevent your noodles from sticking together!

Shhhh! That's kinda a restaurant trick! Don't tell the world. Um.. well ok they toss it a lot of oil in the wok really really really quickly. You'd be surprised how much oil a "authentic" asian restaurant goes thru. I used to have to tell my dad to watch out or if I did myself in the kitchen (at age 5 so yes I had a lot of supervision usually one of the other cooks) I would almost always get splattered. Ouch!

Yup, I do the bit of oil thing, too, which seems to prevent the glop factor.

Another fan of the oil trick -- and just having returned from two weeks in Thailand, I learned that it's common both to toss the noodles with a bit of oil before frying and to use more than a bit of oil in the pan when cooking rice noodles. Like 1/4 cup per serving.

ETA: Oh, and the noodles are prepared two different ways (at least): if they're gonna be in soup, they're cooked until done; if they're gonna be stir-fried then they're significantly undercooked. That's probably obvious but I thought it worth mentioning.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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