Chinese noodles
Overview
 
Noodles are an essential ingredient and staple in Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

. There is a great variety of Chinese noodles, which vary according to their region of production, ingredients, shape or width, and manner of preparation. They are an important part of most regional cuisines within China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, as well as in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, and other Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n nations with sizable overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 populations.

Chinese-style noodles have also entered the cuisines of neighboring East Asian countries such as Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 (jajangmyeon
Jajangmyeon
Jajangmyeon is a popular Korean dish, derived from the Chinese dish zha jiang mian. It consists of wheat noodles topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang , diced meat and vegetables, and sometimes also seafood...

and ramen
Ramen
is a Japanese noodle dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as , , kamaboko, green onions, and occasionally corn...

, for example, are both of Chinese origin), as well as Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, and Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

.
Nomenclature of Chinese noodles can be difficult due to the vast spectrum available in China and the many dialects of Chinese used to name them.
Encyclopedia
Noodles are an essential ingredient and staple in Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

. There is a great variety of Chinese noodles, which vary according to their region of production, ingredients, shape or width, and manner of preparation. They are an important part of most regional cuisines within China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, as well as in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, and other Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n nations with sizable overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 populations.

Chinese-style noodles have also entered the cuisines of neighboring East Asian countries such as Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 (jajangmyeon
Jajangmyeon
Jajangmyeon is a popular Korean dish, derived from the Chinese dish zha jiang mian. It consists of wheat noodles topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang , diced meat and vegetables, and sometimes also seafood...

and ramen
Ramen
is a Japanese noodle dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as , , kamaboko, green onions, and occasionally corn...

, for example, are both of Chinese origin), as well as Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, and Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

.

Nomenclature

Nomenclature of Chinese noodles can be difficult due to the vast spectrum available in China and the many dialects of Chinese used to name them. In Chinese, miàn ' onMouseout='HidePop("87589")' href="/topics/Transliteration">transliterated
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

 as "mien" or "mein" ) refers to noodles made from wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, while fěn or "fun" refers to noodles made from rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 flour, mung bean
Mung bean
The mung bean is the seed of Vigna radiata. It is native to the Indian subcontinent.-Description:They are small, ovoid in shape, and green in color...

 starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

, or indeed any kind of starch. Each noodle type can be rendered in pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

 for Mandarin, but in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and neighboring Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 it will be known by its Cantonese pronunciation. Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Malaysia, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 and many other Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 communities in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 will use Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 (Min Nan
Min Nan
The Southern Min languages, or Min Nan , are a family of Chinese languages spoken in southern Fujian, eastern Guangdong, Hainan, Taiwan, and southern Zhejiang provinces of China, and by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora....

) instead.

History

The earliest written record of noodles is from a book dated to the Eastern Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 period (25–220). Noodles, often made from wheat dough, became a prominent staple of food during the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 (206 BCE - 220 CE). During the Song Dynasty (960–1279) noodle shops were very popular in the cities, and remained open all night. During the earlier dynastic periods Chinese wheat noodles were known as "soup cake" (湯餅), as explained by the Song Dynasty scholar Huang Chaoying (黃朝英) mentions in his work "A delightful mixed discussion on various scholarly topics" that in ancient times dough foods are referred collectively as "bing" and differentiated through their cooking methods
Chinese cooking techniques
Chinese cooking techniques are a set of methods and techniques traditionally used in Chinese cuisine. The cooking techniques can either be grouped into ones that use a single cooking method or a combination of wet and dry cooking methods.-Wet:...

.

