Thai Crispy Rice Noodles

Thai Crispy Rice Noodles

The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 13 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
378 Calories
14g Fat
56g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 378
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 127mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 21mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Those crispy white noodles that top several Asian dishes may seem like a fancy ingredient, but you can make them at home in no-time. Cooking them is a bit like magic as they instantly puff up when fried. Although delicious on their own as a snack, there are whole Thai dishes made out of these crispy noodles, and they are also great as a topping for lettuce wraps, stir-fries, salads, and soups. These crispy noodles are made with thin rice noodles (also called rice vermicelli), which makes them gluten free. The key to crispy noodles is having the oil hot enough so they expand immediately—so make sure to test with a noodle or two first.

"I tried it just as it is and on top of my soup and I LOVED how crispy it was. It took a couple tries to get the oil temperature right. If the oil is hot enough, they literally puff up and are done in 3 to 4 seconds; otherwise nothing happens and they burn." —Tara Omidvar

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Ingredients

  • 1 (8.8-ounce) package thin dried rice noodles

  • 3/4 cup oil, for frying

  • Pinch kosher salt, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Uncooked rice noodles, oil and salt

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  2. Separate the rice noodles by pulling apart the various sections into manageable amounts. Using scissors, cut the noodles into strips 4 to 5 inches long.

    Rice noodles separated on a plate

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  3. Place the oil in a wok or small to medium frying pan. The smaller the pan, the less oil you will have to use. Heat the oil over medium-high heat for a minimum of 1 minute.

    Oil heating in a wok

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  4. Take a few longer noodle pieces in your hand and dunk just the ends into the hot oil. If the oil is hot enough, the submerged parts will bloom within seconds into puffy, crispy noodles. If this doesn't happen, remove the submerged parts and cut them off. Wait a little longer for your oil to heat up, then try again.

    A single rice noodle puffing up in hot oil

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  5. Once the oil is ready, gently drop handfuls of the noodles into the hot oil.

    Rice noodles cooking in oil

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  6. Have a utensil at the ready to quickly flip them once. The actual cooking time is only a few seconds.

    Fluffy, cooked rice noodles in a wok

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  7. Set the puffed noodles to drain on paper towels. Sprinkle a little salt over them if desired. Continue frying the rest of your noodles. (You may need to reduce the heat to medium to avoid burning.)

    Cooked rice noodles draining on a towel

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

How to Store Crispy Noodles

Crispy noodles should be eaten the same day or stored in a plastic food storage container overnight or longer (no need to refrigerate). How long they will stay crispy depends largely on the climate and level of humidity where you live.

Are Rice Noodles Healthier Than Wheat?

Although there is a difference between the carbohydrate and calorie counts of rice and wheat noodles, the results are somewhat negligible. The main distinction is that rice noodles are gluten and egg free, and therefore safe for anyone on a gluten-free or eggless diet.