The blanket term “noodles” in a recipe is really a disservice to the variety and complexity available today. Whether you need delicate glass-like vermicielli or robust udon, there’s a place (…or plate?) for just about every type. We’re going to break down the most common types of noodles available in supermarkets and Asian-style grocery shops today, plus when to use them and some handy recipes to try.

Udon noodles

Udon noodles are Japanese wheat noodles that are thick and chewy in texture. These are commonly used in soups in the winter, or used cold in summer salads.

Egg noodles

Egg noodles are made from egg and flour. These Chinese noodles come in a variety of thicknesses. They have a slight bite when cooked and are often used in stir-fry dishes.

Wholemeal noodles

Wholemeal noodles are made with wholemeal flour, giving the noodles a nutty taste and a firm texture. They are robust noodles that work well with saucy dishes as they soak up the sauce.

Vermicelli noodles

Vermicelli are extra fine rice noodles used in Vietnamese cooking; their name translates as “little worms”! They are perfect for pho or in summer rolls.

Black rice noodles

Black rice noodles are Chinese noodles with a nutty flavour, delicious in hot dishes or cold in salads. Black rice is particularly nutritious, containing several times more protein and minerals than ordinary white rice.

Check out some of these recipes, all using oodles of noodles…

Spicy chicken stir-fry

This quick and easy chicken stir-fry is a great way to make use of odds and ends in the fridge, plus it’s ready in a mere minutes.

Quick beef pho

Beef pho is a popular street food from Vietnam that combines fresh ingredients and a spicy, rich stock that simmers for hours. The freezer-friendly stock can be defrosted and used when you need an instant dinner. Top tip: To make the beef easy to slice as thinly as possible, put it in the freezer for 15 minutes before slicing.

15-minute pork katsu noodles

If you’re a fan of a traditional katsu curry, you’ll love this quick and easy spin on the classic.

Ginger salmon with sesame noodles & cucumber salad

Easy Food magazine new issue 162 February 2022 Ginger Salmon Sesame Noodles

This simple light, poached salmon is perfect with crunchy cucumber, pickled ginger and cupboard noodles.

Vietnamese lettuce cups

These Vietnamese lettuce cups are vibrant and crunchy, filled with rice noodles, fragrant herbs and juicy prawns, paired with a tangy dipping sauce that brings everything together beautifully.