Vietnamese Rice Noodles
January 19, 2003
Vietnam is known for its handmade rice noodles, which are made using the following process:
- Short grain rice is rinsed with water and mechanically spun dry.
- The rice is put in large vats and soaked in water overnight.
- The softened rice is drained and crushed by a wet mill with an equal amount of water. The rice comes out as a thick white paste, which is left to sit for 2 to 3 days.
- The rice-water mixture is put into bags and a jack is used to compress the rice and remove the water. The rice water is saved for the next step.
- The dry rice paste is mixed with the rice water at a precise ratio of 3 parts rice paste, one-part rice water. As the rice and water are mixed, a soft white paste, similar to custard, forms at the bottom of the vat.
- The custard-like paste is collected and pushed through a device similar to a showerhead. The paste squirts out in the desired shape of thin bun noodles and they are trimmed to a manageable length to be rinsed and dried.
- Once the noodles cool off, they are gathered into bunches, packaged and delivered to markets and restaurants all over the city.