Easy Chinese Vermicelli Recipe: A Delicious Meal with Minimal Effort – Seaco Online
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Easy Chinese Vermicelli Recipe: A Delicious Meal with Minimal Effort

If you're looking for a quick and easy meal that's packed with flavour, Chinese vermicelli is a great option. This dish is a staple of Chinese cuisine, and it's easy to see why. The delicate rice noodles are the perfect base for a range of different ingredients, from vegetables to meats and seafood.

A wok sizzles with stir-fried vegetables and thin, translucent Chinese vermicelli noodles. Steam rises as the savory aroma fills the kitchen

What is Chinese Vermicelli? Also known as rice noodles, Chinese vermicelli is a type of noodle made from rice flour. It's a staple of Chinese cuisine, and it's used in a wide range of dishes, from stir-fries to soups. The noodles are thin and delicate, and they have a slightly chewy texture that's perfect for soaking up sauces and flavours.

When it comes to making Chinese vermicelli, there are a few key ingredients that you'll need. You'll need rice noodles, of course, as well as a range of vegetables, meats or seafood, and a selection of sauces and seasonings. The great thing about this dish is that it's incredibly versatile, so you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand. If you're looking to add some seafood to your dish, try using prawns, squid or mussels for a delicious and flavourful twist.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese vermicelli is a versatile and flavourful dish that's perfect for a quick and easy meal.
  • The noodles are made from rice flour and have a delicate, slightly chewy texture.
  • You can add a range of different ingredients to your dish, including seafood like prawns, squid or mussels.

What is Chinese Vermicelli?

A steaming bowl of Chinese vermicelli with colorful vegetables, fragrant spices, and a garnish of fresh herbs

Chinese vermicelli, also known as glass noodles, is a type of thin, translucent pasta made from starch and water. These delicate strands are beloved for their unique texture and ability to absorb flavors, making them a versatile ingredient in stir-fries, soups, and salads.

History and Origin

Vermicelli noodles have been a staple in Chinese cuisine for centuries. The noodles were first made from rice flour and were known as "fen si." Later, the noodles were made from mung bean flour, which is the most common type of vermicelli noodle used today.

Types of Vermicelli Noodles

There are different types of vermicelli noodles, including rice noodles, cellophane noodles, and glass noodles. Rice noodles are made from rice flour and are commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. Cellophane noodles, also known as mung bean noodles, are made from mung bean starch and are commonly used in Chinese and Korean cuisine. Glass noodles are made from sweet potato starch and are commonly used in Korean and Japanese cuisine.

When making Chinese vermicelli, it is important to note that the noodles can be made from different types of starch, which can affect the texture and flavor of the noodles.

If you're looking to add some protein to your Chinese vermicelli dish, seafood is a great option. Shrimp, squid, and crab are all great options that pair well with the delicate flavor of the noodles.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A table with bowls of chinese vermicelli, soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetables, and tofu. A list of possible substitutions written on a notepad

Key Ingredients

When it comes to making Chinese vermicelli, there are a few key ingredients that you will need. These include:

  • Rice Vermicelli: This is the main ingredient that gives the dish its name. You can use either rice vermicelli or mung bean vermicelli (also known as glass noodles or cellophane noodles). Sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon or japchae noodles) are also a great alternative.

  • Soy Sauce: This is a staple in Chinese cooking and adds a salty umami flavour to the dish. You can use either light or dark soy sauce depending on your preference.

  • Sesame Oil: This is used to add a nutty flavour to the dish and is a key ingredient in Chinese cooking.

  • Vegetables: You can add any vegetables you like to your vermicelli dish. Some popular choices include carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, green beans, mushrooms, and bean sprouts.

  • Protein: You can add any protein you like to your vermicelli dish, such as chicken breast, beef, pork, tofu, or prawns.

  • Garlic and Ginger: These are used to add flavour and depth to the dish.

  • Shaoxing Wine: This is a type of Chinese rice wine that is used in many Chinese dishes. It adds a subtle sweetness and depth of flavour to the dish.