In 2002, archaeologists have found an earthenware bowl containing world's oldest known noodles, 4000 years old, at the Lajia archaeological site
Lajia
Lajia is an archaeological site located in Minhe County, Haidong Prefecture in Northwest China's Qinghai province. Lajia is associated with the Qijia culture and was discovered by archaeologists in 2000. The site covers an area of around 200,000 square meters...

 of the Qijia culture
Qijia culture
The Qijia culture was an early Bronze Age culture distributed around the upper Yellow River region of western Gansu and eastern Qinghai, China, it is regarded as one of the earliest bronze cultures. Johan Gunnar Andersson discovered the initial site at Qijiaping in 1923...

 along the Yellow River
Yellow River
The Yellow River or Huang He, formerly known as the Hwang Ho, is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-longest in the world at the estimated length of . Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai Province in western China, it flows through nine provinces of China and empties into...

 in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The noodles were well-preserved. After research with parts of the noodle remains in 2004, scientists have determined that the noodles have been made from foxtail millet
Foxtail millet
Foxtail millet is the second most widely planted species of millet, and the most important in East Asia. It has the longest history of cultivation among the millets, having been grown in China since sometime in the sixth millennium BC...

 and broomcorn millet
Proso millet
Proso millet is also known as common millet, hog millet or white millet. Both the wild ancestor and the location of domestication of proso millet are unknown, but it first appears as a crop in both Transcaucasia and China about 7,000 years ago, suggesting that it may have been domesticated...

. The findings were published in October 2005 by Houyuan Lu et al. in the journal Nature
Nature (journal)
Nature, first published on 4 November 1869, is ranked the world's most cited interdisciplinary scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports...

.

Production

Chinese noodles are generally made from either wheat flour, rice flour, or mung bean starch, with wheat noodles being more commonly produced and consumed in northern China
North China
thumb|250px|Northern [[People's Republic of China]] region.Northern China or North China is a geographical region of China. The heartland of North China is the North China Plain....

 and rice noodles being more typical of southern China. Egg
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

, lye, and cereal may also be added to noodles made from wheat flour
Wheat flour
Wheat flour is a powder made from the grinding of wheat used for human consumption. More wheat flour is produced than any other flour. Wheat varieties are called "clean," "white," or "brown" if they have high gluten content, and they are called "soft" or "weak" flour if gluten content is low...

 in order to give the noodles a different colour or flavor. Arrowroot
Sagittaria
Sagittaria is a genus of about 30 species of aquatic plants whose members go by a variety of common names, including arrowhead, duck potato, iz-ze-kn, katniss, kuwai , swan potato, tule potato, and wapato...

 or tapioca
Tapioca
Tapioca is a starch extracted Manihot esculenta. This species, native to the Amazon, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and most of the West Indies, is now cultivated worldwide and has many names, including cassava, manioc, aipim,...

 starch are sometimes added to the flour mixture in low quantities to change the texture and tenderness of the noodles' strands.

The dough for noodles made from wheat flour is typically made from wheat flour, salt, and water, with the addition of eggs or lye
Lye
Lye is a corrosive alkaline substance, commonly sodium hydroxide or historically potassium hydroxide . Previously, lye was among the many different alkalis leached from hardwood ashes...

 depending on the desired texture and taste of the noodles. Rice- or other starch-based noodles are typically made with only the starch or rice flour and water. After the formation of a pliable dough mass, one of five types of mechanical processing may be applied to produce the noodles:
English Chinese Pinyin Process
Cut qiē The dough is rolled out into a flat sheet, folded, and then cut into noodles of a desired width.
Extruded 擠壓 jǐyā The dough is placed into a mechanical press with holes through which the dough is forced to form strands of noodles.
Peeled xiāo A firm dough is mixed and formed into a long loaf. Strips of dough are then quickly sliced or peeled off the loaf directly into boiling water.
Pulled The dough is rolled into a long cylinder, which is then repeatedly stretched and folded to produce thinner and thinner strands.
Kneaded róu A small ball of dough is lightly rolled on a flat surface until it is several centimeters long and spindle shaped.

While cut and extruded noodles can be dried to create a shelf-stable product to be eaten months after production, most peeled, pulled and kneaded noodles are consumed shortly after they are produced.

Cooking

Noodles may be cooked from either their fresh (moist) or dry forms. They are generally boiled, although they may also be deep-fried in oil until crispy. Boiled noodles may then be stir fried, served with sauce or other accompaniments, or served in soup, often with meat and other ingredients. Certain rice-noodles are made directly from steaming the raw rice slurry and are only consumed fresh.

