Last Updated on 21st September 2022 by Pauline Loughlin
Vermicelli are long, thin pasta noodles similar to spaghetti or angel hair pasta. There are different sizes of vermicelli as well, with some thicker and some thinner. And most people may be familiar with the vermicelli that looks a lot like long, thin rice.
No matter which kind you are using, I’ll show you how to cook vermicelli in a way that prevents it from sticking together, overcooking, or undercooking.
What Is Vermicelli?
This is a rather thin rice pasta that often looks like rice and some people mistake it for just that. However, it is considered a type of pasta, and it can be used the same way as any pasta noodle, but the cooking method may vary.
What are vermicelli noodles made of? These Asian style noodles are made from the rice flour. That’s good news for anyone who’s trying to have a gluten free diet or reduce the amount of gluten they consume.
These are very healthy noodles, and the ground rice used to make them produces a distinctive flavor that’s very similar to plain white rice.
How To Cook Vermicelli Rice Noodles
You may find that you use one method to cook vermicelli that works well one time and then the same method doesn’t work very well the next time.
The problem is that vermicelli can be different from one instance to the next, even if it looks like the same kind.
Try to get the thinner vermicelli if you are using the following method, as it works best for the thin noodles or for the small pieces of rice-like vermicelli.
Start with a bowl large enough to fit your vermicelli noodles in pour boiling water over it. Allow the noodles to soak in the boiling hot water and ensure that they are submerged completely.
Then, cover the bowl with the lid to trap the heat. You don’t need to create an airtight seal here- just cover the dish they are warming in.
Alternatively, you could use a pot and cover it with a lid, or you can just use a plate to cover a regular bowl.
Allow the vermicelli to soak according to the packaging directions, which is typically around one to two minutes. This is a really great way to cook vermicelli without needing to boil it.
Once the pasta has cooked in the water long enough, you can drain it out using a sieve or a strainer.
Then, you can use the noodles at that point, seasoning them or adding to them to whatever dish you want to make. If you’re not ready to use the noodles yet, you can cover them with a cloth to prevent dehydration.
It’s a good idea to run your hands through the noodles after they’re cooked to see if there are any hard bits.
If the noodles are still pretty hard, they should soak for longer. If there are only a few, small hard bits, you can separate them from the rest of the noodles and toss them out.
How Long to Cook Vermicelli?
The method you’re using to cook the noodles will determine how long it takes them to cook, as well the amount you’re using and the level heat to put under the noodles.
Most people will simply soak the noodles rather than boil them in a pot on the stove. Typically, vermicelli noodles will not take any more than five minutes to cook with the soaking method.
What to Make with Vermicelli Noodles
You may be wondering what kind of dishes utilize vermicelli noodles. These noodles are commonly found in Southeast Asian dishes, particularly Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese foods. They’re often used in soups and stir fries but can even be utilized in solids or spring rolls (guide to reheating spring rolls).
You could also use them as you would spaghetti or angel hair pasta noodles, covering them with pasta sauce and meatballs as well as parmesan cheese for a meal.
Or, you can add some cheesy sauce to the noodles and a little seasoning for an excellent dish. You’ll find the distinctive rice flour flavor of these noodles to be a good complement to the various ingredients you used to season and garnish other kinds of pasta with.
How to Reheat Vermicelli Noodles
You might be wondering what’s the best way to heat up vermicelli noodles after you’ve cooked them already and put them in the fridge to store.
If you’re ready to eat the leftovers, you may be concerned that putting them back in boiling water will cook them too much or cause them to absorb too much water and become bloated.
The reheating method I’ll recommend completely avoids any kind of issue with adding extra water or overcooking the noodles. Just put them into a microwave safe container and put a little bit of water on them (just a sprinkling) and then cover the noodles with plastic wrap or a damp paper towel.
The noodles should be microwaved on high for 30 seconds. You can check them after 30 seconds to see if they’re hot. And then just keep heating them in 30-second intervals until they are warm enough to eat.
How to Store Cooked Vermicelli Noodles
These are definitely special noodles, but is there any special way they need to be stored to ensure that they don’t go bad before their time?
You can just put them into a refrigerator-safe container and store them in your fridge. As long as the temperature is fairly consistent and there are no major fluctuations for long periods of time, they should store just fine in the fridge.
Cooked vermicelli noodles that are properly refrigerated should keep for three to four days in the fridge.
That’s a lot of information about vermicelli noodles, but hopefully it’s helpful so you feel more confident working with these sensitive but versatile noodles.
Next time you are looking to whip up some authentic Thai or Vietnamese noodle dish, you can go straight for the vermicelli and know to do with it.