Happy National Noodle Month
March is National Noodle Month! Whether they’re stir-fried, served in broth or doused in sauce, noodles are a beloved comfort food in many cultures.
While many nations claim to have invented noodles, the oldest mention of noodles appears in a dictionary from the third century A.D. in China.
At Fresh Prep, our in-house chefs carry out extensive research on the traditional cuisines of many countries to create culinary masterpieces for our menu each week.
From crispy stir fries to flavourful ramen, our menu is bursting with oodles of noodle dishes inspired by cultures from around the world:
Chinese – Beef + Broccoli Stir Fry
Based on the well-loved Chinese beef and broccoli dish, this supreme stir fry is loaded with fresh Shanghai noodles, broccoli florets and flavour-rich sliced beef, sautéed and tossed in a mouthwatering mixture of oyster sauce, soy sauces and Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine. Shanghai Noodles are uniquely thick, round and soft and usually made with eggs and canola oil, giving them a yellow colour. These noodles loosen easily making them suitable for stir fries.
Pan Asian – Tofu Coconut Noodle Curry
This comforting noodle bowl is inspired by the flavours of a warm bowl of red Thai curry. Crispy, curry-scented tofu is piled onto deliciously chewy white noodles with tender shimeji mushrooms, crisp snap peas and red onion – all mingling in a creamy, curried coconut sauce. This recipe purposely uses a fresh and deliciously chewy medium white noodle as the wheat it’s made from allows it to easily soak up flavour.
Italian – Lemony Shrimp Scampi Spaghettini (New)
As sunny as Sicily in August, this shrimp scampi noodle dish is bursting with bright and delicious flavours. It is perfectly lemony, garlicky and buttery, balanced with savoury parmesan cheese and roasted gem tomatoes. The noodles in this dish are called spaghettini which (you guessed it) is very similar to spaghetti – both are long, slender, thin noodles. The difference is that spaghettini is thinner than spaghetti, and therefore takes less time to cook. Bonus!
Italian – Mushroom Cacio e Pepe
This pasta is our take on the classic Italian dish, Cacio e Pepe, meaning “cheese and pepper”. Fresh locally made linguine noodles are coated in a buttery fresh parmesan, asiago, and black peppercorn sauce. These delightfully simple flavours are accentuated with three types of mushrooms, and a squeeze of lemon for good measure. Fun fact: linguine is wider than spaghetti but not as wide as fettucine.
The instant noodle was named the best invention of the 20th century in Japan? In second place, karaoke.
Vietnamese – Vietnamese Beef on Chilled Noodles
This flavour-packed noodle bowl takes its inspiration from the French-Vietnamese dish Beef Lok Lak. Thinly sliced beef and onions are cooked in plenty of salty-sweet-spicy sauce and served over chilled vermicelli noodles with pickled vegetables and edamame. The translation of the word vermicelli is actually “little worms”. While they may not have the most appetizing name, these extra-thin noodles are quick-cooking and good with countless flavours, as proven by the fact that they are used around the world in meals from breakfast to dessert and in both hot or cold dishes.
Malaysian – Satay Noodle Soup
Slurp to your heart’s content with this Malaysian-inspired noodle recipe. Umami-rich oyster mushrooms, tender rice noodles, bok choy and carrots are steeped in an aromatic peanut-coconut-lemongrass broth, then garnished with lush cilantro and bird’s eye chili for a little kick. Fresh made rice noodles are a favorite of people who live in Singapore, Laos, Sri Lanka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Malaysia.
Top noodle tips!
- Wait until the water comes to a rapid boil before adding your pasta. Throwing in the pasta too early when the water isn’t hot enough can result in sticky, gummy noodles.
- For noodles that require rinsing such as rice noodles or fresh white noodles, toss them in oil when draining to prevent them sticking together. But watch out! Any oil clinging to your pasta once drained will prevent sauce from absorbing properly.
- You should always salt your noodle water. Missing this step will mean that, no matter how perfect the sauce tastes off your spoon, it won’t stick to the noodles when it comes to eating them.
- The best way to test if pasta is al dente is to take a bite. About two minutes before the time expires on the package directions, give the pasta a taste. If it’s tender enough to chew but still contains a bit of a bite, you’ve reached al dente perfection!
- Reserve a cup of your pasta cooking water right before draining it. That way, you’ll have starchy cooking water within reach for adjusting the consistency of the pasta sauce once everything is mixed together.