Unlike many Western noodles and pastas, Chinese noodles made from wheat flour are usually made from salted dough and therefore do not require the addition of salt to the liquid in which they are boiled. Chinese noodles also cook very quickly, generally requiring less than 5 minute
Minute
A minute is a unit of measurement of time or of angle. The minute is a unit of time equal to 1/60th of an hour or 60 seconds. In the UTC time scale, a minute on rare occasions has 59 or 61 seconds; see leap second. The minute is not an SI unit; however, it is accepted for use with SI units...

s to become al dente
Al dente
In cooking, the Italian expression al dente describes pasta and rice or beansthat have been cooked so as to be firm but not hard. "Al dente" also describes vegetables that are cooked to the "tender crisp" phase - still offering resistance to the bite, but cooked through...

and some taking less than a minute to finish cooking, with thinner noodles requiring less time to cook. Chinese noodles made from rice or mung bean starch do not generally contain salt.

Wheat

These noodles are made only with wheat flour and water. If the intended product are dried noodles, salt is almost always added to the recipe.
Common English name Characters Pinyin Cantonese Hokkien Thai Thai transliteration Western equivalent Description
Cat's ear 貓耳朵 māo ěr duǒ maau yi do - Orecchiette
Orecchiette
Orecchiette is a kind of home-made pasta typical of Puglia or Apulia, a region of Southern Italy. Its name comes from its shape, which reminds one of a small ear. In Italian orecchio means ear, and the suffix 'etto' means 'small'. In the vernacular of Taranto it is called recchietedd, or...

 
Looks like a cat's ear
Cold noodles 涼麵 liang miàn lahng mein - Served cold
Dao xiao mian 刀削麵 dao xiao miàn doe seuk mein Relatively short flat noodle peeled by knife from a firm slab of dough
La mian  拉麵 lā miàn laai mein - เส้นบะหมี่ ba mee Hand-pulled noodles from which ramen
Ramen
is a Japanese noodle dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as , , kamaboko, green onions, and occasionally corn...

 was derived.
Yaka mein
Yaka mein
Yaka mein is a type of beef noodle soup commonly found in many Creole and Chinese restaurants in New Orleans. Yaka mein is sometimes referred to as "Old Sober," as it is commonly prescribed by locals as a cure for hangovers...

 (Yat Ca Mein, Yet Ca Mein)
- North American Chinese style wheat noodles similar to spaghetti; sold in Canada and the United States
Lo mein
Lo mein
Lo mein is a Chinese dish with wheat flour noodles. It often contains vegetables and some type of meat or seafood, usually beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or wontons.-Etymology:...

 
撈麵 lāo miàn lo mein lo mi - Wheat flour noodles that are stir fried with sliced vegetables and/or meats and other seasonings
Misua
Misua
Misua is a very thin variety of salted Chinese noodles made from wheat flour. It is originated from Fujian, China...

 
麵線 miàn xiàn mein sin misua หมีซั่ว mee sua Long, short, very fine Vermicelli
Vermicelli
Vermicelli is a traditional type of pasta round in section that is thicker than spaghetti.-Vermicelli thickness comparison:In USA, the National Pasta Association, founded in 1904, lists, together with various spelling mistakes, vermicelli as a thinner type of spaghetti.-History in Italy:In...

 
Thin, salted wheat noodles (1 mm diameter). Can be caramelized to a brown colour through extensive steaming
宮麵 gōng miàn
Saang mein
Saang mein
Saang mein is a type of Chinese noodle found in Hong Kong. It is often available among overseas Chinatowns.-Production:It is made of wheat flour, tapioca flour, salt, potassium carbonate, and water.-Variety:...

 
生麵 shēng miàn saang mein - Soapy texture
Thick noodles  粗麵 cū miàn cho mein Thick wheat flour noodles, from which udon
Udon
is a type of thick wheat-flour noodle of Japanese cuisine.Udon is usually served hot as noodle soup in its simplest form as kake udon, in a mildly flavoured broth called kakejiru which is made of dashi, soy sauce , and mirin. It is usually topped with thinly chopped scallions...

 was derived.

