Rice is Nice…

So, looking around the Kosher industry, it saddens me that its so difficult to find kosher rice noodles. This is a shame as rice noodles, in effect, are INHERENTLY kosher without supervision as long as they don’t have any additives. But, let’s suppose you wanted to make rice noodles? Surely no Rabbi could fault you for this, could they? After all, we’re just expanding our culinary world, no? And, happily, MOST of what’s needed is already IN your kitchen! This recipe actually comes from “Thai Home-Cooking from Kamolmal’s Kitchen”, and I use it as it is the SIMPLEST way to make the noodles. And when making ANY kind of pasta, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the best motto around.

To make your own rice noodles, start by soaking 1 1/4 cups uncooked long-grain rice in 1 1/4 cups water overnight in a bowl covered in plastic wrap. After its overnight soak, pour the water AND rice into a blender before blending in pulses for the first minute. Then switch to Medium and blend for 5 minutes, and follow with 3-4 minutes on high until as smooth as you can get it. I know you want to use that food processor, but food processors just don’t blend well enough, and chunks of rice won’t get folded properly into the water.

Next we need an 8″ by 8″ metal baking pan and a LARGE steamer. Personally I use bamboo steamers and my wok, but whatever you prefer is best. Use Virgin Olive Oil to grease the steaming container, and steam it for 3 minutes to get it nice and hot. From here, we want to open the steamer, pour about 1/2 a cup of the batter into the bamboo or metal container, and recover. Steam it for about 5 minutes, then re-open and add more water as needed. We MUST keep water steaming at all costs from this point on, or your noodles will be ruined.

When the first 5 minutes is up, use a basting brush to cover the first layer of noodles with a thin yet complete cover of oil. You want to cover EVERY square inch, so the layers don’t mix. Once covered, pour another 1/2 cup or so into the bamboo or metal container, cover, and steam for ANOTHER 5 minutes. Finally, paint on more oil and add the remaining batter before steaming for a final 5 minutes.

Take the steamed noodle sheets and feed them thro a noodle slicer, or just use a hand-held roller version of the slicer. Afterwards, use the noodles as you wish immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap to keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. You CAN freeze them for up to 6 months, but this makes them grainy, so is not recommended.

So, what can you do with Kosher rice noodles made in your own kitchen? Well, you can use them in lieu of spaghetti noodles for when gluten-free dieters come over to call, or you can use them as a bed for your favorite stir fry. Or you can stir them into your favorite curry (Heavens knows I plug curries enough on this blog to have gotten SOME of you to like them!). All in all, it just boils down to the fact that rice noodles are an excellent addition to any dinner table, and they can be used in any number of recipes. Just remember that 4 ounces of your fresh rice noodles equals 1 ounce of dried rice noodles in recipes. But, my FAVORITE use of fresh rice noodles is in Pad Thai…

Start with 1 Cup Extra-Firm Tofu, cubed into 1/8″ to 1/16″ cubes. Next we want to dice up 1 cup green chives and set a few pinches aside for later. Now rinse 1 cup Bean Sprouts and set aside a few pinches once again for garnish. Finally we want to mince 2 Garlic Cloves and 1 shallot together.

Okay, now we can finally cook! Heat up a large wok over Medium to High heat and add 2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil into the wok. Toss 2 Tablespoons Peanuts, Chopped into the wok and start to cook them until lightly toasted, and remove from the wok. Next you add the garlic, tofu, and shallot into the wok and stir with cooking chopsticks or a spatula until golden brown. Taking 1 pd. Fresh rice noodles, stir them into the wok before adding 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar, 4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce, 2 Tablespoons Extra-Fine Sugar, and 1 Teaspoon Ground Chili Pepper (Optional) to the mix. At this point, push the mix to one side and add 1 Egg, Scrambled or 1 Egg Substitute into the wok in the cleared space. Stir until almost fully cooked, then fold the egg or egg substitute into the noodles.

Stir in the chives and bean sprouts and cook for another minute or two until removing from heat. Plate the pads Thai and garnish with the toasted peanuts as well as the set aside bean sprouts and chives. Serve with lemon wedges, chili sauce, and Hoisin Sauce. For those looking for Kosher Hoisin Sauce, Joyce Chen makes an excellent Kosher Parve sauce. Pad Thai is an EXCELLENT healthy meal, and fills up almost any family. True, this was a lot of work, but the taste and experience is WORTH every penny. Join me next week for more travels down the roads most Kosher cooks tend not to follow. Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

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September 1, 2006. Gluten-Free, main courses, recipes, side dishes.

4 Comments

  1. burekaboy replied:

    wow Renegade, thanks for that recipe and your instructions.

    it is indeed next to impossible, if not completely impossible, to get some of those asian ingredients such as fresh rice noodles in a “kosher state”.

    questions: do the noodles easily separate after being cooked and sliced and how thick are they? thanx.

    great blog, btw. /bb

  2. Renegade Kosher replied:

    Yes, as long as you remember to use the oil. They should come apart quite easily! As for the noodle thickness, you can have then as thick or as thin as you want to cut them. Sometimes I’ll run them thru a pasta machine and make them almost threat thin for nummy goodness! ^^–>

  3. Baruch replied:

    Thanks for a great kosher blog. I am sitting here in my not-yet-kosher kitchen, and only three hours ago had an appointment with a rabbi about kashering my kitchen.

    In any case, for the last month or so I’ve been researching kashrut, and in panicky moments wondered stuff like “Oh no! How can I ever find rice paper and soba noodles to make my beloved Thai fresh rolls?”

    So, is rice paper, rice noodles, and soba noodles available in the Toronto area by any chance?

  4. Meredith replied:

    Please check with your Rav. I was missing Pad Thai for YEARS because I couldn’t find kosher rice noodles. After checking with my Vaad and another major rabbi in the world of Kashrus, they told me they don’t need a hechsher as long as the only ingredients are rice and water — this is very easy to find! Good luck!

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