  • Oyster Sauce: This is a thick, dark sauce that is made from oysters. It adds a salty, savoury flavour to the dish.

Healthy Alternatives

If you're looking for healthier alternatives to some of the key ingredients in Chinese vermicelli, here are some suggestions:

  • Salt: Instead of using salt, you can use a low-sodium soy sauce or tamari.

  • Chicken Breast: If you want to cut down on meat, you can use firm tofu or beans instead.

  • Rice Flour: You can use corn starch as a thickening agent instead of rice flour.

  • Vegetarian Oyster Sauce: If you're vegetarian, you can use a vegetarian oyster sauce instead of the traditional oyster sauce.

  • Vinegar: Instead of using vinegar, you can use lemon or lime juice for a tangy flavour.

  • Seafood: For a seafood twist, you can add prawns or any other seafood of your choice. Some great options include scallops, squid, or crab meat.

Cooking Techniques

Chinese vermicelli sizzling in a hot wok, being tossed with colorful vegetables and savory sauces. Steam rising

Preparation Steps

Before you start cooking your vermicelli noodles, there are a few essential preparation steps you need to follow. Firstly, you need to soak the vermicelli noodles in water for around 20 minutes until they become soft. Once the noodles are soft, you need to drain them and rinse them under cold water. This will prevent the noodles from sticking together when you cook them.

Cooking Vermicelli Noodles

Once you have prepared your vermicelli noodles, you can start cooking them. To cook the noodles, you need to bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water, and then add the noodles. Cook the noodles for around 3-4 minutes until they are tender but still firm to the bite. Once the noodles are cooked, drain them and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Stir-Frying Tips

Stir-frying is a popular Chinese cooking technique used to cook a wide range of stir-fry dishes, including fried rice vermicelli and stir-fry rice noodles. When stir-frying vermicelli noodles, it's important to use a wok or a large frying pan. Heat the wok or frying pan over high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add your vermicelli noodles and stir-fry them for around 2-3 minutes until they are heated through.

To add some flavour to your vermicelli noodles, you can add a stir-fry sauce to your dish. There are many different types of stir-fry sauces available, including oyster sauce, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce. You can also add some seafood to your vermicelli noodles to make them more flavourful. Some good options include shrimp, squid, and scallops.

Overall, cooking vermicelli noodles is a simple process that requires just a few essential preparation steps. By following these tips and using the right ingredients, you can create delicious and flavourful stir-fry dishes that are sure to impress your guests.

Nutritional Information

A bowl of Chinese vermicelli with nutritional information displayed next to it

When it comes to Chinese vermicelli, the nutritional information can vary depending on the recipe and the ingredients used. Here is a breakdown of the macronutrients and micronutrients you can expect to find in a typical serving of Chinese vermicelli.

Macronutrients

A serving of Chinese vermicelli (100g) contains around 350 calories, 1g of fat, 77g of carbohydrates, and 6g of protein. This makes it a relatively low-fat and high-carbohydrate food, which is great for providing energy throughout the day.

Micronutrients

Chinese vermicelli is a good source of several micronutrients, including iron, calcium, and potassium. A serving of vermicelli (100g) contains around 2mg of iron, 10mg of calcium, and 200mg of potassium. It also contains a small amount of vitamin C.

If you're looking to boost the nutritional content of your Chinese vermicelli dish, you could consider adding some seafood to the recipe. Seafood is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other important nutrients. Some seafood options that would work well in a Chinese vermicelli dish include shrimp, squid, and fish.

Overall, Chinese vermicelli can be a healthy and nutritious addition to your diet, as long as it is prepared with fresh, wholesome ingredients. When cooking with vermicelli, be mindful of the amount of sodium and saturated fat in your recipe, as these can contribute to health problems if consumed in excess.

Serving and Presentation

A steaming bowl of Chinese vermicelli sits on a wooden table, garnished with fresh herbs and served with a side of soy sauce

When it comes to serving and presenting Chinese vermicelli dishes, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your dish looks and tastes great.