Lye-water or egg

These wheat flour noodles are more chewy in texture and yellow in colour either due to the addition of lye (sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate , Na2CO3 is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. Sodium carbonate is domestically well-known for its everyday use as a water softener. It can be extracted from the...

, potassium carbonate
Potassium carbonate
Potassium carbonate is a white salt, soluble in water , which forms a strongly alkaline solution. It can be made as the product of potassium hydroxide's absorbent reaction with carbon dioxide. It is deliquescent, often appearing a damp or wet solid...

, calcium hydroxide
Calcium hydroxide
Calcium hydroxide, traditionally called slaked lime, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Ca2. It is a colourless crystal or white powder and is obtained when calcium oxide is mixed, or "slaked" with water. It has many names including hydrated lime, builders lime, slack lime, cal, or...

, or potassium hydroxide
Potassium hydroxide
Potassium hydroxide is an inorganic compound with the formula KOH, commonly called caustic potash.Along with sodium hydroxide , this colorless solid is a prototypical strong base. It has many industrial and niche applications. Most applications exploit its reactivity toward acids and its corrosive...

) or egg. This class of lye water noodles has a subtle but distinctive smell and taste, described by some as being "eggy".
Common English name Characters Pinyin Cantonese Hokkien Thai Western equivalent Description
Oil noodles
Oil noodles
Oil noodles or cooked noodles is a type of Chinese noodle. It is sometimes used in Cantonese cuisine. In Filipino cuisine it is one variety of pancit, known as lutong pancit.-Production:...

 
油麵 yóu miàn jau4 min - Made of wheat flour and egg or lye-water; often comes pre-cooked
Thin noodles  幼麵 yòu miàn jau mein Thin lye-water noodles; one of the most common Cantonese noodles
Mee pok
Mee pok
Mee pok is a type of Chinese noodle characterized by its flat and yellow appearance, varying in thickness and width. The dish is of Teochew origin and is commonly served in a number of countries such as Chaoshan , Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand...

 
麵薄 miàn báo - mee pok mee pok Linguine
Linguine
Linguine is a form of pasta — flat like fettuccine and trenette. It is wider than spaghetti, about 1/4 to 3/8 inch, but not as wide as fettuccine. The name linguine means "little tongues" in Italian, where it is a plural of the feminine linguina. Linguine are also called trenette or bavette...

 
Flat egg or lye-water noodles
Yi mein
Yi mein
Yi mein is a variety of flat Cantonese egg noodles made from wheat flour. They are known for their golden yellow color and chewy characteristics...

 
伊麵
伊府麵
yī miàn
yī fǔ miàn
yi mein
yee min
yee foo min
e-fu
ee mee
ee foo mee
- Fried, chewy noodles made from wheat flour and egg or lye-water
Shrimp roe noodles
Shrimp roe noodles
Shrimp roe noodles or Shrimp noodles are a variety of Chinese noodle popular in Hong Kong. One of the special characteristic that distinguish this noodle from the many other varieties of Chinese noodle is the salty shrimp roe forming tiny black spots on strips of the noodles.-Production:The noodle...

 
蝦子麵 xiā zǐ miàn ha tsz min - Made of wheat flour, lye-water, and roe
Roe
Roe or hard roe is the fully ripe internal egg masses in the ovaries, or the released external egg masses of fish and certain marine animals, such as shrimp, scallop and sea urchins...

, which show up as black spots
Jook-sing noodles
Jook-sing noodles
Jook-sing noodles is a rare type of Chinese noodle found in some parts of Hong Kong, Macau, and some parts of Guangzhou in Guangdong province, China.-Production:...

 
竹昇麵 zhú shēng miàn zuk1 sing1 min6 a rare type of Cantonese noodle in which the dough is tenderized with a large bamboo log.

