As rice noodles fit into a wide variety of diets and can be served with a variety of ingredients, they are a staple of East Asian cuisine. It seems that rice noodles are a great option for vegan diets, but are they really vegan? In general, rice noodles contain no animal by-products and can therefore be eaten as part of a vegan diet. However, you should always check the ingredients list to ensure the brand you are purchasing is vegan before purchasing. Here’s everything you need to know about rice noodles and veganism!
What Are Rice Noodles?
A rice noodle is, as its name suggests, a noodle made from rice. Specifically, rice noodles are made with rice flour and a few other ingredients. Since they are light and mild in flavor, these are commonly used in East Asian cuisine to make noodle dishes and noodle salads.
Rice noodles are made from rice flour, water, and a binding agent. They are typically thinner and lower in calories than other egg-noodle options. From wide and thick rice noodles to thin angel-hair noodles, you can choose from a variety of sizes to suit your meal!
Are Rice Noodles Vegetarian Or Vegan?
In general, rice noodles can be considered both vegetarian and vegan, since they are made from rice flour, water, and a binding agent (such as tapioca starch). However, you should always check the ingredients list on a package of rice noodles just to make sure that there are no added ingredients or fillers that might not be vegan. Rice noodles should contain no more than a few ingredients, so they are usually considered vegan because of their ingredients.
Common Rice Noodle Ingredients
It is important to consider the ingredients used when determining whether rice noodles are vegan. Their small ingredient list (plus how easy they are to make) are some of the reasons why rice noodles are so popular. Rice noodles can be made with the following ingredients!
Rice flour is the main ingredient used to make rice noodles, and rice flour is obviously made from rice. The abundance of rice in China led to the creation of rice noodles, and rice flour is formed after the rice is ground down.
When rice flour is combined with water, it forms a thick dough that can be rolled and formed into rice noodles.
In rice noodles, starch is not always added, but it helps prevent the noodles from turning sticky and strengthens their bond. Different foods are thickened or dried with starch, a simple sugar compound derived from plants.
Another vegan ingredient is tapioca, which is extracted from the cassava root. Rice noodles can also be made with corn starch or tapioca starch. Rice noodles are not only thickened with it, but their flavor is also enhanced by it.
Last but not least, most recipes called for a small amount of salt. Salt helps to strengthen the dough, making the noodles firmer and stronger. It also adds flavor to the rice noodles.
How To Know If Rice Noodles Are Vegan
Check whether the rice noodles you are buying are vegan, rather than just relying on the concept that most rice noodles should be vegan. A vegan-friendly product will often declare that it is vegan on its packaging, or have a small symbol that indicates it is vegan-friendly. The next best option is to check the ingredients list if there is no indication that the rice noodles are vegan.
There shouldn’t be too many ingredients in rice noodles (just rice flour, water, starch, salt, and maybe a few others), but check that they aren’t vegan-unfriendly.
Are Rice Noodles Gluten-Free?
For those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or who cannot consume gluten for other medical reasons, almost all types of noodles, egg noodles, pasta, and so on are not gluten-free. As rice noodles are made from non-gluten-containing grains, they are considered gluten-free. This means that people with gluten intolerance and vegans can enjoy rice noodles.
As rice noodles are made from gluten-free rice flour, they should be safe to consume. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, and other grains that are commonly used to make noodles and pasta. It is always safer to double-check the ingredients list for gluten-containing fillers and added ingredients.
Can I Use Rice Noodles In Place Of Other Noodles?
Noodles containing eggs, such as flat egg noodles and ramen noodles, are not considered vegan. Many different meals (ex. chow mein, soups, and stir-fries) contain these noodles, making them ineligible for vegans.
With the right ingredients, almost all of these dishes that contain egg-based noodles can be made using rice noodles instead. You can use rice noodles in place of just about every other type of noodle that is used – you just need to find rice noodles that are similar in size.
Which Dishes Are Made With Rice Noodles?
Many dishes can be made vegan by substituting rice noodles for egg noodles, but some dishes actually feature rice noodles as the main ingredient, so by eliminating any animal products, these meals can become vegan. When ordering pho, just make sure to tell the restaurant that you are vegan, since it often contains animal products.
Pad thai is a stir-fried noodle dish with a sweet and tangy flavor. It is delicious with bean sprouts and fried tofu, but you have to leave out the fish sauce. Rice noodles can be used in any noodle dish or soup. Here are just two of our favorites.
Where Can I Buy Rice Noodles?
You shouldn’t have any trouble finding rice noodles because they’re really easy to find. In addition to Asian specialty stores, most grocery stores should have at least one or two brands of rice noodles. Ordering rice noodles online is another option – you can read reviews and check the ingredients to see if they are vegan.
Are Rice Noodles Healthy?
They contain fewer calories than regular noodles, and they do not contain any filler ingredients. Rice noodles should, however, be consumed in moderation, as too much can be harmful. To make a delicious and healthy vegan meal, combine rice noodles with steamed vegetables, a sauce, and some plant-based protein!
Are Rice Noodles Vegan?
The majority of rice noodles are vegan – just rice flour, water, and salt are all they need. Nonetheless, it is always safer to double-check the ingredients on the packaging to ensure that no animal products are added. In any stir-fry or soup recipe, rice noodles can be substituted for egg noodles (which are not vegan). Also, rice noodles are gluten-free, which makes them suitable for many diets!
Following our discussion of rice noodles and whether they are vegan, here are some additional questions we thought you might have.
Do rice noodles contain dairy?
It is important that rice noodles do not contain any dairy, as well as most of the common allergens, such as dairy, eggs, fish, nuts, soy, and wheat.
Are ramen noodles vegan?
On their own, ramen noodles are vegan, but some brands add flavors or eggs that are not vegan, so it is safer to check first. Ramen noodles are typically made from oil and wheat flour.
Is soy sauce vegan?
Due to its ingredients (soybeans, salt, and water), soy sauce should be vegan. However, some brands use flavor enhancers that aren’t vegan.