Easy Thai Fried Rice Noodles (Gluten-free & Vegan-Friendly!)

Thai Fried Thin Rice Noodles - Delicious!
Thai Fried Thin Rice Noodles - Delicious!. D.Schmidt for About.com
  • 18 mins
  • Prep: 12 mins,
  • Cook: 6 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2-3 as a Main Entree
Ratings (20)

This easy Thai fried rice noodle dish is so yummy, and a cinch to make.  It starts with thin noodles, also known as 'vermicelli rice noodles' (look for thin ''rice stick' noodles at Asian stores or your local supermarket). Added to the rice noodles are shiitake mushrooms, orange pepper, bean sprouts, and chicken, or tofu if you're vegetarian/vegan. Add a special Thai sauce and you have a terrific noodle recipe that's great for any occasion. As a bonus, these rice noodles are healthy, low-fat, and gluten-free.

What You'll Need

  • 8 ounces dried thin rice noodles ("rice stick")
  • 1 to 1.5 cup bite-size chicken pieces/strips or cubed tofu
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, sliced into matchstick-like pieces
  • 1 cup or more fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 orange or green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 2-3 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (or simulated chicken stock for vegetarians)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Handful fresh coriander/cilantro
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • Marinade:
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons soy sauce (use wheat-free for gluten-free diets)
  • Stir-fry Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
  • 1 teaspoon. dark soy sauce (gluten-free diets substitute 1 tablespoon wheat-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon. fish sauce (vegetarians substitute 1.5 Tbsp. soy sauce)
  • 1teaspoon. sugar
  • 1 tablespoon. lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock OR faux chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili sauce, OR 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)

How to Make It

  1. Marinate the chicken or tofu by pouring the cornstarch/soy sauce mixture over and stirring well. Set aside.
  2. Gently boil rice noodles 5-10 minutes, just until noodles are soft enough to eat but still firm and a little bit 'crunchy' (they will finish cooking later). Drain and briefly rinse with cold water to keep from sticking. Set aside.
  3. Combine all stir-fry sauce ingredients in a cup. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Set aside.
  1. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl around, then add the garlic, galangal or ginger, chicken or tofu (together with the marinade), mushrooms, and a few tablespoons of stock. Stir-fry 5 minutes. When pan becomes dry, add a little more chicken stock, 1-2 tablespoons. at a time.
  2. Add pepper and stir-fry another 1-2 minutes. Add the noodles plus stir-fry sauce. Using two utensils, lift and turn the noodles or use a tossing motion, like tossing a salad. Keep heat turned up. Stir-fry in this way until the sauce is well distributed throughout the noodles (1-2 minutes).
  3. Add bean sprouts, continuing to stir-fry another minute. Remove from heat and taste-test for salt/flavor, adding 1 tablespoon more fish sauce or soy sauce if not salty or flavorful enough. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice.
  4. To serve, lift noodles out of the wok or frying pan and mound in a bowl or serving platter. Sprinkle with the sliced green onion and chopped coriander/cilantro.  A wedge of fresh lime squeezed over just before eating is also delicious.  For those who like it extra spicy, serve with Thai Chili Sauce on the side.