Rice

Rice based noodles can be:
  1. Extruded from a paste and steamed into strands of noodles
  2. Steamed from a slurry into sheets and then sliced into strands

These noodles are typically made only with rice and water without the addition of salt. Although unorthodox, some producers may choose add other plant starches to modify the texture of the noodles.
Common English name Characters Pinyin Cantonese Hokkien Thai Thai transliteration Western equivalent Description
Kway teow
Shahe fen
Shahe fen or he fen is a type of wide Chinese noodle made from rice.-Names:While shahe fen and he fen are transliterations based on Mandarin, there are numerous other transliterations based on Cantonese, which include ho fen, hofen, ho-fen, ho fun, ho-fun, hofoen , hor fun, hor...

 
粿条 gǔo tiáo kwai tiu kway teow เส้นใหญ่ Sen yai Rice fettuccine
Fettuccine
Fettuccine is a type of pasta popular in Roman Cuisine. It is a flat thick noodle made of egg and flour wider than but similar to the tagliatelle typical of Bologna...

 
Flat rice noodles
Ho fun
Shahe fen
Shahe fen or he fen is a type of wide Chinese noodle made from rice.-Names:While shahe fen and he fen are transliterations based on Mandarin, there are numerous other transliterations based on Cantonese, which include ho fen, hofen, ho-fen, ho fun, ho-fun, hofoen , hor fun, hor...

沙河粉 Shā hé fěn - Rice pappardelle
Pappardelle
Pappardelle are large, very broad fettuccine. The name derives from the verb “pappare", to gobble up. The fresh types are two to three centimetres wide and may have fluted edges. Dried egg pappardelle have straight sides. This traditional pasta, a cousin to the smaller tagliatelle, was...

Very wide, flat, rice noodles
河粉 hé fěn ho fun hor fun -
Lai fun
Lai fun
Lai fun is a variety of Chinese noodle. It is commonly found in Hong Kong and to some degree among overseas Chinatowns. Its name comes from the Cantonese language....

 
瀨粉
酹粉
lài fěn laai fun - Rice spaghetti
Spaghetti
Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical pasta of Italian origin. Spaghetti is made of semolina or flour and water. Italian dried spaghetti is made from durum wheat semolina, but outside of Italy it may be made with other kinds of flour...

 
Thick round semi-transparent noodle made from sticky rice
Mai sin 米線
米线
mǐ xiàn mai sin Bee sua เส้นเล็ก Sen lek Rice spaghettini  Rice noodles
Rice noodles
Rice noodles are noodles that are made from rice. Their principal ingredients are rice flour and water. However, sometimes other ingredients such as tapioca or corn starch are also added in order to improve the transparency or increase the gelatinous and chewy texture of the noodles.Rice noodles...

 also called Guilin
Guilin
Guilin is a prefecture-level city in the northeast of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of far southern China, sitting on the west bank of the Li River. Its name means "forest of Sweet Osmanthus", owing to the large number of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city...

 mífěn
(桂林米粉)
Rice vermicelli
Rice vermicelli
Rice vermicelli are thin noodles made from rice and are a form of rice noodles. They are sometimes referred to as rice noodles or rice sticks, but they should not be confused with cellophane noodles, which is another type of vermicelli....

 
米粉 mí fěn mai fun bee hoon เส้นหมี่ Sen mee - Thin rice noodles
Rice noodles
Rice noodles are noodles that are made from rice. Their principal ingredients are rice flour and water. However, sometimes other ingredients such as tapioca or corn starch are also added in order to improve the transparency or increase the gelatinous and chewy texture of the noodles.Rice noodles...


Starch

These noodles are made using various plant starches. Mung bean starch noodles will often be cut with tapioca starch to make them more chewy and reduce production costs.
Common English name Characters Pinyin Cantonese Hokkien Thai Thai transliteration Western equivalent Description
Winter noodles
Cellophane noodles
Cellophane noodles are a type of transparent noodle made from starch , and water.They are generally sold in dried form, boiled to reconstitute, then used in soups, stir fried dishes,...