Dish Variations

Vermicelli dishes are versatile and can be served as a snack, main course or even breakfast. They can be made with various types of noodles, including flat rice noodles, egg noodles and rice vermicelli noodles. You can also add different proteins like chicken, beef, pork, or seafood to your recipe for added flavour and nutrition.

Fried rice and crispy noodles can also be used as a base for your vermicelli dish, making it even more filling and delicious. Consider adding vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, and bean sprouts to your dish for added texture and nutrition.

Garnishing Tips

Garnishing your vermicelli dish is an important step in making it look and taste great. Spring onions are a popular garnish for Chinese dishes, and they can be finely chopped and sprinkled on top of your vermicelli dish to add a pop of colour and flavour.

Crispy fried onions or garlic can also be used to add texture and flavour to your dish. If you want to keep it healthy, consider using fresh herbs like coriander or basil to garnish your dish instead.

If you want to add seafood to your vermicelli dish, prawns, squid or scallops are great options. You can quickly stir fry them with garlic and ginger before adding them to your dish for a delicious seafood twist.

To make it easier for you to recreate these dishes at home, we have provided a recipe card below with step-by-step instructions. Enjoy your homemade Chinese vermicelli dish!

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming bowl of Chinese vermicelli with a variety of colorful vegetables and savory seasonings, surrounded by chopsticks and a small dish of chili oil

What's the best way to stir-fry Chinese vermicelli with vegetables?

The best way to stir-fry Chinese vermicelli with vegetables is to first soak the vermicelli noodles in hot water until they become soft and pliable. Then, stir-fry the vegetables in a hot wok or skillet with some oil until they are slightly softened. Add the soaked vermicelli noodles and stir-fry for an additional minute or two until the noodles are heated through and evenly coated with the sauce. You can add some protein, such as shrimp or chicken, to make it a more filling and complete meal.

Can you share a simple recipe for Chinese chicken vermicelli?

Sure! Here's a simple recipe for Chinese chicken vermicelli that you can try at home:

Ingredients:

  • 200g Chinese vermicelli noodles
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Soak the vermicelli noodles in hot water for about 5-10 minutes until they are soft and pliable. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  3. Add the garlic, onion, and red bell pepper to the wok and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until they are slightly softened.
  4. Add the soaked vermicelli noodles, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper to the wok and stir-fry for an additional minute or two until the noodles are heated through and evenly coated with the sauce.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!

How should I properly soak vermicelli noodles before cooking?

To properly soak vermicelli noodles before cooking, you should place them in a large bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for about 5-10 minutes until they become soft and pliable. Drain the water and rinse the noodles with cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent them from sticking together.

What are some tips for making a hearty Chinese vermicelli soup?

To make a hearty Chinese vermicelli soup, you can start by making a flavorful broth using chicken or beef bones, vegetables, and aromatics such as ginger and garlic. Once the broth is ready, you can add some vermicelli noodles and your choice of protein, such as sliced beef or chicken, shrimp, or tofu. You can also add some vegetables such as bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms to make it more nutritious and filling. Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste, and garnish with some chopped scallions and cilantro for added flavor.

Could you suggest a quick and easy vermicelli dish for weeknights?

Sure! Here's a quick and easy vermicelli dish that you can make for weeknights:

Ingredients:

  • 200g Chinese vermicelli noodles
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Soak the vermicelli noodles in hot water for about 5-10 minutes until they are soft and pliable. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until pink and cooked through.
  3. Add the garlic, onion, and red bell pepper to the wok and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until they are slightly softened.
  4. Add the soaked vermicelli noodles, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper to the wok and stir-fry for an additional minute or two until the noodles are heated through and evenly coated with the sauce.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!

Is there a significant calorie difference between rice and Chinese vermicelli noodles?

Chinese vermicelli noodles are generally lower in calories and carbohydrates than rice noodles, making them a healthier option for those watching their calorie intake. However, the calorie difference between the two types of noodles is not significant enough to make a huge impact on your overall health and diet. It's always important to consume everything in moderation and balance your meals with a variety of nutrient-dense foods.