Rice Noodles vs Egg Noodles: What Are the Differences?

Understanding what sets these two types of noodles apart can help you cook them to their culinary best. Based on the notable types of noodles, there are many different dishes that use a specific type of noodle. While ramen and Thai pad chicken are some of the best examples of tasty noodles, Japanese and Thai cuisines also enjoy them in dishes such as stir-fry, soup, or even as a cold appetizer. Noodles, rice, and tofu are staple ingredients in Asian cuisine due to their versatile and neutral flavor.

So, rice noodles vs egg noodles: what’s the distinction between them? Continue reading to discover!

What Is the Difference Between Rice Noodles vs Egg Noodles?

infographic on difference between rice noodles and egg noodles

Rice noodles are essentially made from a mixture of water and rice flour. They come in various different varieties, with one of them being the dried version called rice sticks or rice vermicelli. China has been the place of origin for noodles for almost 2,000 years, and over time, makers of noodles have added cornstarch or tapioca starch to make them more transparent in color and chewier in texture. Fun chow and fun mei are types of dishes that usually use this type of noodles.

a chef making handmade noodles

To attempt preparing these noodles, utilize this when crafting your Hokkien noodles or Thai egg noodles. A suggestion to follow if interested is a simple and speedy recipe for egg noodles. It is enjoyable to both eat and create, one thing is certain: does it really matter who invented it? Interestingly, this wonder food was also discovered by the Italians. It is believed to have been found during the Han dynasty in China. The yellow hue of their egg noodles is primarily attributed to the addition of eggs. The creation of egg noodles involves combining salt, water, flour made from wheat, and eggs. We have egg noodles available, among other options.

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Overall, if you are still unable to choose between these two noodles, let’s decide on helping you out. Noodle soup or stir-fried dishes are well-known as perfect comfort foods.

Appearance

You can usually find the most popular variety of noodles, which is usually dried, in your local grocery store. These noodles are thin and round, and they become opaque and lose their transparent color when cooked. They look more like pasta than thick noodles and are string-like in shape. Additionally, the market also offers long and flat varieties of noodles.

dried rice noodles on a brown woven cloth

Handmade rice ver

On the contrary, in German cuisine, shorter and thicker varieties are commonly used, whereas in Japanese and Chinese cuisine, long flat strips are more typical. The most frequently encountered forms of egg noodles are bow-shaped, thin, and stringy. The size and shape of these noodles usually differ, although they generally have a golden yellow color.

handmade egg noodles on a wooden chopping board

Homemade egg pasta.

Taste and Texture

Chefs usually add cornstarch or tapioca to make the texture of rice noodles chewier and smoother, which is why it’s easy to slurp them down. If you wonder why rice noodles can be paired with different dishes like Thai basil stir-fry or soups and curries, it’s because they serve as a perfect base for various flavors. Unlike rice, noodles have a more neutral and basic taste.

One of the main ingredients in making these noodles is salt, which adds a slightly salty and savory flavor to the rich taste that comes from the eggs. In contrast, egg noodles have a slightly salty flavor in comparison to other noodles. Additionally, the masters of noodle making add salt to the dough to enhance the chewy and springy texture of the noodles and strengthen their structure.

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Rice Noodles vs Egg Noodles: Nutritional Value

freshly made noodles on a plate beside eggs

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Judging solely by the caloric count, it can be said that noodles made from rice generally have lower calories than egg noodles. Additionally, when comparing the nutritional values, a serving of plain rice noodles contains only 41 grams of carbs, 3.1 grams of protein, and 0.4 grams of fat. This makes it a low-fat and low-calorie food option. It is important to note that these values are for plain rice noodles without any additional ingredients or condiments, and the total calorie count is approximately 187 calories.

On the other hand, a plain serving of egg noodles, without any other ingredients or condiments, has around 40 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fat. It contains 221 calories.

In general, the answer to which is healthier between egg noodles and rice noodles depends on you, considering that calories are only a small part of what defines a healthy diet for your body. If you are looking for a protein-low and fat-low option, then going for rice noodles can be added to your diet. However, if you are on a protein-rich diet, you should be careful when it comes to cooking these noodles, as using other fatty oils and butter can affect their nutritional content.

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Rice Noodles & Egg Noodles: Gluten-Free and Vegan?

Almost all varieties of noodles and rice contain different types of starches, including wheat flour and gluten-free options. However, if you follow a vegan or gluten-free diet, it is important to note that some manufacturers may add ingredients that are not gluten-free to their noodles and rice. Nonetheless, you can still include noodles and rice in your meal plans by opting for vegan-friendly options made from plant-based ingredients. In particular, cornstarch and tapioca starch are gluten-free starches commonly used in rice noodles. While not all varieties of noodles and rice are gluten-free, the majority of them are.

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Vegan noodles do not contain eggs, but they use eggs as one of their main ingredients. This means that people who cannot consume gluten-rich products can still enjoy egg noodles. However, some manufacturers have developed gluten-free alternatives using various gluten-free flour varieties. It is important to note that most egg noodles are made from wheat flour, which contains gluten. Fortunately, there are vegan and gluten-free options available for egg noodles.

Can You Substitute Egg Noodles for Rice Noodles?

a man cooking noodles using a wok

As an alternative and in reverse, you have the option to utilize rice noodles instead of egg noodles. It all comes down to your personal preference. Additionally, you have the option to cook them together. Both rice noodles and egg noodles follow similar stir-fried noodle recipes. A perfect example of this is the Miki Bihon dish, which combines Miki (fresh egg noodles) and bihon (a variety of rice noodles) stir-fried with various meats and vegetables.

Which Is Better, Rice Noodles or Egg Noodles?

At the end of the day, the preference comes down to the even appearance, nutritional value, texture, and taste. If you are looking for a gluten-free option, the market offers a wide range of rice noodles that are both slurpy and chewy. Some people prefer the bouncy texture and different sizes and shapes of egg noodles. However, it is important to note that there are both advantages and disadvantages health-wise, not just in terms of flavor.

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