Noodles have always been a favourite of mine, they cook quickly and it’s so easy to make them taste awesome. These rice noodles are packed full of flavour and are served with vibrant, crunchy veg.
I was actually going to make this a ramen noodle dish, but then I thought about challenging myself. I honestly think that rice noodles are quite bland and it can be a bit trickier to make them taste good. And that is where the challenge comes in, I like putting myself in a position where I have to be extra creative in terms of how I make a dish taste good.
So what is the secret to making rice noodles taste great? Well, for me the 2 best ways to serve rice noodles is when served super fresh, tossed in a salad and is flavoured with some kind of sour balsamic vinaigrette. Or you could serve it the way I did in this recipe, tossed in a hot pot with other ingredients. When you serve them hot, I really think that having some sweetness really helps. I guess that is where a bit of Chinese influence comes in.
I also think that texture is important, so make an effort to not overcook your veg, they just need a little heat. You don’t want to end up with soggy veg. And I love how the toasted pine nuts and the crispy fried shallots take the dish to another level.
These noodles are mixed with caramelised onions, a bit of brown sugar and a touch of honey. By no means are we trying to make noodle candy. Rather, the goal is to add enough sweetness to lift the dish. The balsamic vinegar and soy sauce is also important because they counteract and balance out that sweetness.
What do you think of rice noodles? Are you a fan? Do you prefer ramen like me? Or perhaps you like udon or buckwheat noodles. I just love Asian noodle recipes like this because it’s so straightforward and you can’t go wrong. Just boil noodles, fry other ingredients, toss the noodles through, season and add other flavours and boom! Job done.
Thanks so much for reading through this post!! I really hope you enjoy it if you choose to make it. Feel free to subscribe, comment and rate the recipe. Have an awesome day and I’ll send another post your way soon!
Rice Noodles with Balsamic Onions
- 350 g of flat rice noodles
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying the red onions
- 3 red onions peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic power
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into julienne cut into matchsticks
- 150 g snow peas topped and tailed
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 handful of fresh mint leaves roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- Enough vegetable oil for shallow frying the shallots
- 2 shallots peeled and sliced
- Put your rice noodles in a large bowl. Bring a kettle filled with plenty of water to a boil, then pour the boiling water over the rice noodles. Soak for 8-10 minutes then drain, put the noodles back into a bowl and fill with cool water. Leave the noodles to soak in the cool water and set aside.
- Get a large pot or pan over medium heat, then add your pine nuts. Lightly toast the nuts until they have some colour, and keep an eye on them making sure that you don't burn them. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Keep the pot over the heat then add about 1 tablespoon of oil vegetable oil. Add your onions and fry for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally until slightly browned. Next, add your balsamic vinegar, sugar, ginger powder and garlic powder then mix through. Add your carrots and snow peas and cook for a further 30 seconds, then turn the heat down low.
- Add your rice noodles and stir through until well combined. Turn the heat off and add your soy sauce, ¾ of your chopped mint and your honey.
- Have a sheet of kitchen paper ready. Add enough oil in a small pan or pot for shallow frying. Place the pan over medium-high heat and wait for the oil to get nice and hot. You can test the oil by adding a little slice of shallot, if it floats and bubbles your oil is ready. If not keep heating the oil up. Add the shallots and fry for 2-3 minutes until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shallots into kitchen paper to drain.
- Serve your rice noodles in a bowl or on a plate, then top with your fried shallots, your toasted pine nuts and your mint.
- If you don't want to add sugar, add honey instead.
I hope you like this recipe!! If you do, then you may want to check out this Rice Noodle Broth recipe too!!