 
冬粉 dōng fěn dung fun dang hun - Thin mung bean vermicelli
Vermicelli
Vermicelli is a traditional type of pasta round in section that is thicker than spaghetti.-Vermicelli thickness comparison:In USA, the National Pasta Association, founded in 1904, lists, together with various spelling mistakes, vermicelli as a thinner type of spaghetti.-History in Italy:In...

 
Very thin mung bean
Mung bean
The mung bean is the seed of Vigna radiata. It is native to the Indian subcontinent.-Description:They are small, ovoid in shape, and green in color...

 starch noodles
Bean threads
Cellophane noodles
Cellophane noodles are a type of transparent noodle made from starch , and water.They are generally sold in dried form, boiled to reconstitute, then used in soups, stir fried dishes,...

 
粉絲 fěn sī fun sze - วุ้นเส้น Wun sen Mung bean vermicelli
Vermicelli
Vermicelli is a traditional type of pasta round in section that is thicker than spaghetti.-Vermicelli thickness comparison:In USA, the National Pasta Association, founded in 1904, lists, together with various spelling mistakes, vermicelli as a thinner type of spaghetti.-History in Italy:In...

 
Thin cellophane-like noodles
Mung bean sheets
Mung bean sheets
Mung bean sheets are a type of Chinese noodle. It is transparent, flat, and sheet-like. They can be found, in dried form, in Hong Kong and occasionally in some Chinatowns overseas.-Production:...

 
粉皮 fěn pí fan pei - Wide, clear noodles made from mung bean starch
Liang pi
Liang pi
Liang pi or Liangpi is a noodle-like Chinese dish made from wheat or rice flour. It is a specialty dish originating from the Chinese province of Shaanxi, but has now spread to many other places in China, in particular the northern and central regions....

 
凉皮 líang pí - Translucent noodles made from wheat starch left from producing gluten
Silver needle noodles
Silver needle noodles
Yin Zhen Fen, Lao Shu Fen or Silver needle noodle is a variety of Chinese noodles. It is short, about 5cm long and 5mm in diameter. It has a white semi-transparent colour. The noodle is available in many Chinese markets in Chinese populated areas such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and...

 
銀針粉 yín zhēn fěn ngàhn jām fán Spindle-shaped wheat starch noodles, ca. 5 cm in length and 3–5 mm in diameter
老鼠粉 lǎo shǔ fěn lóuh syú fán ngiau chu hoon


Signature Chinese noodle dishes

  • Ban mian
    Ban mian
    Bǎn miàn is a Hokkien-style egg noodle soup common in parts of China's Fujian province, and also in other parts of the world such as Singapore and Malaysia, although the dish itself may vary significantly...

  • Beef chow fun
  • Cart noodle
    Cart noodle
    Cart noodle is a kind of à la carte noodle which became popular in Hong Kong in the 1950s through independent street vendors operating on roadsides and in public housing estates in low-income districts, using carts...

  • Char kway teow
    Char kway teow
    Char kway teow, literally "stir-fried ricecake strips", is a popular noodle dish in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore. The dish was typically prepared at hawker stalls especially in Penang, Malaysia.It is made from flat rice noodles of approximately 1 cm or...

  • Zhajiang mian
    Zhajiang mian
    Zha jiang mian is a northern Chinese dish consisting of thick wheat noodles topped with a mixture of ground pork stir-fried with Zha jiang , which is salty fermented soybean paste....

  • Laksa
    Laksa
    Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan culture, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay elements found in Malaysia and Singapore, and to a lesser extent Indonesia.- Origin :The origin of the name "laksa" is unclear...

  • Lo mein
    Lo mein
    Lo mein is a Chinese dish with wheat flour noodles. It often contains vegetables and some type of meat or seafood, usually beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or wontons.-Etymology:...

  • Re gan mian
    Re gan mian
    Re gan mian is a traditional local cuisine of Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province in central China. It is made of noodles called jian mian with a mixture of sauces and dried vegetables. Many stalls that make re gan mian will have their own variations in seasoning, creating signature tastes...


External links

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