How to make dried noodles taste better?
Noodles are one of the most popular ingredients in Asian cuisine, whether they’re cooked up with a stir fry or seasoned in broth. They’re a convenient, budget-friendly way to get a quick meal on the table. While some noodles are eaten fresh, others are dried, meaning they are already cooked and just need to be rehydrated with boiling water. And while dried noodles can be a great time-saver, they’re often not as flavorful as their freshly-cooked cousins.
If you’re looking to make dried noodles taste better, you’ve got a few options. By experimenting with different herbs, seasonings, and sauces, you can liven up however plain dried noodles may be. Or, you can amp up the flavor of your noodle dishes with things like stock, dairy, or other more flavorful ingredients. We’ll cover all that, and more, in this article.
Before we dive into ways to make dried noodles taste better, let’s go over a few basics about dried noodles. Dried noodles are made using a process called alkali-treatment. Also known as kansui, this treatment helps give the noodles their trademark yellow color and chewy texture. The noodles are made by heating them in a hot alkali solution then drying them out. This alkali-treatment also helps to preserve them, making dried noodles a great choice for those who need something that can last a long time in their pantry.
The flavor of dried noodles will vary depending on the variety you buy. Some brands offer dried noodles flavored with different herbs and spices, but most dried noodles you’ll find in the store are simply made with wheat flour, salt, and water. That being said, there are a few easy ways to make dried noodles taste better.
1. Add Seasonings and Herbs:
Using the right seasonings can make all the difference when it comes to boosting the flavor of your dried noodles. Sprinkle some salt and pepper at the end of your cooking process to give the noodles a bit of a flavor boost. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, try adding some dried herbs or ground spices like oregano, thyme, or cinnamon.
2. Use Chicken Stock or Stock Cubes:
When you’re cooking dried noodles in a pot of boiling water, adding something like chicken stock or a stock cube can help infuse the noodles with lots of flavor. Not only will it give the noodles a deeper flavor, the added liquid will also help to soften the noodles and make them more tender.
3. Soak Your Noodles in Milk:
If you’re looking for an even more flavorful noodle dish, try adding milk to your spaghetti or ramen. Adding milk to the boiling water helps to give the noodles a creamy consistency and adds a subtle richness to the noodles’ taste.
4. Marinades and Sauces:
Dried noodles are incredibly versatile and can take on the flavor of all sorts of sauces and marinades. Whether you opt for a teriyaki marinade or a creamy cheese sauce, the perfect sauce can turn dried noodles into a show-stopping dish.
5. Add Vegetables and Proteins:
Adding vegetables or proteins to your noodles is a great way to bulk up the flavor of the dish. Try adding some diced bell peppers, mushrooms, and chopped chicken to dried noodles or add some cooked bacon to your spaghetti or ramen.
6. Fry Your Noodles:
Frying dried noodles gives them an earthier flavor, as the noodles absorb some of the oil you’re using to fry. If you’re using dried noodles for a stir-fry, try adding some aromatics like garlic and ginger, soy sauce, and chili oil to give the noodles a bit more of an intense flavor.
7. Top with Cheese:
Cheese is a great way to make nearly any dish more flavorful and dried noodles are no exception. Try adding some grated parmesan or cheddar cheese on top of your noodles for a cheesy, umami flavor.
Making dried noodles taste better doesn’t have to be hard. All it takes is a few simple steps to take your dried noodles to the next level. From adding herbs and spices to frying up your noodles, there are so many ways to turn plain dried noodles into a flavorful dish. Give it a try next time you have some to see just how much of a difference even a few of these simple tips can make.